List of Pros and Cons of a Traditional Economy

A nation that relies upon a traditional economy is dependent upon the agriculture of the region. Traditional economies tend to be shaped by the culture of the area and an increased reliance on the barter system. Most developed countries eschew this practice, while younger nations with marketplaces that just beginning to emerge favor this form of economy.

While to some it may appear that the citizens of traditional economies are living in squalor, these appearances can also be quite deceiving. Until you have taken the time to explore the ins and outs of a traditional economy and weighed the advantages against the disadvantages, you will never truly understand a traditional economy. The following is a closer look at the pros and cons involved with this style of economy.

List of Pros of a Traditional Economy

1. Environmentally Friendly.
A traditional economy features a lesser focus on the production and manufacturing of goods. Traditional economies are built upon long running traditions, as opposed to infrastructure. Goods are not typically produced in factories or warehouses, they are harvested from the ground. This leads to a significantly decreased environmental impact.

By producing goods in this manner, the nation’s environment can sustain itself over longer periods of time. While a traditional economy may seem foolish to some, it is hard to deny its ability to last over the long haul. When markets can remain self sustaining, this allows a country to develop and grow at its own pace. Production can goose an economy, but it can also cause unwanted problems, especially for a country that does not have the infrastructure to support it.

2. Strengthened Sense Of Community.
Citizens of a traditional economy are able to feel more like a valued part of society, as opposed to seeing themselves as mere cogs in a larger machine. An economy that is steeped in tradition will also produce an extremely close, tight knit group of people. Everyone must rely on each for support from time to time, which leads to much less tension.

When you must rely on your neighbor, certain emotions that can derail a society’s progress tend to fall by the wayside. Selfish, jealousy and greed are not tolerated. A traditional economy tends to police itself in regards to emotions such as these. Traditional economies thrive when citizens lean on each other and support one another during the hard times.

3. Everyone’s Most Important Base Needs Are Met.
If every citizen of a society has what they need at all times, it decreases the need for violence or crime. To the outside observer, their lifestyle may not appear to be all that glamorous, but to someone who lives within the confines of a traditional society, their needs are met in abundance. There is no room for materialistic viewpoints in a traditional society and people treasure the necessities.

Instead of placing an undue focus on fancy cars, homes, jewelry and the like, citizens of a traditional economy learn to value the things that are truly important in life: family, community and togetherness. They take a healthy amount of pride in their dwellings, the work that they do and the nation where they live.

List of Cons of a Traditional Economy

1. Very Little Wiggle Room For Change.
While there are a number of benefits to the traditional economy, it can be tremendously difficult to affect any sort of meaningful change in the way things are done. If a traditional economy always does things a certain way, then the powers that be will have very little incentive to make any sort of shift from the status quo.

Not only does this philosophy severely hinder any chance that a nation has to potentially grow, it also keeps the world at large from continuing to grow. When people become accustomed to a certain lifestyle or way of doing things, they begin to resist changes of any kind, even those that are beneficial.

2. Lowered Quality Of Life.
People who are only concerned with acquiring life’s basic necessities will struggle to establish a high quality of life for themselves and for their children. In a traditional economy, children suffer especially, due to the lack of top notch schooling and medical care available to them.

Children who do not receive the proper health care and education during their younger years are less likely to grow up to reach their true potential. A society cannot grow and reach the heights it is capable of unless all of its citizens are given every opportunity to succeed. Unfortunately, this does not always take place in a traditional economy.

3. Problems Cannot Be Predicted.
To live in a traditional economy is to be held captive by the whims of a number of random forces that cannot be controlled: inclement weather, poor harvests and natural disasters all have a very serious effect on the long term health and growth potential of a traditional economy. When these events take place, the effects on the economy can be catastrophic.

If crops are damaged by natural disasters, then citizens are often forced to go without, making starvation a common problem. Food production goes through dramatic drops and when citizens are malnourished, sickness begins to run rampant. None of these problems can be planned for or permanently eradicated, making it very difficult for a traditional economy to pick up steam and continue to grow. Being subject to changes in the weather makes planning for the future quite a challenge.