How much money would a person need to live an “absolutely ideal life”? Researchers reject the idea that all people want to be extremely rich, but data show that many Americans want billions upon billions of dollars.
The answer for most people, according to new research by bath and Exeter psychologists, is $ 10 million. Except for the Americans, though – some say they would need $ 100 million for an ideal life, while others go even further and insist they need $ 100 billion.
A survey of nearly 8,000 people worldwide, cited by The Guardian, found that in 86% of countries, most people believe they can reach an ideal standard of living of $ 10 million or less.
To the question “what would be the ideal lottery prize” in most countries, people mostly answered that $ 10 million or less would be enough money – Argentina (76%), China (74%), Brazil (72%) , Russia (71%) Sweden (69%), India (69%), Australia (66%), France (66%), South Korea (64%), Great Britain (63%), South Africa (62 %). A little more greedy are the Americans, who gave this answer only in proportion of 46%.
In Argentina, India and Russia, more than half of those surveyed said that $ 1 million or less would be enough for an ideal life.
In the US, however, most respondents said they would need at least $ 100 million to live an ideal life, while 31.7% said they would need at least $ 100 billion.
In the UK, the most popular answer, 26%, was $ 1 million, with a majority believing that 10 million or less would be enough money. Only 13% think they would need 100 billion or more.
The rich of the world continue to get richer, the poorest sink deeper and deeper into poverty and debt
“The basic economic principle that everyone is motivated by unlimited needs and is stuck on a conveyor belt of consumerism and trying to accumulate as much wealth as possible is untrue,” the study, published in Nature Sustainability, concluded.
“Belief in this principle has had terrible consequences for the health of the planet. The desire to continually increase individual wealth and the pursuit of endless economic growth is invaluable. As wealth has increased, so has the amount of resources used and pollution. ”
Dr. Paul Bain, the lead researcher at the University of Bath’s Department of Psychology, says the numbers in most of the answers may seem high, but when it comes to an ideal standard of living for a lifetime, they are, in fact, relatively modest.
“The ideology of unlimited needs, when portrayed as human nature, can create a social pressure on people to buy more things than they really want,” he says.
Dr. Renata Bongiorno, co-author of the report, says: “The finding shows that the way most people think is not reflected in politics. They allow the accumulation of an excessive amount of wealth in the hands of a small number of individuals ”.
An increasing number of politicians and influential people in society are calling for the introduction of wealth taxes around the world to help bridge the gap between the richest and poorest people in the world.
Rowan Williams, a former archbishop of Canterbury, for example, called for a wealth tax in the UK to be applied to the super-rich to reduce “excessive inequalities” that “profoundly affect our collective trust and morale.”
In the Kingdom, the richest 1% of households have at least £ 3.6 million, while the poorest 10% have £ 15,400 or less, and more than half owe more than their assets.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru
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