Economic Development

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Conventional economic theory sees nations going through several stages of economic development. The first is "undeveloped" in which subsistence agriculture is the primary economic occupation. The second is "developing" in which countries develop cash crops and sweatshop industry that produces greater urbanization and a higher standard of living. The third stage is an "industrialized nation" in which manufacturing is the dominant economic activity and new technologies greatly improve the national standard of living. The last stage is that of a "post-industrial economy" in which manufacturing has been delegated to less developed sectors and professional services and idea oriented industries dominate the healthy and growing parts of the economy.

Under this model, the objective of international efforts should be to move all nations to the highest level of development possible as swiftly as possible for the greater good of all people.

Critics question whether the current economic regime in fact does improve the standard of living for all, or if it instead exploits those in less developed countries for the benefit of those in big business within more developed countries.

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