Maslow's Swimming Pool
"Yes, we've got a swimming pool. But that won't feed my children."
The BBC's Malcolm Brabant, quoting a doctor's wife, describing the impacts of Greece's austerity measures.
I've written before of the fallacy of Maslow and the SmartPhone, the frequently repeated bromide, usually from economists or Libertarians, that owning a smartphone makes you rich. That it is a luxury item.
My response: first, smartphones and mobile devices are not luxury items any more. They can be had for a pittance $30-$100 for the device, and monthly service rates under $10.
Secondly: smartphones don't address basic needs of existence. What Maslow describes is a hierarchy, and the lower levels must be met before the higher levels come into consideration. Yes, "man does not live by bread alone", and once you have met the fundamental needs, the higher ones come into play. But neither can you build a castle in the clouds.
The Greek doctor's wife has just expressed this eloquently.