The living standard concept and the allied occupation of Japan
Peterson, Keene Parker
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The term "living standard" Is defined objectively as a norm of individual consumption. Bennett chooses the arithmetic mean of individual consumption: "National standard of living" is defined as the per capita quantum of goods and services utilized annually by the inhabitants of a country." The living standard is thus conceived very simply as aggregate annual national consumption of goods and services divided by national population Or, where L represents the living standard, C represents annual consumption by individuals, and P the national population, L = (2C)/P The standard of living, therefore, is an index of the material well-being (through the consumption factor) of the normal individual citizen (through the population factor); the special significance of the living-standard concept is a product of the particular social context involved. Within democratic social frameworks where individual consumption is an approved goal, and where general regard for the individual is highly developed, the standard of living is significant as an objective measure of the attainment of the particular society's economic goals. Objective definition of the standard of living as a norm of individual consumption facilitates: First, analytical study of the factors affecting the living standard; and Second, comparison of living standards as they very geographically and over time.
- Business administration