Monday, November 28, 2005

Happiness vs Growth / LibertyGrid

Will Wilkinson has an interesting quote about the correlation between happiness and economic growth :

By continually giving people a sense of living better than they or their families have in the not very distant past, sustained economic growth reduces the intensity of their desire to live better than one another. Economic growth satisfies the form of people's aspirations for "more" that is possible for everyone to fulfill. . .

When an economy stagnates, however, the importance people attach to living better than others against whom they naturally compare themselves is more intense. The fact they cannot do so, or at least on average cannot, then takes on heightened importance in their eyes. The resulting frustration generates intolerance, ungenerosity, and resistance to greater openness to individual opportunity. . .

Mobility, either economic or social, is inherently threatening because it means the possibility of movement either up, or, more to the point, down, compared to the prevailing norms of the society as a whole. But when the average income for an economy is stagnant, people who allow others to get ahead of them are not only falling behind in relative terms but also losing ground compared to their own past living standard. They lose out from the perspective of both benchmarks. When an economy is growing, however, and per capita income is rising, those who fall behind compared to others can still be moving ahead--and if growth is sufficient, moving ahead solidly--by the standard of their own experience.

What does anyone think about LibertyGrid ? I'd be interested about hearing other people's thoughts on that site.


Niels said...

LibertyGrid seems perfectly ok to me. It's one of only little visions of how a libertarian country would look like.

Unlike atheism, libertarianism is a thing that does have to be explained in positive terms against democracy, although when the free market comes, the holes will be filled automatically and evolve over time.

Once the whole thing get's going the specifics will become much more clear.

Aaron Kinney said...

I had to put a carriage return in the link at the top of this post so that the link will take up two lines of print, and therefore allow the blog to be displayed properly. The posts were appearing underneath the sidebar due to the length of the link text.

Just an FYI.