I concluded the post on well-being with: “The trend of increasing wealth, income and consumption is undeniable. The question is what is the trend in inequality? And what of well-being? While the level of well-being is undoubtedly rising around the world, is it also becoming more unequal?”

The world is unequal in terms of wealth and income for certain. Empirical evidence shows that inequality in wealth and income is increasing monotonically. Since wealth and income are positively correlated with consumption, and are also causally linked, one can conclude that inequality of consumption must be growing as well. It is.

That much is clear. Now let’s talk about well-being. What is it? It’s a feeling of being well. It’s about having our needs — physiological, psychological, emotional — satisfied. These needs are met through consumption. We consume water to meet the physiological need to satisfy thirst, for instance. We need stuff to meet our needs; stuff that may be in short supply relative to demand. Continue reading “Convergence”

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