Building Bridges to Sustainable Families and Societies
Both Dr. Muhammad Yunus’s micro lending version of poverty alleviation and the IMF economic growth stimulation agenda have realized positive results. Both have respective advantages and disadvantages and the common denominators of the two systems is both disaster relief and economic stimulus. Yunus approaches his disaster relief micro lending strategy around the idea that external funding, such as through the IMF, will be slow and the associated economic problems in the aftermath of disaster should be dealt with immediately.
In this way, the smaller approach helps deliver loans and relief to these countries, who would suffer innumerable losses if the citizens were forced to rely on and wait for outside relief. In contrast, the micro lending version does not go above and beyond basic needs and common business loans.
The IMF, however, routinely engages in securing loans for emerging markets that goes above and beyond the norm. This lending approach not only encourages innovation and a step forward for individuals, but helps emerging countries surface with their emerging technologies and markets that could put these countries into a better standing in terms of GDP. This increase in GDP can help micro lenders, then in distributing monies as they see fit.
In comparing macro
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But, only the most basic needs and common business strategies are renewed and reviewed, according to Yunus. The lowering of the birthrate as part of this agenda is also notable and becomes a macro effect throughout the country. This, in itself, is useful as a short-term alleviation of disaster-affected areas and countries with both high birth rates and high poverty rates. But, this version only perpetuates local dependence and external disaffection. The IMF version does not totally condemn micro lending, but micro lending advocates are quick to negatively appraise macro ideals. This is not good for future dealings with outside sources, as this is an inevitability
Though, there must be a bridge toward educating and moving educated individuals into positions of leadership, Yunus does not discuss how this is to be done. It would be more of a micro approach to educate, as Yunus begins his appeal to micro lending with a statement about illiterate men and women and that failure of government to help them with necessities. He does allude to education, but is not specific as to how people are educated and, although he does reveal that those educated and self-sufficient will be more likely to participate in government affairs, he does not stress the importance of this.
This is an obvious step from the micro to macro, as individually educated persons can contribute to their region of origin with a knowledge of specific local problems and a lifeline to external resources. The bridge must be built and is not a part of the micro lending agenda that Yunus speaks of. Therefore, globally, the IMF version makes more sense in the aspect of building ties that help bridge local governments with monies for emerging markets, making developing countries more economically sound as a whole and allowing these profits to be allocated accordingly by local politicians in this process.
The IMF, similarly, encourages participation of these emerging market countries in how the IMF is operated. Bringing in as many opinions and frameworks as possible is the agenda of the IMF. Conversely, the micro lending version does not allow a diversified field of opinions and the power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Although, in Yunus’s version, the lenders are very benevolent and understanding in terms of lending and loan repayment, when any organization is the only voice of power in any region, this is problematic.
This creates a climate of separatism and skepticism and will not be in congruence with the global economy. Alleviating fear of others, should be a part of these micro lending programs, and a number of educated local politicians should strive to contribute ideas and educate their constituents on the importance of innovation and getting past basic needs and onto the next step of an aesthetically evolving processes. This is important in a cultural sense, just as it is in an economic sense. When one feels connected to others and accepting of the positive changes in oneself and the world around them, skepticism and old-world superstition is removed.
In closing, developing countries need to be bridged from micro lending to macro versions of emerging markets, such as those outlined by the IMF. Micro lending should be viewed as such a bridge and, also, a temporary solution and step out of individual poverty to statewide connectivity. When individuals and their prospective politicians become more involved with the global market in terms of innovation and advancement, positive results can ensue. The IMF proposes lifelong suggestions, and not just temporary fixes to unfortunate local issues, making this a more sustainable and economically sound version.