On the whole, income is critical for an individual because it helps an individual acquire things that he/she value. More importantly, they are important for a person’s social status, sense of security. In this case, one should not speak only about material objects such as clothes, food, or technologies even though are important for individuals or their families. In my opinion, more attention should be paid to immaterial aspects such as education, recreation, health, personal development or even employment (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009). In other words, one should speak about the so-called functions or “things a person may values doing or being“(Deneulin & Shabani, 2009, p. 31). This is how income brings value. To some extent, income can be viewed as a means of purchasing various functions. This is one of the main arguments that can be advanced. However, there are some aspects that are not affected by income, for example, the ability to communicate with one’s friends and relatives or professional fulfillment of a person. These functions are not dependent on income.
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While assessing the wellbeing of people in a country, a person should look at a series of indicators that can throw light on the degree of human development in a certain region or state (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009). These indicators can be both economic and non-economic. For instance, one can mention Human Development Index which includes several important parameters such as the level of education, life expectancy, or literacy rates. It is also vital to take into account such data as people’s satisfaction with their work, their family relations, social interactions, or professional fulfillment. This information throws light on the economic, intellectual, and emotional life of a person. In particular, they can show whether the residents of a certain state have sufficient access to healthcare services or formal education and this information is mostly connected to the economic life in a country. Moreover, these data can tell whether these people are satisfied with their emotional life. This is why this information would be of great value to me.
There are different approaches to measuring poverty. This task is critical for political leaders because on the basis of this information they can construct strategies and policies that can enhance the welfare of people. The main issue is to select those capabilities that are determined by the economic prosperity of a person. If I had to examine a developing country such as Nepal, I would focus on such capabilities as life, bodily health, and control over one’s environment (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009, p. 44). Later these capabilities can be transformed into specific indicators that can be measured by quantitative means; one of these indicators is life expectancy. Scholars believe that social researchers should avoid such a mistake as omission while selecting capabilities (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009, p. 43). I would pay attention to the cultural characteristics of a country, especially its attitude toward material wealth (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009, p. 43). In some cultures, people “can be taught not to value certain functionings as constituents of their good living“ (Deneulin & Shabani, 2009, p. 43). Thus, I would focus on every capability even if it is not important for a society. These are the main steps that I would take.
Deneulin, S. & Shabani, L. (2009). An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach. New York: International Development Research Center.