Prosperity

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This article is about the state of prospering. For other uses, see Prosperity (disambiguation).

Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and / or successful social status.[1] Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which can be independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health.

Competing notions of prosperity[edit]

Economic notions of prosperity often compete or interact negatively with health, happiness, or spiritual notions of prosperity. For example, longer hours of work might result in an increase in certain measures of economic prosperity, but at the expense of driving people away from their preferences for shorter work hours.[2] In Buddhism, prosperity is viewed with an emphasis on collectivism and spirituality. This perspective can be at odds with capitalistic notions of prosperity, due to their association with greed.[3] Data from social surveys show that an increase in income does not result in a lasting increase in happiness; one proposed explanation to this is due to hedonic adaptation and social comparison, and a failure to anticipate these factors, resulting in people not allocating enough energy to non-financial goals such as family life and health.[4]

Debate under economic growth[edit]

Economic growth is often seen as essential for economic prosperity, and indeed is one of the factors that is used as a measure of prosperity. The Rocky Mountain Institute has put forth an alternative point of view, that prosperity does not require growth, claiming instead that many of the problems facing communities are actually a result of growth, and that sustainable development requires abandoning the idea that growth is required for prosperity.[5][6] The debate over whether economic growth is necessary for, or at odds with, human prosperity, has been active at least since the publication of Our Common Future in 1987, and has been pointed to as reflecting two opposing worldviews.[7] See How Persistent is Prosperity? (video) from Marginal Revolution University

Synergistic notions of prosperity[edit]

Many distinct notions of prosperity, such as economic prosperity, health, and happiness, are correlated or even have causal effects on each other. Economic prosperity and health are well-established to have a positive correlation, but the extent to which health has a causal effect on economic prosperity is unclear. There is evidence that happiness is a cause of good health, both directly through influencing behavior and the immune system, and indirectly through social relationships, work, and other factors.[8] One study which advances a holistic definition of prosperity is the Legatum Prosperity Index.

Ecological perspectives[edit]

In ecology, prosperity can refer to the extent to which a species flourishes under certain circumstances.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Definition of Prosperity". Random House, Inc. 09 & Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Cowling, Keith (July 2006). "Prosperity, Depression and Modern Capitalism". Kyklos 59 (3): 369–381. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6435.2006.00337.x. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Gottlieb, Roger S. (2003). Liberating Faith. Rowman and Littlefield. p. [page needed]. ISBN 978-0-7425-2535-1. 
  4. ^ Easterlin, Roger A. (September 2003). "Explaining happiness". Proceeding of the National Academy of Science 100 (19): 11176–83. doi:10.1073/pnas.1633144100. PMC 196947. PMID 12958207. 
  5. ^ Kinsley, Michael J. (1997). "Sustainable development: Prosperity without growth". Rocky Mountain Institute. 
  6. ^ Kinsley, Michael J.; Lovins, L. Hunter. "Paying for Growth, Prospering from Development". Rocky Mountain Institute. 
  7. ^ Verstegen, S. W.; Hanekamp, J. C. (December 2005). "The sustainability debate: Idealism versus conformism—the controversy over economic growth". Globalizations 2 (3): 349–362. doi:10.1080/14747730500367843. 
  8. ^ Argyle, Michael (December 1997). "Is happiness a cause of health?". Psychology & Health 12 (6): =769–781. doi:10.1080/08870449708406738. 
  9. ^ Klimes, F.; Turek, F. (February 1984). "The prosperity and stability of clovers in intensive grassland at higher altitudes (Lathyrus pratensis, species composition, fertilization)". Plant ecology 30 (2): 177. ISSN 0035-8371. 
  10. ^ Davis, J. S.; Lipkin, Y. (September 1986). Sciences "Lamprothamnium prosperity in permanently hypersaline water". Swiss Journal of Hydrology 48 (2): 240. doi:10.1007/BF02560200. ISSN 1420-9055. 

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