How does the ever-changing politics of Afghanistan affect its people's standard living?
A country's economy is directly related to the government and progress of that country. Without a stable government the economy is not going to grow effectively, there will be high unemployment, fewer goods and commodities, and less income for the people.
In Afghanistan, the people are mostly ruled by the various clan leaders of their geographic location. Although the country recently held open elections, many did not dare vote due to the Taliban and the control of fear they have over the country. Without a solid central government there are constant quarrels and infighting. There is little or no production and supplies are extremely low because the people have no money. The largest money making crop in Afghanistan is the poppy and the drugs derived from that plant. The government, with insistence by the USA, is trying to curtail that crop and that means even more economic trouble for this country.
"The proper functions of government extend, at the very least, to defining and determining the rights of property and contract, the rules of partnerships and corporations, the regulation of insolvency, the monetary system, and weights and measures. In addition, government activity may be necessary where the consumer cannot judge or achieve his or her own interest (for example, the education of children), or in cases where each person’s desire can be effectuated only if all conform (for example, limiting work hours). Government may undertake activities beneficial to the public, from which no private person could realize a profit (for example, providing lighthouses, or financing scientific research). "
Without a strong central government there is no way to effectively raise money for road improvement, factories, or infrastructural improvement. These improvements would not only make the lives of the Afghan people easier, it would also create jobs.