Economic Growth And Its Effect On Society

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For most of human history, life remained pretty much the same. The conditions of living were almost completely stagnant, and there was no such thing as economic growth to the general public. This all changed when two different events occurred that greatly impacted the course of history. The first of these being the British industrial revolution in 1750, and then the more prominent American industrial revolution in 1870. Acting like a catalyst, these two events created a boom of economic growth unlike anything the world had ever seen. As certain nations have continued to expand, an important question that arises is, is economic growth beneficial or harmful to society? Economic growth as defined as: “An increase in the amount of goods and services produced per head of the population over a period of time (The Oxford American College Dictionary)” is in no way a bad thing for society. The issue with this comes from the way we as humans use such this broad definition of economic growth as an indicator of wellbeing and happiness within a country, leading to misuse of wealth, as well as misplaced focus on important areas of life. Whereas previously it took almost 350 years for a family to double its standard of living, over the course of a few years, unemployment dropped drastically as well as the standard of living increased tremendously (Wallace-Wells). In order to measure just how much growth was accumulating, a numerical value called the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was
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