The measure of a standard-of-living is relative, if not self-servingly overinflated. Many of us will recognize perhaps from our youth that an improved standard-of-living contributes very little to our memory, our imagination, or the strengthening of humanity, let alone to our happiness.
To speak from my experience: none of the experiences of my youth were correlated with money or things I owned, save for extreme poverty. And more generally, when the standard-of-living increases, so do the costs—leaving only marginal improvements in gains.
To put it differently: a sailboat sails just as well in low-tide as in high-tide, regardless of the fact you may not be able to sail everywhere or as fast if you catch my drift.
The strengthening of the sovereign renewability of society is much more important than a measure of standard-of-living gleaned from and gloated over by more “developed” countries. Especially since a significant source of the excess of money, successfully stealing the thunder on the global stage, is derived from excessive consumerism weakening the renewable strength of its population, despite all the medical advances.
To dampen your jealousy; The United States has an extreme poverty rate of 15.8%, leading a quarter of our children to depend on food support provided by the public school systems, 70% of Americans are on prescription drugs to the tune of some $329B/year (the vast majority addicted to antidepressants), we are the second most obese country in the world (after Mexico), 17% of our GDP is now spent on health care, with our average age in decline since 2015.
Still jealous? I beg you to consider that a financial system eleven times the size of production is a double whammy of economic disability and weakening long-term. For finance, as a non-renewable resource, now mainly invests in itself as by its sub-priming erodes the renewable value of production.
I can go on if I must. However, the above should give you sufficient pause to understand what is sacrificed to be called a “developed” country. Our concept of a developed nation needs a more developed operating-system of humanity.
The strength of human renewability is what forms the length of our sustainability on earth. And the renewability of the sovereign contribution to the innate strengthening of humanity is a much more valuable denomination to aspire to than the fleeting contribution to our riches.