2011 World Politics question #10

In our class discussion today we identified three salient characteristics of "wealth":

1) to be wealthy is to have capacity that goes beyond that needed for mere survival.

2) at a minimum, wealth comes in two varieties: the possession of material objects, and the enjoying of love/esteem/respect that leads to happiness. These two varieties are related in complex ways, but they are not the same thing.

3) whether or not you are wealthy depends a great deal on the set of others to which you are comparing yourself.

Most of our discussion centered on interpersonal comparisons. What changes would have to be made to scale this up the the international or global level? Do these three characteristics translate well? Does wealth require something else at the international or global level?

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