Once people have an annual income of about $10,000 per capita, further income does little to promote happiness
Does a larger income automatically equate to greater happiness? Economists studying happiness emphatically conclude that it doesn’t. Mixing statistics with psychology in order to uncover glaring truths, economists are revealing some things about ourselves that those of us without a business degree from Harvard already know.
Tom Green explores the Economics of Happiness in this month’s Adbusters. Here are a few excerpts from his excellent piece:
The results are terrifying Milton Friedman’s disciples. Consider this: once people have an annual income of about $10,000 per capita, further income does little to promote happiness. Worse yet, economic growth in most industrial nations, which has tripled or quadrupled our wealth since 1970, hasn’t made us noticeably happier. In some countries, despite all this vast increase in wealth and consumption, folks are less happy than they were a generation ago.
Here’s another one:
“Some of the very basic things we assumed in economics are not consistent with the evidence. This idea that income is so important to happiness is not correct. All the evidence seems to be pointing in the direction that we are working too much. In fact, we’re happy if we work less. We are spending too much time on work and too little time with friends and family. So there’s a mistake in the economic models that suggest happiness will come from more income.”
Read the rest of the article to see how what we’ve been told is completely wrong.