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Aug 29, 2008


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will spotts

Thanks for posting this. I also have noticed the disparity between sense of well being and actual circumstance - and Easterbrook's insights seem right. But one thing disturbs me. If a large component of 'satisfaction' is positional goods, then people can never be satisfied.

Specifically - if status is a value (and it unquestionably is), then the only status that has value is that which is higher than the status of others. If everyone were suddenly materially ten times better off, the status issues would still be the same. There would still be people in positions of higher status than others. If this is a necessity for satisfaction, then, by and large, the majority of people can never experience it - because the majority can't be, by definition, above average status. It strikes me as circular. (I'm not doubting the actual validity of the point - just the worthwiness of the goal - and wheter any system ever can attain it.)

Michael W. Kruse

"If a large component of 'satisfaction' is positional goods, then people can never be satisfied."

Bingo! I think understanding this is critical for the how the church teaches about economic issues.

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