Economic Inequality and Relative Deprivation

[In progressing economies] poverty has…become a relative rather than an absolute concept. This does not make it less bitter. Although in an advanced society the unsatisfied wants are usually no longer physical needs but the results of civilization, it is still true that at each stage some of the things most people desire can be provided only for a few and can be made accessible to all only by further progress. Most of what we strive for are things we want because others already have them.

Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, 1960, 98.




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