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Wags 04-16-2008 06:42 AM

Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All
 
NY Times article - Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/bu...=1&oref=slogin

Excerpts from the article

This contrast became the most famous example of a theory known as the Easterlin paradox. In 1974, Richard Easterlin, then an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction.

People in poor countries, not surprisingly, did become happier once they could afford basic necessities. But beyond that, further gains simply seemed to reset the bar. To put it in today’s terms, owning an iPod doesn’t make you happier, because you then want an iPod Touch. Relative income — how much you make compared with others around you — mattered far more than absolute income, Mr. Easterlin wrote.

The paradox quickly became a social science classic, cited in academic journals and the popular media. It tapped into a near-spiritual human instinct to believe that money can’t buy happiness. As a 2006 headline in The Financial Times said, “The Hippies Were Right All Along About Happiness.”

\Last week, at the Brookings Institution in Washington, two young economists — from the University of Pennsylvania, as it happens — presented a rebuttal of the paradox. Their paper has quickly captured the attention of top economists around the world. It has also led to a spirited response from Mr. Easterlin.

In the paper, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers argue that money indeed tends to bring happiness, even if it doesn’t guarantee it. They point out that in the 34 years since Mr. Easterlin published his paper, an explosion of public opinion surveys has allowed for a better look at the question. “The central message,” Ms. Stevenson said, “is that income does matter.”

End of excerpts.

Interesting article on how people apparently measure happiness.

Has the ac·cu·mu·la·tion of money, houses, cars and other material things made you happier? Or does the ac·cu·mu·la·tion of these things/items serve to give us peace of mind?

GOD BLESS US ALL:angel:

Wags 04-16-2008 11:35 AM

I guess money can not buy you HAPPINESS look at the poor OLD devil who tried to buy himself a trophy wife and then she ends up on youtube presenting her divorce case. >:D

YouTube - Tricia Walsh Smith

If the poor OLD devil was going to get him a younger trophy wife he should have looked at this tall drink of water.:angel:

YouTube - Beautiful News Reporter (Melissa Theuriau) / More@ Ryoni.com

The french accent is enough to make old goat like me think about moving to France.;D

GOD BLESS US ALL:angel:

Notmuchlonger 04-16-2008 11:41 AM

Money makes me happy to a point.


YouTube - The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love

kumquat 04-16-2008 11:49 AM

Money may not buy happiness but it makes happiness a lot easier to rent.;D

haha 04-16-2008 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wags (Post 644222)
NY Times article - Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All

Has the ac·cu·mu·la·tion of money, houses, cars and other material things made you happier? Or does the ac·cu·mu·la·tion of these things/items serve to give us peace of mind?
:angel:

I would say the accumulation of things has been an overall negative for me. They get in the way, as much as I enjoy using them.

But the accumulation of money is an altogether different issue. That is all good I think. Better medical care, better safer car, access to more social life, less financial worry, more feeling of adequacy as a person, better self esteem.

It's not the stuff in my apartment that I want, it's the stuff in my brokerage accounts!

ha

Wags 04-16-2008 12:51 PM

For me happiness is having religion, my family, health, community, ability to serve, friends, and being content (peace of mind) with what I have been blessed with. :angel:

Being able to keep up with Mrs. Wags (blessed with a young wife)

I almost forgot having access to youtube.:duh:

GOD BLESS US ALL

ladelfina 04-16-2008 09:21 PM

Wags, you are a hoot. Don't forget to mention your (I assume) gov't. pension 'n' health insurance, now, hear? ;) :)
Makes it easier to not worry about that pesky ac·cu·mu·la·tion of money!!

RetiredGypsy 04-16-2008 11:32 PM

I once heard a wise man say the best things in life are free, and then professed that although this may be the case, he would rather donate the best things to any creature he happened past, such as the birds or the bees. He told me he would forsake these things for money. A whole lotta money. This man was so wise that television shows, radios, and at least one movie starring Ted Danson, replayed his message for decades afterward.

Now, who're you going to believe, some guy who teaches at college and probably hangs out with that other guy who thinks we should work until we're in our 70's, or this wise, wise man who knows the true happiness of money?

Dudester 04-17-2008 07:59 AM

I once head the "old saying:"

Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you can live with.

Leonidas 04-17-2008 09:01 AM

Money doesn't buy me happiness, but I do find it useful in keeping a lot of unhappiness away from my life. I've seen both sides of the wealth picture and while I am still grateful for the government cheese that filled my stomach years ago, I am just as grateful that my kids have never known that experience.

Money, and the stuff it buys, are just tools to be used to prevent want, dire straits, worry, etc. It all keeps a lot of bad things from screwing up my chances at finding happiness, and it buys me time and opportunities to go look for happiness and fulfillment in new places and experiences.

OT: And it doesn't buy love. Not real love anyway. Although, looking at Mademoiselle Melissa Theuriau, I could be tempted to try to negotiate something.

http://images.askmen.com/women/model...a_theuriau.jpg

Thanks for the You Tube link Wags. I don't speak French, but I am sure she was saying something like "Ah, Leonidas, you are ze one for me!"

Orchidflower 04-17-2008 09:59 AM

Money gives me peace of mind. Period.
I have no interest in the "old days" of tossing and turning at night--and being a nervous wreck in the day--because I was worried so about surviving.
And maybe I am the only one here who thinks this, but that video was hysterical to me. Whew....just shaking my head and walking away....

Khan 04-17-2008 01:51 PM

From a cartoon I saw:

"Money can't buy love?"
'Nope.'

"Money can't buy friends?"
'Nope.'

"Money can't buy happiness?"
'Nope.'

"What can it buy?"
'Miscellaneous.'

Dawg52 04-17-2008 07:03 PM

Money bought me a ticket out of a boring 8-5 routine. :)

NinjaPigeon 04-17-2008 08:52 PM

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can certainly keep a lot of unhappiness at bay.

That being said, I can't really say that my happiness has gone up as my salary has. I think I'm pretty much the same person I was 5 years ago... but with a big screen tv and an IRA ;)

Texarkandy 04-17-2008 08:56 PM

I've always heard it something like this:

Having money can't solve all of your problems,
but if you do have money, then "lack of money" is one less problem you will have.

Ed_The_Gypsy 04-17-2008 09:10 PM

Money can buy freedom and it can buy life--from medical treatment to a ticket on the underground railroad.

Grizz 04-18-2008 01:25 AM

I derive happiness from nose to the grindstone research of a potential purchase, comparing prices, getting a good deal, and then using that item knowing that it's either the best available or the one that does the best job of covering my features wish list. In a 'round about way, money does buy happiness for me.

Wags 04-18-2008 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladelfina (Post 644697)
Wags, you are a hoot. Don't forget to mention your (I assume) gov't. pension 'n' health insurance, now, hear? ;) :)
Makes it easier to not worry about that pesky ac·cu·mu·la·tion of money!!

Ladelfina, thank you for calling me a hoot. :angel: Come to think about it I just might come from a long line of HOOTS.

With that being said I think I would rather be a hoot then a member of the "Legion of Decency". At least as a hoot I can "hoot and holler".;D

Do you know of any other hoots that a poor old devil like me might be able to hoot and holler with?

Yes, I forgot to mention the old government pension and the health insurance.

GOD BLESS US ALL:angel:

Kronk 04-18-2008 08:57 AM

I always figure there are relatively few problems that can't be solved by the application of a sufficient amount of money. If I can avoid those stresses in my life, I'd take my chances on figuring out my own happiness.

W2R 04-18-2008 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kronk (Post 645372)
I always figure there are relatively few problems that can't be solved by the application of a sufficient amount of money. If I can avoid those stresses in my life, I'd take my chances on figuring out my own happiness.

It's true, when something hugely stressful comes up, throwing money at it does seem to make it go away.

Too much money can cause stress of its own, too. There's stress in learning to properly and effectively handle large quantities of money, in differentiating between friends and golddiggers, in shifting relationships, and more. I don't have that kind of money, but have seen others through this sort of thing and it isn't quite what one would imagine. I suppose that there are ways to throw money at that type of stress, too, maybe with a financial advisor, lawyer, CPA, counselor, and more.


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