Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)  

3. Outcomes of Democracy

Economic Growth And Development

Economic Growth And Development
If we consider all democracies and all dictatorship for the fifty years between 1950 and 2000, dictatorship have slightly higher rate of economic growth.
Evidence shows that in practice many democracies did not fulfill this expectation. The inability of democracy to achieve higher economic development worries us. But this alone cannot be reason to reject democracy. The difference between less developed countries with dictatorships and democracies is negligible. Overall, we cannot say that democracy is a guarantee of economic development. But we can expect democracy not to lag behind dictatorship in the respect.
Economic Outcome Of Democracy
Within democracies there can be very high degrees of inequalities. In democratic countries like South Africa and Brazil the top 20 per cent people corned more than 60 per cent of the national income, leaving less than 3 per cent for the bottom 20 per cent population. Countries like Denmark and Hungary are much better in this respect.

Reduction Of Inequality And Poverty
Democracies are based on political equality. All individuals have equal weight in electing representatives. A small number of ultra-rich enjoy a highly disproportionate share of wealth and incomes. Not only that, their share in the total income of the country has been increasing. Those at the bottom of the society have very little to depend upon. Their incomes have been declining. Sometimes they find it difficult to meet their basic needs of life, such as food, clothing, house, education and health.
In actual life democracies do not appear to be very successful in reducing economic inequalities. The poor constitute a large proportion of our voters and no party will like to lose their votes. The situation is much worse in some other countries. In Bangladesh more than half of its population lives in poverty. People in several poor countries are now dependent on the rich countries even for the food supplies.


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