The question we ask is: what is the inspiration driving general prosperity? We can start with a look at the country that ranks high in Life Satisfaction. Almost every country in the world ranks highly in this category. It might surprise you to know that the most prosperous countries are also among the wealthiest. This fact may help explain why many people feel envious of their country’s prosperity. And what exactly can we learn from their example?
Historically, capitalism has had its ups and downs. Some pundits believe it reached its apogee after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, when more nations adopted trade liberalization and free capital flows. This changed the economic dynamics in societies and shifted productivity toward exponential growth. This shift ended the Malthusian Trap, where rising productivity engendered a growing population outgrowing the land’s capacity to feed them, resulting in perpetual decline in living standards.
Life satisfaction surveys are a popular alternative measure of prosperity. Worldwide surveys have been conducted to determine the satisfaction of people with their lives. Some countries have seen high levels of life satisfaction, while others have low levels. Despite this, policymakers dismissed these results as irrelevant. These results show that the inspiration driving general prosperity has more to do with the state of people’s hearts than with economic growth. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge that economic policies are important. Ultimately, the inspiration driving prosperity is a combination of factors that can be regulated and promoted.