20 May More thoughts on happiness and economics
Poverty isa terrible thing. Yet in our world of where there is enough to make everybody enjoy a reasonable standard of living, millions are poor. But what really should the goal of life, happiness or wealth be? And what would happen if by some inconceivable miracle poverty is wiped clean from the face of the earth – would human beings on a whole be happier?
Evidence gathered from national surveys in affluent countries suggests that people do not get happier, even as their countries become wealthier. Surveys of this type have been conducted in the United States since 1972, and in Japan from as far back as 1950. Yet people’s standard of living has definitely improved in these countries, the statistics indicate that the level of happiness has remained – more or less. On the surface, this neither accords with logic nor intuition. The fact that more people do not have to worry about how they will pay their rent, or where dinner tomorrow will be coming from should at least make them more satisfied, and by extension, the society happier. But not so. The sense of fulfilment and satisfaction that humans experience is a little more complex than that.
To read more of this happiness article discussing links between happiness, economics, poverty and other variables – click here.