- Capitalism and Alternatives -

'Real terms'

Posted by: Stoller on October 27, 1999 at 16:59:55:

In Reply to: pleasant of you posted by Gee on October 27, 1999 at 15:42:06:

: : Nice to see such a thoughtful post from you for once.

: Well, though wrapped in condescending arrogence, thats pleasant of you...

Who's being arrogant?

: Interesting thing, rating happiness, the study doesnt appear to have happiness in 'real terms' in the way that income studies do. In other words - if there is a basis for the value of the word 'happy' to decrease over time (in other words a fellow applied happy to having enough food 300 years ago, but now wouldnt accept anything less than a neat car and video plus bowling with buddies as condition for 'happy')

Funny---you just said in this post: 'The best way to get a perception is to compare a similar study from, say the 50's, with one now and see how people rate their quality of of life.'

Would you have 'happiness' atomized into vaious commodities?---i.e. does an iMac in 1998 makes me happier than a Quad stereo 'system' did in 1969?

That would be silly.

What Scitovsky sought was people's generalized sense of happiness. Obviously that is subjective. But the criteria was the same in both 1948 and 1970 studies (the same people were surveyed). The 'real terms' were the surveyed people's perception of happiness.

Do you want to commodify that?

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