The term ‘scarcity model’ is a well defined one in the sphere of economic theory. According to Wikipedia, “Scarcity [model] is the fundamental economic assumption of having seemingly unlimited human needs and wants in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs”.
Whether this is true or not is contestable. Marxists would say that “scarcity is said to be peripheral. Human wants in practice are not assumed to be infinite, but variable and ultimately conditioned”. Obviously, human wants are finite since there is, at any one time, a finite number of human beings, none of whom can consume more than a finite quantity of resources.
The point, however, is that this theory is talking about resources that are raw materials—food, energy, stuff to makes things out of, and so on. If poorer people perceive a very real scarcity, it is as much, say Marxists, to do with the richer people creaming off a disproportionate share of the resources. X amount of wheat can only go so far, and the scarcity, for the poor, is a real one.
How we use the scarcity model
We aren’t talking about resources in this sense: things that can be found or grown or dug up or made.
As developed in the articles cited at the foot of the page, we are talking about emotions and beliefs. In common with widespread thinking, we consider that a scarcity model, as opposed to an abundance model, is a belief that there is not enough happiness, not enough recognition, not enough love, to go around and that we will lose if we don’t fight for everything. That “not enough” refers to anything the individual believes they are short of.
Most people running a scarcity model look for some way to acquire that which they believe they lack. . This can be political power, or power in some other sphere. (Of course people who seek political power—and particularly those who get it—do so for a variety of reasons.)