Inequality in the Great Escape

Inequalityin the Great Escape

Deaton,Robinson andAcemoglu skepticalviewsabout foreignaid

Theinequalityin theworldhas a genesis from thecolonialtimeswhensomecountriestookadvantageof theweakernationsto conquerthem anddrainthem of resourcesto feedtheir industries.Mostof thecountriesin theWestandEurope scrambledforAfrican States andotherLatin American andAsian countries.During thisperiod,colonialists ferriedrawmaterialsout thecountriesandbroughtbackfinishedproductsfor trade.

Today,there is a lotof transferof resourcesin termsof moneyandtechnicalknowledgeto thelessdevelopedcountries.Thedevelopmentprogramsaimat raisingthelivingstandardsof thepeoplecreatedby economicinequality.Themajorinstigating factorto thecontributionof theworldlargesteconomiesis thepublicizeddesperatestatusof peoplein developingcountries.However,to a largeextent,foreignaidhas not achievedits mandatedue to reasonsof poorgovernance, corruptionandprojectimpositionsby thedonors.Deaton, Robinson, andAcemoglu presenttheir skepticalargumentson foreignassistanceandvariousrecommendationsto enhanceits effectiveness.

Deatonapproachestheissueby highlighting thedifferenceobservedbetween therichandthepoor.In somecountrieslike theUnited States, thelowestearningindividualhas an averageincomeamounting to fifteen timesthatof thepoorestin someAfrican countries.Forthisreason,itis morallyresponsibleto supportthelessendowed states.However,hefeelsthataidmay domoreharmthan goodin theseplaces.Therationalebehind thisis thatmostof thedonoragenciesdonot createthecapacityof individualcountriesto managetheresources,and,therefore,theestablisheddevelopmentsare not sustainable. Thebenefitsof suchprojectsdonot trickledown to theintendedrecipients(Deaton, 2013).

Secondly,hepresentsdata to showthatthesmallcountriesreceivemoremoneythatthebigcountries.Forexample,mostof thesub-Saharan countriesreceivedmorethan 10% of their Gross Domestic Product whilethelargecountrieslike India receivedonly2% of their GDP. Thegrowthestimationin thebignationsprovedto be morethan in thesmallstates.Hemakesa consequentialconclusionthatthesecountriesdonot needmoreaidtheyneedadviceon howto utilizethegrants(Deaton, 2013).

Deatonis alsoincredulouson theconditionsfavorableforgrowthin thecountriesreceivingaid.Accordingto Deaton, capitalis thelastthingthat a countryneedsto acceleratedevelopment.With properstructuresin place,anycountrycan finda developmentagentto provideresourcesfortheintendedprojects.Unfortunately,thedestitutecountriesare marredby corruption,badpoliticsandmisappropriation of funds.Ifthesituationfailsto improve,thesecountrieswill alwaysbe in needof help.Theauthenticity of somebigeconomies,whengivingout assistanceto theimpecuniouscountriesis alsoquestionable.Foreignassistancein termsof grantsorloansshould not setan exploitative platformwherewellup countriesreleaseusurious loansto thirdworldcountries(Deaton, 2013).

AcemogluandRobison echohis sentimentsabout thelackof fertilegroundfordevelopment.Accordingto them, mostof thecountriesin needof aidrequiremoretechnicalassistancethan money.Availing them liquidmoneywithout thepresenceof favorablestructuresis onlyillusionary to thinkthatanysubstantialdevelopmentwill takeplace.Theaidrenderedshould be in termsof skilledworkersandmachinery.Agradualandsustainable transformationwill hencetakeplace(Deaton, 2013).

Thetwo scholarsadvocatetheinitiationof pilotprojectsin developingcountriesto ascertaintheir viability before beingimplementedon a largescale.Goingby theamountof moneygivento the countries,itis veryineffectiveto channelthemoneyinto untested initiatives.Theunsuccessfuleffortof creatingequalityin theworldfindsan explanationin themethodembracedby donorcountries.Theyfeelthatthepilotprograms will giveinternationalassistancemoremeaningin termsof acceleratingeconomicgrowth.However,Deaton disagreeswith the issueof implementingprojectson largein newlocalities.He insiststhatanyformof assistanceshould be customized to suittheneedsof a particularcountry.Heis against theideaof importingblueprintsfrom otherplacesandplantingthem elsewhere.Thefactthattheyworkin one countryis not a guarantee thattheywill be practicalin another.There is a wholerangeof factorsrangingfrom thepoliticalenvironment,thedevelopmentstructure,anddifferentpriorities(Deaton, 2013).

Theauthors’skepticismis validdue to thepresentationof data andgrowthpatternsin bothdevelopedandthirdworldcountries.Theargumentsaboveare plausiblesince theyjuxtaposethetwo categoriesof countries,a methodthat validatestheneedto helpthelessdevelopedeconomies.Thescholars`feelingthatthesenationsrequiremorestructural capacity than liquidmoneyfindssupportin theprevailingconditionwherebymostof theassistancedirectedtowards variousdevelopmentprojectsdoesnot givetheintendedresults.In thecurrentworld,anyveritablesubventionshould aimforsustainable developmentandeconomicthriveof therecipientstate.

Thefundamentalhealthandincomegapsbetween therichandthepoor

TheGreat Escape as detailedby Deaton is a vividdescriptionof thegapsthat existbetween therichandthelessfortunate.Thearticleidentifiesthesharpcontrastbetween theworld’sbiggesteconomiesandthedeveloping countries.Theseinequalitiesare mostlynotablein thelevel of incomeandquality of health.Thetwo havean intimaterelationshipwith qualityhealthbeingtheresultant of an improvedincome.Thepolarityin standardsof livingandaccessto healthcarehas severalfundamental indicatorsas discussedby Deaton.

Lifeexpectancyis one themostpracticalindicatorin measuringthehealthlevels in a particularcountry.Longlivesindicatetheabilityof a countryto takecareof its citizens’healthby combatingcommondiseases.Timelytreatmentandqualitycareextendtheirlife..Thereverseof thisis alsotrue.Placeswith poorhealthfacilitieshaveuntimelyattentionto diseases,andthisleadsto a shortlifespan. Japan has thehighestlifeexpectancylevels wherebyits citizensliveup to 82.7 yearson average.TheScandinavian countriesfollowat an averageof 72 years.In thethirdworld,especiallyin countriesin thesub-Saharan Africa, lifeexpectancyis below 50 years(Deaton, 2013). Thelifeexpectancyhas improvedover timedue to increasedaccessto healthcare.However,thedisparityis toohighcomparedwith thesituationin theworld’sbigeconomies.

Theotherfundamentalindicatorof inequalityhealthis mortalityrates.Accordingto Deaton, deathratesin theworldare nowlowerthan in anyothertimein history.Thepositivedirectionis attributable to scientificinnovationsto comeup with newvaccines. However,theadoptionandaccessto thesevaccines is not widespreadin theworld’spoorestcountries.In therichestcountries,theprobabilitythat childrenwill growup to seetheir fifth birthdayis 95%. In thepoorestcountries,itis lessthan 75%. Theauthorgivesan exampleof Sierra Leone wherea quarterof all thechildrenborneverydaydonot livebeyond five years.Across theglobe,morethan two million childrendieannuallyfrom preventable diseases.Theaccessto vaccines in termsof costandavailability is beyond theabilityof thedestitutepopulations(Deaton, 2013).

Asignificantnumberof childrendiedue to poorhygiene,which emanatesfrom lackof healtheducation.There is a discrepancyin theknowledgeon howto preventdiseases.Deaton givestheexampleof thegermtheoryformulatedin the19th century.Itis pitifulthatpeoplein somecountrieshavenoaccessto thebasic principlesof thisdiscoveryto helpthem tackleinfections(Deaton, 2013).

Deatonalsodetailstheglobal economicsituation.Justlike in thehealtharena,there is agreatdissimilarityin thelevels of incomebetween thewellup andthedeveloping countries.Thewordrichestcountriesare 256 timesricherthan themostindigent.Halfof thepopulationslivingin theSouthof Sahara earnslessthan one dollara day.Thedisheartening conditionis farbelow theAmerican poorwhoearnfifteen dollarseveryon average.Theincomereceivedby citizensrelatesto thequalityof healthand,forthisreason,thenecessitous stateshavea doubleburden(Deaton, 2013).

Thepolarityin thelevel of incomehas effectson lifesatisfaction.Lackof moneylimitspeopleto thenumberof resourcesdespite someof them beingbasicandthisresultin lesssatisfyinglives.Citizensin thedevelopedworldare happierlivingin their conditionthan themassesin thestrainingeconomies.Themeasureof thevalueof lifeliesin goodaccessto health,enoughfood,securityamong otherneeds.ADeaton putsit,“moremoneymeansmorelife(Deaton, 2013).”

Variouseffortscan raisethestandardsof livingof thepenuriouscountries.First,thedevelopedcountriesthrough their foreignaidprogramsshould aimat developingthecapacityof therecipientsbefore givingthem money.Out of this,sustainable andbeneficialprojectswill be implemented.Donorsshould alsoinitiatelong-term projectsthro a participatory processto eradicatethedependencysyndromein mostrecipientcountries.

Secondly,theinequalityin healthdoesnot liesquarelyon theshouldersof thedevelopedcountriesby thevirtuethattheyhaveresourcesandinformation.Individualcountriesmust developefficientstructuresto nurtureequalityin healthstandardsamong thepeople.Thedevelopmentagentsshould be accountableforall themoneyspentto minimizewastage andmisappropriation. Asmentionearlier,themosteffectiveapproachthat can changethelivesof thepoorcountriesis developingtheir capacityto solvetheir problems.Theydonot haveto followthesamepatternadoptedby thealreadydevelopedstatesto achieveeconomicstability.Theaptness will stimulatethem to forgetheir uniqueway of developmentas exhibitedby Korea andChina (Deaton, 2013).

Inconclusion,notall countries candevelopat thesamepacedue to thevariedconditionsfavorableformakingthestep.However,thewell-up countriescan minimize the disparityif they extenda genuinehandto thelessdevelopedstates.Thegovernmentsin thethirdworldshould takechargeof corruptionandmisappropriation of theavailablefundsto ensurethattheutilization of fundsfortheintendedpurposes.

References

Deaton,A. (2013). TheGreat Escape: Health, wealthandtheoriginsof inequality.New Jersey, NJ: Princeton University Press.