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WELFARE ECONOMICS

Welfare economics can be defined as the branch of economic and political science that is concerned with questions related to economic efficiency and social wellbeing. The economics of social wellbeing is broadly related to the state policies connected to society, that is, the effects that socio-economic policies have on the satisfaction of societies numerous desires. An example of this would be; if the economy has a subsidy for a certain product that there is an acceptable demand for, at its subsidized price the product is accessible to many more than at he non-subsidized price, and this reflects an improved welfare for the consumers through satisfaction of their desire.

 

In Bolivia there has been a large effort toward improving wellbeing, such as gas subsidies, a new rule for the inclusion of marginalised people (Political Constitution of the State), policies of structural change for the development of municipalities, provinces and departments, new education rules (Avelino Siñani), advice and financing for food businesses in order to achieve food security (of products in high demand). Furthermore, laws have been introduced that take care of society (no racism, discrimination or corruption) and environment (parks, deforestation, logging and more), that contribute to the wellbeing of regions and society.

Labor Economics

Labor economics is the branch of economy that specializes in the study of the working world. Depending on the focus taken by the economic science, the analysis of the labor aspects of economy will acquire specific and distinctive characteristics. In contemporary economics a neoclassical focus is dominant. Among the main problems of the labor economic field of study are – unemployment, salary level, work productivity and quality and stability of employees.

In Bolivia major efforts have been made towards lowering the percentage of unemployed through economic policies and the creation of new companies and jobs. There also exists a wage level that is in accordance with the Bolivian economy and the country’s annual economic growth. The work productivity has increased in relation to previous years, since the workers are better qualified and benefit from training every so often (depending on company policy). It is also worth mentioning that Bolivia ridded its self of illiteracy with literacy programs that improved the quality of the work force. Technology was also improved, which facilitated learning and training and in turn production.

Education

Education can be defined as the socialization process of individuals. By educating oneself a person will assimilate and learn knowledge. Education also implies cultural and behavioural awareness raising, where new generations acquire the characters of previous generations. The education process is embodied in a set of skills and values, which produce intellectual, emotional and social changes in an individual. Depending on the level of awareness reached, these values can last a life time or just a certain period of time.

In the case of children, education seeks to drive the structuring process of thought and forms of expression, as well as helping the sensory-motor maturation process and encouraging social integration and group living. Meanwhile formal and school education consists of the systematic presentation of ideas, facts and techniques to the students.  A person exerts an orderly and voluntary influence over another with the intention of educating them. Thus the school system is the form in which societies transmit and conserve their collective existence among younger generations.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that the modern society bestows particular importance on the concept of permanent and continuing education, which asserts that the educative process is not limited to childhood and adolescence, but rather a human being must continue acquiring knowledge throughout his/her life.

It could be said that in Bolivia education is differentiated by its multicultural characteristic – a family knowledge belonging to 36 ethnicities or indigenous people is transmitted through time to their children, which with the educational revolution that was completed in 2011,  is a bonus for the integration of this knowledge among citizens. On the other hand the college education goes in one of two directions, private colleges or public colleges. For this reason the Bolivian society and political policies try to establish a relationship between private and public colleges, so that in the future education will have a large contribution toward economic growth and development and will have a developed a thought structure that is linked to “wellbeing” or “living well”.

Health

According to the definition presented by the World Health Organisation in their 1946 constitution, health is a state of complete physical (biological), mental (psychological) and social well being, and not merely the absence of slight, strong or severe infections or illnesses. It can also be defined as the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of an organism at both a micro level (cellular) and macro level (social). In 1992 a researcher broadened the WHO definition to include “harmony with the environment”

“Health is measured by the impact that a person can receive without compromising his/her way of life. Thus the way of life becomes a health criterion.” – Moshé Feldenkrais

Physical health is the body’s capacity to perform any type of exercise that displays resistance, strength, skill, coordination and flexibility. Health is also related to food and nutrition. With respect to labor productivity, a well fed person will be able to give much more time to the work than a badly fed person. In this way food health also influences education, since a better fed student has a longer concentration span and better focus than a badly fed student who is easily distracted, etc.

Bolivia has carried out health programs, for instance one of the policies taken was the dignity bonus for over 65s, and another was the wish to improve and decentralize health insurance in order to achieve better care efficiency. In addition the Juana Azurdy – “life expectancy” bonus was given to pregnant women or mothers with a child less than 1 year old, with the aim of decreasing infant and maternal mortality rates, and further policies related to medicine distribution have been introduced through campaigns, such as those for Chagas desease, yellow fever and dengue.

Nutrition

A balanced nutrition is fundamental for maintaining health. We can see in the food pyramid the foods necessary for a healthy and balanced diet. For healthy nutrition – as without it is possible to contract illnesses such as obesity, malnutrition, etc.- one must consume few fats and lipids, lots of fruit and vegetables, animal products on a regular basis, cereals consistently and before each meal the fruits and vegetables should be washed.

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