13 Nov The relationship between health, happiness, wellbeing and the current economic troubles
Life, liberty and a purse of happiness
November 13, 2008
THE best type of “crisis” is one that doesn’t matter much in terms of its impact on wellbeing – welcome to the financial crash of 2008.
The reason for the crash is the herd belief that perpetual and growing debt is manageable. The reason for the glum faces is the herd sentiment that crashing stock values mean much good in the world has diminished.
In absolute terms, the figures ain’t pretty. The Australian sharemarket has fallen about 40% in the past year.
Ouch? Only a little. In reality, the picture is far rosier. The bulk of the financial loses are concentrated in the sectors of the community that can most afford them – the rich. And people whose wellbeing is genuinely affected by wealth don’t care because they are too poor to have any shares.
There is evidence of a slowdown in the housing market – which is a plus for most people – and reduced business confidence (especially in Victoria). But offsetting this are inflation numbers that show strong growth and steady job figures.
Even if the crash spreads to the real economy, its impact is unlikely to diminish the real prosperity of most of us to any great degree. In recent decades, social and brain scientists have made considerable inroads into what makes us happy.
As it turns out, our wellbeing is far removed from the action on the sharemarket.
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