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Have you ever noticed that when you see an economically struggling society that you also see that the culture and social atmosphere is underdeveloped? When a society is struggling economically, often times the people will be more concerned with bettering the economic portion of their society rather than the cultural and social context. Food and money has a funny way of taking precedence over social and cultural activities. For example, in countries such as Brazil, in the more poverty-stricken areas, parents will often times place such an importance on making a days-wage, that often time they will leave newborns with their four or five-year old children. I’m not sure if I blame them, it is either that or there families will perish due to hunger and lack of shelter. (Annual Editions, PG 101) On the other hand, when a society is economically thriving, the social and cultural aspects of society will be looked at for improvement. I have never heard of a poverty-stricken nation wishing to go to war due to the lack of cultural and social aspects present in their lives, yet I have heard of nations going to war to better their economic status. What do you think the Boston-tea party was about? The people were not in a good state economically due to high taxation. The question is how does economic development create social and cultural development?
Economic development creates a social and cultural development. To define: Economics can be defined as the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth and development is defined as the process of developing or being developed (Oxford Dictionary). So if we put those two together, economic development can be described as the development of production, consumption, and transfer of wealth. Social is defined as the hierarchical structure of society and cultural is defined as the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a society (Oxford Dictionary). If this is the case, I argue that the development of production, consumption, and the transfer of wealth create the hierarchical structure, ideas, customs, and the social behaviors of a society.
“People of all grades converted their property into cash, and invested it in flowers. Houses and lands were offered for sale at ruinously low prices, or assigned in payment of bargains made at the tulip-mart.” (Business Foundations, PG 104) Property would be considered apart of whom you are, one is often judged by where he lives and what he owns. A home is where a lot of socialization occurs, it is here where you meet with friends, have get-together, and other social aspects of your life take place here. Because it would be a better economic decision to sell your home and property and purchase tulips with the profit, people did just that, sacrificing their social aspect of life to better the economic portion of it. This would illustrate that if people thought it was so important to sacrifice their land, even at unreasonable prices for economic security, it must bring some sort of positive culture or social aspect. Speaking of culture, to bring up another point, it seems to me that selling your land to purchase tulips would not be the wisest idea, but people did it because it was culturally appropriate, also known as “everyone is doing it.” As most would guess the tulip business did not do too well; “At last, however the more prudent began to see that this folly could not last for ever. Rich people no longer bought the flowers to keep in their gardens, but to sell them again at cent per cent profit…confidence was destroyed…many who, for a brief season, had emerged from the humbler walks of life were cast back into their original obscurity. Substantial merchants were reduced almost to beggary, and many representative of a noble line saw the fortunes of his house ruined beyond redemption.” (Business Foundations, PG 105) Because of economics troubles, people of high stature and value were reduced to almost beggary. Think of times of recession or the depression. Things that were popular in 1910 were not as important in 1920. Putting food on the table was more important than seeing the latest picture show. However, when things came back around again economically, people were able to go back and enjoy the “finer things of life.”
I liken my theory to this game of Pharaoh (Impression Games) In the computer game, you are the simulated ruler of a colony, then a city, and eventually you become a Pharaoh, ruler of a nation. While you are playing the game, you have several necessities that you must take care of. If there are too many people, and therefore unemployment, you need to either destroy homes or build more places for the people to work. If there is too little people and therefore, businesses not having enough workers, you must build homes. During times of unemployment, there is not a great need for entertainment (juggling booths) or culture (shrines or places or worship) and if you build them, often times they will go unoccupied. If there are enough jobs for everyone, you will get notice that if you do not have enough for the people to socially or cultural take part in, the people will start to not like you and eventually rebel. This is also true if unemployment rates run high and no new jobs are created.