| How Free Markets Bring Freedom to the Poor Essay
In the book, Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen., Sen Puts forward the fact that every individual is endowed with a unique set of capabilities and abilities. The realization of the capabilities and abilities within an individual or individuals is what makes a person to get away out of poverty and the status of having less freedom. Sen Questions the modern approach towards economics where he argues that income and the level of poverty should not be the only factors that should be used in determining the state of development. He rather argues that the world is full of sheer abundance but there lives people who live in poverty because of the failure to realize and utilize their capabilities (Sen, 1999).
Sen Explains there are many forms of freedoms that exist. They are political, freedom, economic freedom and social freedoms. He argues that all these freedoms are complementary and interrelated. According to Sen, these freedoms are not only the means to development but also the ends in the process of development. Poverty as defined by Sen is the Non-realization of capabilities within individuals rather than having low incomes. This view of Sen is different from the view of economist who views income as the only means and ends to development (Sen, 1999).
Sen also disputes the idea that free markets economies are tainted. He asserts the fact they not only improve the economic opportunities of a nations and their people but they also grant people some form of autonomy and freedom as well. Free markets grant the people deprived the opportunity of exploiting their capabilities and abilities the chance of exploiting them because of the increased opportunities and freedoms offered by free markets. Sen points out that the goal towards economic development should be to proactively make people to fulfill their desires and wishes whichever they may be .Free market economies grants the people with this opportunity of fulfilling their desires because of the more opportunities offered by free market economies (Sen,1999).
Sen appreciates the positive role free markets provide by explaining the fact that free markets grant people with the freedom to choose where they can work, what they want to produce and what they want to buy or consume. Such freedoms are not there where there is regulation and non free market policies , the fact that there are no substitutes to individual capabilities makes the concept of free markets make people deprived of utilizing their capabilities and abilities to have the chance of utilizing them because of the freedoms available in free markets (Sen,1999).
Sen also asserts the fact that development should focus on making people to utilize their capabilities rather than concentration in the rise of GDP, Technical innovations and industrial development. The focus on individual judgments capabilities and individual responsibility and the Realizing human capability as the means to development is very essential because it improves the wellbeing, the choices and the freedom of individuals and their role in influencing social change and economic development. These freedoms can help poor people to exploit their abilities to the maximum. Free market economies provide these freedoms by granting people with the opportunity of exercising their own capabilities and abilities as they wish (Sen, 1999).
Free markets also allow people to achieve their human capability because they avail people with the chances of living their lives according to the way they value them and through enhancing the choices people have in living their lives. Sen therefore sees development as the removal of barriers to individual freedom. He challenges the belief that development is only a luxury entitled only to the developed nations. He explains that development should be accompanied by augmentation of incomes and the expansion of social safety nets such as education healthcare and basic social services and the enhancement of realization of human potential (Sen,1999).
The freedom possible in a free market environment provides the chance of improving incomes as well as providing people with more choices and opportunities of exercising their choices. Free markets grant individuals with the chance of participation in market making people realize their potential and enable the development of social, political and economic systems that allow people to practice their own freedoms (Sen, 1999)
Free markets also gives the chance to countries to have freedom centered opinions on development .free markets eliminates the crippling interventions of the state in controlling enterprise liberty and initiatives of individuals and enhance the function of the government in providing a supportive role in enhancing freedoms . This freedom-centered view of development present in free market economies captures the role of the poor people as the engine of change in life. It differs from seeing deprived and poor people as mere passive beneficiaries of development initiatives but rather as engines of their own development through enhancing the realization and the utilization of their capabilities to the maximum (Sen,1999).
The need to overcome the image of poverty and deprivation just in terms of incomes and development as the rise of income is very essential in today world. It is therefore apparent that development does gain from free markets by eliminating deprivation and poverty and the enhancement of human rights. Free markets themselves represent a fundamental human right .the major challenges that face free markets are the protectionist policies of some governments that seek to limit the benefits that some countries enjoy from free markets (Sen, 1999)
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