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Thread: Why Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

  1. #1
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    Cool Why Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

    Why Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
    Economists and psychologists—and the rest of us—have long wondered if more money would make us happier. Here's the answer.
    By Sharon Begley
    Newsweek Web Exclusive
    Updated: 8:41 PM ET Oct 14, 2007
    All in all, it was probably a mistake to look for the answer to the eternal question—"Does money buy happiness?"—from people who practice what's called the dismal science. For when economists tackled the question, they started from the observation that when people put something up for sale they try to get as much for it as they can, and when people buy something they try to pay as little for it as they can. Both sides in the transaction, the economists noticed, are therefore behaving as if they would be more satisfied (happier, dare we say) if they wound up receiving more money (the seller) or holding on to more money (the buyer). Hence, more money must be better than less, and the only way more of something can be better than less of it is if it brings you greater contentment. The economists' conclusion: the more money you have, the happier you must be.
    Depressed debutantes, suicidal CEOs, miserable magnates and other unhappy rich folks aren't the only ones giving the lie to this. "Psychologists have spent decades studying the relation between wealth and happiness," writes Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his best-selling "Stumbling on Happiness," "and they have generally concluded that wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class but that it does little to increase happiness thereafter."

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/43884/page/1

  2. #2
    I've always said "Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it can buy you time to go looking for it".

  3. #3
    Kind, loving relationships make (mentally stable) people happy while money brings peace of mind and material comforts. That's why a poor subsistence farmer surrounded by extended family members who all have one anothers best interest at heart can be happier than the CEO stuck with a heartless moneygrubber wife and bratty kids who sit around hoping that he dies before they're too old to really enjoy their inheritence.

    The nonlinear nature of how much happiness money can buy—lots more happiness when it moves you out of penury and into middle-class comfort, hardly any more when it lifts you from millionaire to decamillionaire—comes through clearly in global surveys that ask people how content they feel with their lives. In a typical survey people are asked to rank their sense of well-being or happiness on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means "not at all satisfied with my life" and 7 means "completely satisfied." Of the American multimillionaires who responded, the average happiness score was 5.8. Homeless people in Calcutta came in at 2.9. But before you assume that money does buy happiness after all, consider who else rated themselves around 5.8: the Inuit of northern Greenland, who do not exactly lead a life of luxury, and the cattle-herding Masai of Kenya, whose dung huts have no electricity or running water. And proving Gilbert's point about money buying happiness only when it lifts you out of abject poverty, slum dwellers in Calcutta—one economic rung above the homeless—rate themselves at 4.6.

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