(W)e … think of economic growth in terms of material considerations versus moral ones. … We weigh material positives against moral negatives.Benjamin Friedman (2005). The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, p 4
I believe this thinking is seriously, in some circumstances dangerously, incomplete. The value of a rising standard of living lies not just in the concrete improvements it brings to how individuals live but in how it shapes the social, political, and ultimately the moral character of a people.
Economic growth … more often than not fosters greater opportunity, tolerance of diversity, social mobility, commitment to fairness, and dedication to democracy.