Proposal for Global Development
Economic development should be shaped primarily to help people out of hunger and poverty, not to make the world a carbon copy of the United States. Too often development has meant establishing the apparatus for producing and consuming nonessentials at an ever-accelerating pace in imitation of rich northern nations. Development in this sense can justly be condemned, both because it does violence to cultures and social values that should be preserved, and even more because it promotes islands of extravagance among people who are basically destitute. In the words of Denis Goulet, a specialist in development ethics, "To pursue the development dream of general affluence . . . is to condemn most men to frustration and to exacerbate existing inequalities in the Third World."
Because poor people, like everyone else, measure themselves largely in relation to their surroundings, their condition is felt more acutely when prosperity is flaunted and at the same time denied them. Consequently a type of development which spreads inequalities and fails to move the mass of poor people upward becomes increasingly less tolerable.