Archive for October, 2018

Is development all there is to alleviate poverty?

By David Holland

Environmental sustainability is often compromised because the poor cannot get basic food and shelter needs. (Sachs & Reid 2006)

Maslow, explained by Mcleod (2007), suggests that finding food is a basic need for humanity and is a fundamental priority for individuals.

Sen (1999) theorises that development brings freedom and a reduction in poverty.

It seems all three authors agree poverty can be reduced by providing food and shelter through development.

Unfortunately, the human condition is not that simple to understand.

Reflecting on Sen (1999), development brings humanities basic needs and freedom, then Maslow’s second stage, Psychological needs, which could include ownership, brings the desire to participating in economic markets, subject to market constrains, access and opportunity.

Aristotle is quoted in Sen (1999), telling of a story about Maitreyee and Yajnavalkya, who pondered on the value of riches. Maitreyee suggested that if you owned everything would it not be fitting to live forever to use it all. Yajnavalkya brought her down to reality and suggested that the pursuit of riches was folly because of death.

If this be truth then why is little being spent on the poor and the environment? (Sachs & Reid 2006)

But to transcend this, both myself and Sen (1999) seem to agree that freedom is more than economic growth through development, it is the realisation of the 8th principal of Maslow, transcendence, which is to helping others achieve their highest potential. Maslow’s 8th step is sadly lacking in our economic rationalist world. Maslow 1970b as cited in (Mcleod 2007)

References:

Mcleod Saul, (2007), Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, updated 2016, https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html, cited April 2017.

Sachs, J. D., & Reid, W. V. (2006). Investments toward sustainable development. Science, 312, 1002, http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/content/312/5776/1002.full.pdf, cited April 2017.

Sen, A. (1999). Introduction: Development as freedom. In A. Sen (Ed.), Development as freedom (pp. 3-11). Oxford University Press, http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~w301497/teaching/documents_teaching/Sen_1999_DevelopmentAsFreedomIntro%2Bch1.pdf, cited April 2017.