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GNP per Capita

Research and Explore

1. Listed below are some activities that could help increase a country's GNP per capita growth. Assume that you are an officer in the Ministry of Planning. Because funds are limited, not all plans can be implemented at once.

  1. Rank the following activities in the order in which you would undertake them. Explain why you chose this ranking.
    • Resurface and broaden a highway for trucks carrying logs from the country’s largest forest to its only seaport.
    • Provide subsidized loans to banks so they can make small loans with low interest rates to 500 small business owners.
    • Equip twenty minibuses to provide health care and family planning services in rural areas; train and pay salaries of bus workers.
    • Train 100 secondary school graduates to teach in understaffed primary schools and to run adult literacy programs.
    • Train and equip fifty field workers and pay their salaries for a year; each trainee will teach 100 farmers to use a new planting technique that will help increase production.
  2. Are there any activities you would not undertake? Explain.
  3. Think of three additional programs that could help increase GNP per capita. Describe each program and explain how you would fit them into your ranking.

2. How does your local government spend its money? Use your local newspaper, government offices, council members, and other sources to find out what community infrastructure projects (for example, roads, railways, buildings, telecommunications systems, energy supply systems, or water and sanitation systems) have been approved by your local government within the last year. Choose one project that is interesting to you, and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the nature of this project?
  2. Who will benefit from this project, everyone or a segment of the population? Explain your answer.
  3. How much will the project cost?
  4. Who will pay for the project? Are all of the funds public, or are there also private investments? If some of the funds are private, who are these investors and how do they intend to benefit from the project?
  5. Who will pay for maintenance?
  6. Were the environmental impacts of the project considered? Explain.
  7. Were there any people opposed to the project? If so, what were their arguments against the project? Were these arguments valid? Explain.
  8. In your opinion, will this project contribute to sustainable development? Explain.

3. How has technology affected the workplace? Interview someone in your family or community who has performed the same work or has worked at the same company for 5 - 10 to find out how technology has or has not altered their work productivity and environment and job security.

  1. Find out what your subject does and how long he or she has been in that position. Then ask the following questions:
    • Has the amount of technology you use in your job changed since you started working?
    • If no, are there any parts of your job that you think could benefit from using more technology? In what way?
    • If yes, how has technology affected the way in which you do your job?
    • What kind of training did you get with the new technology? Was it enough? Explain.
    • How has technology affected the number of people or the amount of time required to do your job?
    • How has technology affected the amount of pollution generated in the production process?
    • How has technology affected relationships among employees?
    • How has technology affected the quality of the product?
    • How has technology affected profits?
  2. List at least five additional questions you will ask when you interview your subject.
  3. Based on your interview, prepare an oral presentation or write a report discussing whether technological changes have contributed to sustainable development in your subject’s field of work.

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