Reason as the Leading Motive

Wealth Buys Happiness–Study Finds

Posted by Jerry on July 1, 2008

As if the Gandhian romanticization of self-sufficient, modest village economy needed any more discrediting, a new study finds that happiness is nicely correlated with economic prosperity:

“the new survey finds people of rich countries tend to be happier than those of poor countries. And controlling for economic factors, certain types of societies are much happier than others. 

“The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives,” Inglehart said.

A survey released last week found one reason America doesn’t top the list: Baby Boomers are generally miserable compared to other generations. Further, a public opinion poll released by the Pew Research Center in April found that 81 percent of Americans say they believe the country is on the “wrong track.” The response is the most negative in the 25 years pollsters have asked the question. “

7 Responses to “Wealth Buys Happiness–Study Finds”

  1. >>>“The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives,” Inglehart said.<<<

    Yes, but this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with “wealth,” or a capitalist, or pseudo-capitalist, economy.

    In fact, I would say that “societies…that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives” is a very good description of the social-anarchist ideal.

  2. I know not having money makes me miserable. 😉

  3. littlewonder said

    money cant buys love but nowadays everything need cash.
    life after fuel price hike.

  4. Money gives you more choices – end of story.

    If a man has a choice of a cosy brick house with clean running water, versus a mud hut covered in flies and a supply of the finest brown water you can enjoy – let me ask you…

    …Which would the sane man choose?

    Also, Robert, Inglehart’s ‘freedom’ comment aside, the survey shows the richer countries at the top – proof that it is wealth that has a say.

    But in reality, some of the richer countries are not necessarily the freest when considering the oppressive and silent march toward fascism.

    Imagine if The UK, USA et al were completely free countries – how happy would we be then?

    Top of the list, most probably…

    Scotty Stevens

  5. satyajit said

    I had seen this on a show on Travel & Living that featured self-made billionaires. One of them, I forget who, said that being rich doesn’t necessarily make you happy. There was a time in his life, soon after he had earned his first million, when he wanted to commit suicide. However, what wealth does is make being unhappy less miserable and more bearable. I find myself agreeing to it in different contexts, and I would rather be rich and unahappy than poor and unhappy.

  6. raj said

    wealth is not negatively correlated with happiness.
    It is all luck.

  7. Kris Bass said

    Well, I thought I should give you another comment after the party. Please do write!

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