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Quality of life matters in economic transformation

Updated: Nov 21,2016 2:31 PM

Premier Li Keqiang recently discussed with experts and entrepreneurs issues concerning economic development and people’s lives, stressing that the fundamental objective of development is to improve the quality of life.

Indeed, quality of life is a major reason to develop the economy. To improve people’s lives, efforts should be made to reduce burdens on enterprises and people, in order to encourage them to create more social wealth and in turn upgrade the economy.

Economic development or improvement in quality of life -- which should be the priority? This question has been around for a long time, as on the one hand there will be no basis for improvement in quality of life without economic development, while on the other hand, the improvement in life can stimulate people to further expand economic development.

Traditional practice is putting economic development in a relative priority position and stressing its role in backing up people’s lives, under the assumption that improvement in quality of life is only a matter of time with economic development.

But in recent years, the government has repeatedly emphasized that efforts should be made to promote the public service system and put forward the idea that quality of life is also the driving force of development.

To put it simply, improvement in quality of life is, in fact, an effective motivation for the market and a major part of current structural supply-side reform.

Government should do everything it can to provide property rights protection and transparency for the market and public services for private sectors, so that people are free of living pressure and can pursue private investment and consumption.

This will stimulate the market on the supply side and promote social innovation.

To do this, continuing efforts should be made to streamline administration and delegate power to lower-level governments and make clear the boundary between government and market.

At the same time, policy measures regarding tax reduction should be further implemented, providing stimulus to create more social wealth.

To sum up, improvement in quality of life is not only a matter of wealth redistribution. It will also create driving forces for the economy and society if we consider it from the perspective of supply-side stimulation.