Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Redefining "Standard of Living"

This is a comment posted at the New York Times in response to Thomas Friedman's article "The Inflection is Near?"

"We created a way of raising standards of living that we can't possibly pass on to our children."

The problem, Mr. Friedman, is how we define "standard of living." The conventional definition needs an overhaul.

If Person A owns a mansion, several cars and a yacht, he is said to have a high standard of living. If Person B owns very little, but takes his daughter fishing, watches his son play baseball, reads Tennyson, listens to Mozart, and visits the local art museum, no one comments on his living standard. Why?

There is no reason we cannot improve our standard of living. We just need to revise the definition.

— Steve Blevins, Oklahoma City

So true.

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