Why some slumdogs feel like millionaires and some millionaires like slumdogs: The theory of multiple poverty lines

Shobha Prasad

INTRODUCTION

Post on Facebook: "Very cool website (http://globalrichlist.com/) … plug in your annual income and see your rank on the global rich list. It totally stumped me! On the one hand I almost feel guilty now to ask for a pay hike :) but then relatively speaking I am on the poverty line compared to the really really rich folks!!"

A London taxi driver: "I went to India – people had so little but they were smiling and happy. Why? I have stopped complaining."

What is rich? And what is poor? Why do some really rich people complain about not having enough to support their lavish lifestyles? And what keeps some people with low incomes happy and contented?

What consumers buy, the choices they make, the images and media messages they respond to are strongly influenced by the consumer’s level of affluence. What exactly is affluence?