Our first paper is on Inequality and the Absolute Standard of Living. We must define the two standards and gauge which is more important. I gave plenty of background and supporting evidence to them both and ultimately chose the Absolute Standard as society current viewpoint, however I did this to prevent me from stating my own opinion. Just like my last blog post with Utilitarianism and Kantianism, I am caught in the middle of the two ideas. I’m a very objective person and can always see instances where both sides may be right. I am however leaning towards the Absolute Standard, moderation of course being key.
The Absolute Standard of Living stresses the importance of living better off than prior generations materialy. This promotes innovation and education because people are always working towards a better future. Unfortunately it also means that the smarter, harder working will live better lives than the less capable. It is still believed that even the bottom of the social class system should grow to live better lives than others before them, however they will always envy those at the top.
The relative standard states that it is more important for everyone to live equally, regardless of the material quality. This prevents envy and therefore promotes general happiness. I personally believe that when people are too content they have little motivation to work harder and that mindset will ultimately lead a society into stagnation.
The perfect balance in my opinion is a society caught in the middle. One with a democracy and a capitalist economy, where regulations can be put in place to ease the disparity between upper and lower classes, yet private business’ are still unfettered in their allowance to expand and compete, encouraged by monetary incentive.