27 May Happinomics – the marriage of happiness and economics
The Future is Not Economics but Happinomics | By Ian Yeoman
At a time when oil prices are $130 a barrel, house prices are falling, the economy is faltering, we are concerned about our jobs, a human pandemic is around the corner, there seems to be no end to the war in Iraq, taxes are rising, the planet is warming up and inflation is eroding our levels of disposal income. Doesn”t this sound depressing. No wonder many of us are reaching for the prosaic. However, all of this depression is good for tourism, as the core purpose of the holiday industry is too make people feel happy and allow them to escape the dowry aspects of everyday life. Welcome to the world of happinomics.
Why affluence doesn”t make us happy
The first leading answer came from a 1958 book by economist John Kenneth Galbraith; “The Affluent Society.” Galbraith argued that affluence allowed us to escape miserable lives of hunger and sickness and the social conflicts that stemmed from poverty. Yet affluence has also caused many unforeseen dissatisfactions. Galbraith believed that the materialism would breed discontent. He accused advertising of conditioning consumers into thinking they needed things they really didn’t and creating artificial desires that would be inherently disappointing to fulfill.
Galbraith criticized the logic of growth in our advanced post-affluent societies. We rarely reach a satisfactory level of self-fulfillment because our economic culture says that we never have enough. The results to people can be devastating, including mental afflictions and physical illness.
If wealth doesn’t bring happiness, then what does?
For the answer to this question, and for some thoughts on happiness – click here