Money Won't Buy Happyness

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Roman Candle, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Despite the near-universal envy of the rich, family therapists and financial advisors to the rich observe daily that wealth does not make people happy (Pittman 1985.) This is not to suggest that poverty is the secret of universal happiness either, but those who long for riches and envy those who have it would be in for a shock if they ever achieved their heart's desire. The beaming winners of the lottery, the newly minted rock stars, or the blushing brides of billionaires, thrilled at their good fortune at the moment, are likely to sing a different tune a year or so later, after they have let their wealth do its work of depriving them of pride in their own usefulness, isolating them from everyone less fortunate, distorting relationships with their loved ones, and ultimately disillusioning them. Do the cheering throngs that follow them around or the greedy hands in their pockets love them or their riches? Their divorce rates, the likelihood of legal battles with their less "fortunate" family members, their rates of depression and suicide, and their general levels of misery go up beyond middle-class levels almost to the levels of the poor. As Cloe Madanes points out (1994), "wealth often appears to be cursed, bringing with it more misery than joy." Sooner or later they realize that the wealth is not going to make them happy, but they then are likely to seek out more intense and drastic pleasures, from taking more risks, finding new drugs, getting into machines that go too fast, or otherwise trying to intensify experiences in a life that is rapidly becoming jaded, exhausted from overindulgence.

    It is often thought that a plethora of money in and of itself produces unhappiness but further examination of the matter suggests that it is not wealth that brings the unhappiness but the belief that wealth will bring happiness and the disillusionment that results when it fails to do so. It may be that the rich are more unhappy than those in the economic middle, but they may be unhappy because they are the children of the rich (which J. Sedgwick [1985] describes as a dispiriting and crippling burden), because they have married money (a cold bed at best), or because they have amassed wealth obsessively through their inability to be satisfied, their relentless need for competitive victory, and their willingness to commit the "great crime" that, presumably "lies behind every great fortune." In other words, they are inherently unhappy and do what they do in hopes that more of something (or maybe even more of everything) will finally fill the void inside. It is their unhappiness (i.e., their inability to be easily satisfied) that has driven them to get rich.

    Philip Slater (1980) points out the senseless greediness of the rich and continuation in the pursuit of wealth long past the point that it gives them pleasure. He writes:

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  2. buylo


    It's better then being depressed and poor.
  3. Reminds me of the guy who won the lottery. When asked what he is going to do with the money he replied, "Go to the track."
  4. If you're unhappy (Not easily satisfied/whatever you term it) and broke, you might as well be unhappy and rich.

    Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy you some things that can make you happy. :D
  5. If you're broke your choice of hookers, shall we say, is "limited".
  6. kxvid


    It painfully obvious someone recently suffered a drawdown. :D
  7. Money Won't Buy Happyness

    But it sure as hell will buy pain if you ever suffer a $92,000 drawdown.
  8. This is the typical attitude. He is saying money can buy happyness.

    "but it can buy you some things that can make you happy"


    The rich give money away to achive happyness. Thats how you stay happy, help others. When you stop thinking of yourself and start thinking of others, you have learned the secret to living.
  9. buylo


    Then start thinking of us, and get off the boards. You're really bumming me out.

    Listen Sensei, he's not wrong, it's his opinion and I will certainly agree with him. If you want to justify to yourself for trading bad, that's cool.

    Maybe if you learned to spell correctly you would be happier. It's achieve, not achive. Happiness, not happyness. Look at me, I'm helping others!
    #10     Jul 2, 2009