Industrialization in the Modern World

1357 Words Apr 6th, 2011 6 Pages
Word count: 1188
Ever since industrialization occurred in Europe, America and parts of Asia, economic growth has been the major focus point of most governments. This quest arose because of the desire for higher economic status and political power. However, during this pursuit the subject of personal wellbeing and happiness came about. According to the PEW global survey (as cited in Stokes 2007), it has been noted that, an increase in personal well being has a direct relationship with an increase in economic growth. In other words, people in countries that are economically developed tend to be happier than those in countries with little or no economic growth. As this statement may be true, it cannot be applied to all
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According to PEW’s measure, the level of happiness in rich countries did not improve much over the last five years. The same proportion of Americans, Germans and French that were happy five years ago are only moderately happier now. This seems to confirm what Carol Graham, senior fellow at the Brookings institution in Washington (as cited in stokes 2007), said about the relationship between happiness and wealth in rich countries. She states that affluent countries overall are happier than poor countries as a whole but, happiness rises with income up to a particular level but does not go ahead of it. By examining the graph composed by Speth (2008), one will notice that, even as the level of per capita income increases over the years, life satisfaction remains the same.
Differences in income
Variation in personal happiness can also be linked with income inequality and this can overshadow the benefits associated with improvements in economic growth and national income (Stokes 2007). This is most evident in Nigeria where a 26% rise in per capita income was achieved, but the concern regarding the gap between the rich and the poor outweighed the benefits of this improvement. This clarifies why most Nigerians where moderately happy even after the overall development in the economy (Stokes 2007). This is a reminder that while focusing on economic growth; the government should bear in mind income inequality.
Cost of substituting GDP
There have been
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