In Reply to: The GDP posted by Alexandra Polly on November 2, 2001 at 11:12:59:
I agree with the statement that people are not necessarily happier in a non- capitalist society. However, I do believe that when capitalism is introduced into societies, things do usually get worse. I know of societies in which capitalism has been was introduced and crime and violence (just to name a few) increased dramatically. : In class it was mentioned the other day that when capitalism comes into an area that has not been exposed to it before very negative things can happen. It was said that when capitalism takes over an area the GDP may go up but the people living in the area may not be as happy, healthy, or wealthy as they were before.
: This struck me as being very interesting because I do think there is a lot of truth in it. I have been to many places just like Milagro and so I visually can understand. Places like Milagro have been there for hundreds of years before capitalist enterprizes came. The people are mostly self-employed and have a generally happy lifestyle. There is a very close sense of community and of hard work by all. When new ideas such as capitalism enter their lives the people are confused. When and if these people are forced to pay high taxes resulting from either new developments or a collection of other things they are in trouble. A lot of people that live in places like Milagro only farm enough for their family and or the town that they live in, and they do not produce much surplus. When they are forced to pay highger taxes many of them loose their land or are forced to become wage laborers. By becomming wage laborers though, the people loose their ability to work their land that they are working to keep.
: So when people look at stats that say "Oh look, this area is growing and has become much richer, they are doing something right" it can often be very misleading. These people could not be eating as well since the little money they make will go either to feeding their families or holding on to their land. The people have less time to spend with their families which was particualrly expressed by Joe in Milagro Beanfield War.
: I was often told in schools that if a place has a high GDP or it was going up then that was a very positive event for that place and now I see that it in fact may not always be true? See where I am comming from, I think sometimes when we think we are helping we may in fact be hurting?
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