The American life style has been very much shaped by their economy. Nearly all aspects of American, and for that matter the rest of the world”s, life have been changed by their economy”s in some way, shape or form. Everything from the beds we sleep on, to the food we eat, to the jobs we aquire to make ends meet is continuously shaped by the different economies each respective country has.
So what is quality of life anyway? There are probably a thousand different answers to that question, but they all point in the same direction. Quality of life means how happy you are with the lifestyle you have. Are you unhappy because you don”t have the belongings you want, or are you perfectly happy being without them, and believe in just enjoying life for what it is. Quality of life is a measure of your social, economic and mental well being.
Standard of living is something totally different from quality of life. Although they sound the same and the meanings of the separate words are similar, each phrase has it”s own meaning. The standard of your living may affect your standard of life though. Standard of living means the material possessions you have. It is the degree you are able to satisfy your material wants and needs.
First, to understand how the fact that the United States is a market economy affects the quality of life there, it helps for you to know some history on the subject. When the United States first started there was practically no secondary industry, this was because there hadn”t been a need for it before then. All the States did was “harvest” the raw goods from the land and sell them back to the mother country. There wasn”t any need to have any secondary industry. This all changed when they became a separate country. Later on when the British industrial revolution was about at it”s midriff the American revolution kicked in. this changed the secondary industry from a cottage based industry to a factory based industry with the introduction of machines that could do the work of several men. The farmers started to move out of the country and in to the big cities, where all the work was. Eli Whitney can be credited with the mass production of interchangeable parts.
Unfortunately, this system created a feeling of alienation. The workers in the the factorys were in a totally different social class than the managers. This gap along with the fact that they didn”t feel like they were part of the coroporation, a corporation acts as a single fictcios person, the workers didn”t feel like they were part of this person. The quality of life of the workers at these factories went down. They felt alienated at work, then they went home to poor housing conditions, malnutrition and virtually no social mobility. Although they weren”t nearly as bad as in Britain. The producers were happy though; they were making lots of money and more and better products than ever before.
This leads to the next issue of the relations between the labor force and management. This affects how people get the products, and how some people work, thus affecting the quality of life of many American citizens. Labor and management often have disagreements because the two groups have different views on how things should work. Management wants to keep production costs at a minimum, and therefore giving workers a low wage, while labor workers want high wages and lots of benefits for themselves. When the two groups have a disagreement and go into talks they try to find the answer to one simple question, “what should be the terms and conditions of employment?” and depending on their respective answers, they agree or disagree. These decisions determine the relationship of these two groups.
There are many risks in business, especially if you are the proprietor behind a proprietorship. This kind of business means you stand to lose or gain the most. If this fact is causing too much stress, your quality of life may “go through the floor.” But if you are the kind of person who values money very highly, your quality of life may go up when you have the knowledge that you may be able to make that much money. There are always ways to get around the risks of business; there are exemptions to every rule. There is always to lose too though.
Since the great depression, government has had much more to do with the economy than it used to. The government has much more to do with the American citizen”s life since the great depression. This bothers some people, but others like the security of being under the government”s protective wing. The government has decided to exert more controll because they want to limit the fluctuations of the business cycle. The government now makes laws and regulations to restrain the country. There are also many more social programs now, which some people couldn”t live without. These were developed because people were losing money and jobs over things which they didn”t have control over, like market fluctuations.
The consumer has a very important role in the economy, and so in there own standard of living, and even in there own quality of life. Some people are only happy when they have the material possessions, while others have no need of material things to make them happy. The people who need the possessions put a high regard to what the role of an American consumer is. Things like complaining when something is unsatisfactory, and becoming informed about which products to buy.
Every country has an economic system, and economic systems affect lifestyles, quality of lives, and standards of living. An economy can affect life much the way a climate can. In fact, an economy is actually a kind of climate. An economy can change, fluctuate and cause harm much the same way a weather climate can. The united states has used all levels of government and private enterprise to ensure an adequate quality of life for all of it”s citizens. The market economy is allowed to function by the government as long as it supports the common good, or quality of life.