The Cost of Economic Growth

The Cost of Economic Growth 

In Chapter 7: The Environment – Part II, Hite and Seitz (2016) discuss the existing tension between development and the environment. Development brings economic growth as well as social and environmental changes. To a developing country, economic growth may be of a higher priority than the consequences to the long-term health of its citizens or its environment. On the other hand, poverty can also harm the environment such as how searching for land to farm contributes to deforestation. 

Do wealthy nations using the labor of developing nations have responsibilities to the people and environment of that country? Why or why not? Be sure to use examples of existing companies to support your response.

It is unfortunate that the countries with vast resources that is, the developing countries, still have the highest level of poverty. These developing countries have a history of being exploited by colonialists and therefore it is the only prudent for the developed countries to help them both economically and in achieving sustainability. Britain took advantage of Asia to enrichen themselves because during the colonial rein because they access cheap labor with little wages. Although they are not obligated to help developing countries, they have the power and responsibility to them. In 1993, Walmart used the labor of young children in Bangladesh to make their clothes but later the contract was canceled due to child labor.

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have a foundation which has the purpose to help people in poor countries (Harman,2016) When it comes to helping the developing countries, they could face difficulties when choosing which country to help since it could cause constraints in the relationship between the countries. This is also because some donors may not necessarily have their best interests at heart and it could lead to a lot of corruption which already exists in most developing countries as well as massive losses in finances. Another issue that may come up in this process is that these developing countries could depend on foreign aid for survival and since a lot of politics is involves it is important that it is monitored such that the aid does not land in the wrong hands.

According to Hite and Seitz (2016), developed countries have many industries that may not be sustainable and thus having a huge effect on climate change. The millennium goals include climate change and crisis management and the United Nations are working on ensuring that the goals are achieved (Fenichel,2016). Since this is a global issue, I believe that they have the responsibility to help developing countries since they are also affected and could lack the resources necessary for handle the effects of climate change.


Fenichel, E. P., Levin, S. A., McCay, B., Martin, K. S., Abbott, J. K., & Pinsky, M. L. (2016). Wealth reallocation and sustainability under climate change. Nature Climate Change, 6(3), 237-244.

Harman, S. (2016). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and legitimacy in global health governance. Global Governance, 22, 349.

Hite, K. A., & Seitz, J. L. (2016). Global issues: an introduction. John Wiley & Sons.