My recent blog and the discussion that followed had to do with the definitions of the goods that may be included in the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI). As is well-known the index from its very beginning consisted of three “goods”: income (measured by GDP per capita), education (number of years of schooling) and heath (life expectancy). (Different versions of these three measures were also used). The key issue of interest here is that the three components implicitly are treated as the primary goods, that is, goods that are desirable in themselves, not as tools toward the achievement of other things.
Only one? I counted two (healthy) life and agency. Aristotles would have agreed
While this discussion is very helpful as the HDI index is in common use, additionally helpful for policy makers and general understanding is Maslow's enumeration of five primary human needs. They may be re-stated slightly as follows. (Note that work is not defined as a means to live or survive, but as a means to develop one's innate talents so that work is no longer drudgery but closer to play. I don't know, but it seems to me that this may be very true for Branko Milanovic.)
Maslow's Five Primary Human Needs
1) Survival and sustaining
2) Protection and safety
5) Development (outer and inner)
---air, water, food, warmth, tenderness, physical and mental safety
---shelter, security, hygiene, preventive health care
---education, spiritual "food", knowledge of moral, aesthetic and social values and duties, self-respect, identity, belonging
---music, toys, play, pictures, stories, fantasy
---training of innate talents: "vocational" education with general education appropriate to one's future
Un poco extraño ese final del texto ...