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Problems of prosperity The negative consequences of economic growth in Ireland and Quebec

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Description: In the last twenty years, a significant proportion of social science literature has been dedicated to critiquing the failure of capitalism and the perils of consumerism. Economists, political scientists, and social critics highlight that the economic success of the United States and other wealthy countries has created consumer-based cultures, obsessed with acquiring better, bigger, and more expensive things, even when they do not have the means to do so. Although there have been various benefits of prolonged economic growth across nations, particularly democracy, equality, and respect for human rights, one must also recognize that there are concrete costs associated with these new benefits, such as rising crime rates, increased drug and alcohol consumption, and rising obesity rates. Therefore, in contrast to the overall benefits of economic prosperity that have always received attention from scholars, it is interesting to ponder the costs of these benefits in the broader societal picture. Is there a point at which the costs outweigh the benefits? One needs to look no further than the examples of Ireland and the Canadian province Quebec. There are many positive aspects associated with the quick and impressive economic growth and resulting wealth in Ireland and Quebec. However, concurrent to these extremely positive facets of economic growth, there is a darker, less publicized side of wealth, including increasing suicide, rising costs, alcohol abuse, stress, and a multitude of others. Economic development always involves both benefits and costs. The benefits enumerated above are well understood and receive most of the scholastic attention. However, economic development also involves certain costs which require closer attention to acquire a more nuanced understanding of the trade-offs that economic growth entails. This paper, therefore, focuses on the societal costs that resulted from rapid economic development in Ireland and Quebec. By synthesizing scholarly literature on the negative consequences of economic prosperity and examining particular measures of this in Ireland and Quebec, this paper seeks to compare Ireland and Quebec in their respective economic and political transformations to determine the scope of these negative consequences in the broader societal picture. By illuminating these costs, this paper seeks to illustrate the extent of the trade-offs between economic growth and the negative social effects and posit whether there is a point at which the costs outweigh the benefits.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work