The standard of living refers to the level of goods, services, and luxuries available. Maintaining the current level of living standards is not a significant issue. The issue should be redefining the standards. For example, the current standard of living includes the level of luxury goods owned. Luxury items that drive the consumer society should not be important in outlining the success of someone’s life. It holds insignificant positive effects such as short term happiness and significant negative effects such as use of limited resources. Basic necessities are all that’s really important in a nation’s standard of living. Thus, we should buy the minimum amount of items and focus more on thought-provoking and back-to-nature practices.
I think luxury goods in specific and well-being should be separate value systems. It may take a long time to separate the two so collaborative consumption is a great idea in the meantime. It’s frightening to think of how many people buy a video game, play it, beat it, and leave it on their shelves to collect dust. If one or two people bought the video game, played it, beat it, and passed it on to someone else, landfills would take much longer to fill up. We have so many items in the world already we could just remove the consumption part and simply do the collaborative portion of this arrangement.
I think it is necessary for a developing nation to first grow its economy then stabilize its population while decreasing consumption. Everyone should gain the ability to fund their basic needs before a focus on stabilization takes place. Even if everyone isn’t rich, the population could then be stabilized and a shift to necessity consumption could be made.