第二，笔者(Ng & Ng 2001; Ng 2003)讨论过的悲惨增长，是产量增加使环境破坏程度也增加，如果消费的边际福祉效应已经很小，而环保很重要(见如Chen等2013，
Global Challenges Foundation 2015,
2010) ，则可能造成悲惨增长。如果消费的边际福祉效应已经很小，为何人们还拼命赚钱呢？这一方面是因为相对收入和相对消费的重要性。你要有比我豪华的汽车，我要有比你大间的房子。然而，这种相对竞争，在社会层面并不能有效。一个人的相对地位的提高，表示其他人平均相对地位的下降。因此，在社会的层面，相对竞争是零和游戏，完全是一种浪费。但在个人层面，这可能是很理性和重要的（见如Frank 1999。）不过，我们还是可以设法减少对这方面的重视。
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