Alfred Marshall:"The economist, like everyone else, must concern himself with the ultimate aims of man." My comment: Economic activities and teaching instill(implant) attitudes and beliefs that appear to be resisting or adapting a changing world appropos of globalization. A certain inherent optimism or pessimism remains with the scenario of the person who is involved with his economic activities.
In the USA, the inequality in income is getting worse due to high cost of living and insecurity of job prospects. The top income brackets is increasing egregiously as known to students of economics and researchers at Brookings Institution.
The theme may be extravagant with success to be reflected by the economic data but not for social achievement per se. For example,an executive(CEO) can effectively set his own pay thereby humane compassion would go astray in the name of profit maximization. Keeping up with the Jones is the order of the day. i.e. what others do or have,one should do or have. Americans deem an auto as a necessity but not for people in China,only a small number Chinese who have become rich after economic reforms. "Ronghuafugui" may be the aim for traditional Chinese culture of success but others may opt in for a simple lifestyle. Such gaps may be bridged when folks are bedridden toward eternity. It is a matter of sooner or later when we are called by our Creator as centenarians or near-centenarians. That is the ultimate of the Ultimatum in life. Francis Shieh a.k.a. Xie Shihao on Labor Day,September 3, 2007