• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Don't worry, be

Every time some university reasearchers come out with a whopping big survey designed to show us a great truth based on what several thousand people say they feel about things, it just underscores what a silly designation "social scientist" really is:

They say money can't buy happiness. They're wrong.

At least up to a point.

People's emotional well-being — happiness — increases along with their income up to about $75,000, researchers report in today's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

[. . .]

Happiness got better as income rose, but the effect leveled out at $75,000, Deaton said. On the other hand, their overall sense of success or well-being continued to rise as their earnings grew beyond that point.

Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood ... but it is going to make them feel they have a better life,” Deaton said.

Not surprisingly, someone who moves from a $100,000-a-year job to one paying $200,000 realizes an improved sense of success. That doesn't necessarily mean they are happier day to day, Deaton said.

So, people earning more than 75K will "feel they have a better life" but their "daily moods" aren't going to improve that much. People's "overall sense of success or well-being" will continue to rise even as their "happiness" levels out. And those earning 200K instead of 100K will "realize and improved sense of success" but won't necessarily be "happier day to day." I'd disagree with some or all of that if I had the first clue about what it meant. It's absolute gibberish, and they probably only spend a few hundred K to come up with it.

Personally, I'd love to have a terrific sense of success or well-being and an absolutely outstanding feeling that I have a better life. Screw "happiness" and the $75,000 horse it rode in on.


Tue, 09/07/2010 - 1:24pm

I agree the study was pretty pointless, but I'd like to volunteer my services for future studies.
Just give me $75,000 and I'll be happy to tell you if I feel better.

Bob G.
Tue, 09/07/2010 - 6:38pm

Dad always said that money NEVER bought happiness...but it DID make MISERY a lot more enjoyable.

And that $75K isn't worth face value, but we all knew that.

Good post, Leo!

Tue, 09/07/2010 - 8:19pm

I've noticed that liberal responses to letters to the editor are no longer being posted. I will assume this is simply an oversight.

Leo Morris
Wed, 09/08/2010 - 7:22am

Don't know; Web site not under my control. I presume, though, that everything is posted except the responses removed for libel, taste, etc. If you think otherwise, you should click on the "Contact us" button, then the technology department, and send a query to our Web person, Melody.