Aggregate Abundance

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Roberto Verzola:

"Based on the stronger assertion made above, the level of abundance for a group of consumers can be determined by aggregating the quantities each individual can afford, divided by the aggregate of their individual satisfaction levels. This makes it possible, in theory, to determine the relative level of abundance (and scarcity) of a good for an entire society.

Cooperation among consumers raises the possibility of further improving the aggregate level abundance, given the same supply and individual demands. Sharing resources and cooperative consumption can make it possible for a group of consumers to buy more goods or services and get nearer their satis-faction levels, improving their aggregate level of abundance. A car, for instance, may meet the daily commuting needs of one or multiple persons. Com-pared to books in someone's shelf, books in a community library can be enjoyed by many more people.

Beyond the pooling of resources, cultural mechanisms can also bring satisfaction levels and demand down, further improving a society's level of abundance. Extolling simple living, highlighting voluntary simplicity, focusing on the spiritual aspects of life, or idealizing asceticism are various ways by which material accumulation is deemphasized and a society's level of abundance enhanced from the demand side. As Gandhi put it when describing his own experiments in voluntary simplicity, „the real seat of taste was not the tongue but the mind." (


  • 21st-Century Political Economies: Beyond Information Abundance. by Roberto Verzola. International Review of Information Ethics Vol. 11 (10/2009)

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