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Sat Jun 12, 2021, 01:51 PM

The poverty of 'economic growth'

Simplistic stories of GDP growth are blinding us to the extraordinary social and ecological destruction that growth so often entails.

by Peter Metcalf

There is a village in the rainforests of Southeast Asia that I have visited on and off for over 40 years, doing long-term anthropological research. As the decades have ticked by, I have witnessed a process of extraordinary economic growth that has completely reshaped the village.

On the face of it, that might sound like a good thing. After all, we’re told that growth is good. We’re told that more income lifts people out of poverty and improves their lives. This narrative is drilled into us by development institutions like the World Bank, and echoed by media outlets around the world. But what I have witnessed calls this simplistic story into question.

The village is in Sarawak, which is on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo, the third-largest island in world, larger than France or Texas. When I first visited Sarawak in the 1970s, the Indigenous communities living there had virtually no money, but they lived well. Now they have money, and can barely feed themselves. They have been impoverished even as incomes rise. It is a story of brutal destitution that is completely obscured by the GDP growth statistics...

Read more: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/6/10/the-poverty-of-economic

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Reply The poverty of 'economic growth' (Original post)
SharonAnn Jun 15 #1

Response to PETRUS (Original post)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 03:35 PM

1. I saw this in Central America where Banana Plantation developers stole land.

The local farming families lost their farms, the only "jobs" were for slave wages on the banana plantations.

And this was done by United States' companies in the 1900's. They created, with U.S. military forces, the "banana republics.

It's happened all over the world with all the "colonial powers" that grab hold of an area's resources and crowd the local people out. Wealth is then transferred to the new owners.

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