Money yada yada yada happiness

Everyone these days seems to be talking about happiness but no one seems to know what to do about it. The big hope has always been that we could buy happiness with money. But, for many years, it seemed that you couldn’t do that and instead you could buy yourself more happiness than others; the so-called Easterlin paradox. Today, however, are reports on a new paper by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers that those finds may have been wrong and that more recent data — that looks like it is also more solid data — suggests that money is all it is cracked up to be. (Don’t want to read, here is the video).

This graphic tells it all. But it is really only confirming what Tim and Debbie were telling us 20 years ago (as mentioned in a previous post).

Debbie: What’s wrong is that you don’t realize that it’s not you that’s, um, destitute, right. It’s the so-called “haves” of this world who are destitute.
Tim: I know.
Debbie: Spiritually destitute. Right. While someone such as you who has a really secure position in the unemployment industry, right, um, should view your dole cheque, right, not as a source of social insecurity, but as a ticket to spiritual awareness.
Tim: I do, I do, I do.
Debbie: Like, I really feel, um, I really feel sorry for the so-called haves, with their jacuzis, and their inground swimming pools, and their Doncaster mansions, um, their Mercs and their Porsches, their Christian Diors and their Christian Barnards. Like, are they really happy. Like, I ask you, are they really happy?
Tim: Well they look pretty happy to me Debbie. Like, the other day, right, like I saw this amazing guy in a Mercedes-Benz type situation, right. And he had this amazing glamorous blond model-type person in the Mercedes-Benz situation, and they were towing a yacht, and they both looked really happy.

Here is the link to the site which includes a video of that part.

My personal view is that the problem with happiness surveys is that people may not be too good at evaluating their own happiness and perhaps they should be asked about the happiness of people they know.

[Update: At Game Theorist, “Children yada yada yada happiness”]

2 thoughts on “Money yada yada yada happiness”

  1. Spike milligan once observed, “money can’t buy friends but it can get you a better class of enemy”.

    I suspect that there are members of the commentariat who would equate this with an improvement in happiness.


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