Task 2 Essay: Importance of Economic Progress
Question: Many governments think that economic progress is the most important goal. Some people, however, think that other types of progress are important for a country. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) It is argued that many governments consider economic progress to be the overarching priority for a country, while others suggest that other priorities should be taken into account. Personally I cannot fully support the idea that economic progress trumps everything else. Although the economy will always be the foundation of any state, of equal importance are the quality of life experienced by its citizens.
(Body 1) One main benefit of prioritising economic growth above all else is that without a growing economy it is difficult to improve living standards and invest in public services. When an economy is performing well, we are likely to see more investment, a greater number of new businesses, and a rise in wages. A lot of this will be reinvested back into the economy though consumer spending, and the taxation from both increased wages and spending can be used to invest in public services like hospitals and schools. A good example of this would be Vietnam, which has enjoyed unprecedented developments in economic progress and living standards since it joined the WTO in 2007.
(Body 2) Despite these arguments, it is easy to see that the standard of living itself is hugely important. Although a well-performing economy will make good headlines on the evening news, the benefits might not be felt by everybody. Economic inequality in countries like the UK is widening, despite reasonable levels of growth. This is made worse by government cuts to public services, with hospitals and schools at breaking point. This demonstrates that is not enough to just focus on having a strong economy, but it is also about what you do with it.
(Conclusion) In conclusion I can’t fully support the idea that governments should prioritise the economy over other areas. Economic stability is incredibly important but governments have a duty to ensure citizens can access high quality public services and are paid reasonable wages. Unfortunately the majority of western governments are failing to achieve this. (321 words).
Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
Image: Lorenzo Carafo / Pixabay.