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Money & Happiness
Old 10-15-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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Money & Happiness

Hopefully nobody already posted this...

Money & Happiness | Newsweek To Your Health | Newsweek.com

"If more money doesn't buy more happiness, then the behavior of most Americans looks downright insane, as we work harder and longer, decade after decade, to fatten our W-2s. But what is insane for an individual is crucial for a national economy—that is, ever more growth and consumption. Gilbert again: "Economies can blossom and grow only if people are deluded into believing that the production of wealth will make them happy … Economies thrive when individuals strive, but because individuals will strive only for their own happiness, it is essential that they mistakenly believe that producing and consuming are routes to personal well-being." In other words, if you want to do your part for your country's economy, forget all of the above about money not buying happiness."

More money may not buy happiness but for me, but someday it'll buy freedom, which in turn will increase my happiness dramatically! And, as the article notes, we all owe a big thank you to the ever-unsatisfied who keep the economy chugging!
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:54 PM   #2
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"more money doesn't buy happiness". Speak for yourself. I'm much happier now than I was when I was living pay check to pay check and nothing else is different just the money. The larger my account gets the happier i'll be. It's easy to say money doesn't buy happiness if you've never been without money. I grew up poor so I know that money can bring happiness.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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Ditto!
More money has given me more leisure time. And THAT gives me more happiness.
Sure, money in and of itself doesn't buy happiness. But it can give you more options which can contribute to your happiness.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:01 PM   #4
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as the article notes, we all owe a big thank you to the ever-unsatisfied who keep the economy chugging!
Well, maybe. But there are obvious downsides (environmental damage, health problems, crime, etc.) associated with a society that is based upon hyperconsumption.

Perhaps we would all be happier and more content if everyone worked fewer hours and spent more time (and less money) enjoying the simple pleasures in life.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:03 PM   #5
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"more money doesn't buy happiness". Speak for yourself. I'm much happier now than I was when I was living pay check to pay check and nothing else is different just the money. The larger my account gets the happier i'll be. It's easy to say money doesn't buy happiness if you've never been without money. I grew up poor so I know that money can bring happiness.
The takeaway should read...

Above a certain threshold where your basic needs are met, plus a small amount for luxuries, additional money provides very little additional happiness. In fact if one has to work longer and harder for additional money, then the striving for extra money is detrimental to the desired happiness goal.

In other words above the poverty threshold there is only a very weak correlation between additional money and additional happiness.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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In your title, the obvious "=" displays as a "&" on my screen.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Perhaps we would all be happier and more content if everyone worked fewer hours and spent more time (and less money) enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

Well sure, but I'm not sure the ills you mention are unique (or necessarily more indigenous) to societies that consume aggressively. Think China with their exploding pollution levels, or third world countries with their high rates of violent crime.

Me, I'm happy keeping my consumption to a minimum so I can spend more time enjoying the simple pleasures in life, as you say.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:12 PM   #8
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The takeaway should read...

Above a certain threshold where your basic needs are met, plus a small amount for luxuries, additional money provides very little additional happiness. In fact if one has to work longer and harder for additional money, then the striving for extra money is detrimental to the desired happiness goal.

In other words above the poverty threshold there is only a very weak correlation between additional money and additional happiness.
Exactly!
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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Think China with their exploding pollution levels, or third world countries with their high rates of violent crime.
Well, those countries are governed by dictatorships and have massive corruption, so they have their own problems.

Certain European (esp. Scandanavian) nations would probably be a fairer example of lower consumption countries.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
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Happiness consists of multiple factors or variables: relationship, self-esteem, job satisfaction, money, and health. Money is only one of them. As others have said, additional money beyond a certain level does not bring additional happiness. Acquiring more money may contribute to more unhappiness if you have to work harder or at a high paying but high stressful or unrewarding job at the expense of spending a lot less time with family and friends and risking you health.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:14 PM   #11
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What's wrong with you people - don't you know happiness is Un-American!

'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.'

If you catch it - don't ask, don't tell.

My lips are sealed! Nod nod wink wink

heh heh heh - some things we 'never' admit to - even on an ER forum. I've got a Curmudgeon Certificate to back/ er buck me up in my 14th year of ER. It's tough but someone has to do it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Money = freedom which in turn = happiness. Pretty simple.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:42 PM   #13
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Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine - we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #14
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Ditto!
More money has given me more leisure time. And THAT gives me more happiness.
Sure, money in and of itself doesn't buy happiness. But it can give you more options which can contribute to your happiness.
Well said.

One of my sisters said.
"Money does not buy happiness. But money DOES buy comfort, and it's easier to be happy when you are comfortable."
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:31 AM   #15
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Everybody hit it on the head. Money may not make you the happiest, but it provides a floor to keep you from being more unhappy than you already are.

But many who say, "money can't buy happiness" - at least in my experience, confuse income with net worth, and objects/toys/possesions with wealth. I have plenty of friends with six figure incomes and four figure net worths. These people can be pretty unhappy, because they are now on a treadmill of earning and spending they can't see a way off of.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #16
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For most of us we will find ourselves with a nestegg that will support us, plus a little. We would always like to have more in our nestegg.

The question then becomes...

Is the extra comfort/joy/security of moving the nestegg up a notch worth the effort/slog/misery of working a year or three longer to get there ? If the answer for you is yes, then keep working. If it's not then you have to question your motives.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:21 PM   #17
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Everyone has a different threshhold of what they consider to be the comfort level. I know that a car with AC and leather seats with heaters is now a requirement. Cruise control and stereo are also mandatory.

But these were not part of my threshhold until I experienced them. There features were never on any family car. But we were happy partly because we didn't know any better.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:46 PM   #18
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But we were happy partly because we didn't know any better.
So, ignorance really is bliss?!

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I know that a car with AC and leather seats with heaters is now a requirement. Cruise control and stereo are also mandatory.
Please tell me you were joking.
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:45 PM   #19
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Acquiring more money may contribute to more unhappiness if you have to work harder or at a high paying but high stressful or unrewarding job at the expense of spending a lot less time with family and friends and risking you health.
I'll keep my not-so-high paying job for the job satisfaction and time spent at work/home ratio! Once our basic needs and wants are met, all is just ducky! (my dream Jaguar is NOT a basic want!)
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:17 PM   #20
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i was happiest in my late 20s to mid 30s. i had a ton of confidence. i was comfortable with myself in the world. i didn't have much money. saved what i could in the normal course of living but i wasn't diligent about that. knowing even less than i do now about finance, it took me a long time to save for a house. but i had the most amazing partner/best friend/playmate. i had a ton of friends from high school & college & the local party scene. through family i had access to luxury living without me paying for it. and when i wasn't living a luxurious life it made no difference to me. i could just as easily have a great time boating down the intracoastal or roughing it alongside a mountain lake. i had my health and my friends and life could not have been better.

then they started dying on me and with each death i have had to struggle to regain at least some of my happiness. many of my group lived kind of fast & stupid and so it seems i've lost more friends than anyone i know. finally mom passed away, leaving me financially independent and i have never known so much sadness in all my life.

money & happiness? i never equated the two.
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