The New (improved) Gilded Age
The very rich are not that different from you and me; or less different, perhaps, than they used to be.
Dec 26, 2007, 12:35
Does Capitalism Make Us More Materialistic?
An interesting discussion on our materialistic world. Why do people worry about materialism? What is wrong with materialism? How do we become happy? Can the State provide happiness by legislation? What do the Socialists think?
Happiness is the state of your mind. Obtaining happiness is your business. Does it just arrive automatically or should we think about it? Does materialism lead to happiness? Is it the same for all people? Perhaps we should just relax and stop trying to "do good" to other people but rather let each find their own way.
Sep 11, 2007, 12:03
Here, at the Foundation for Economic Growth, we like to think that we have some chance of increasing the total amount of happiness in New Zealand. Hopefully we are not doing anything to add to the misery!
Economics has been referred to as the "dismal science", but while some people may answer that description it is hard to describe a body of knowledge in those terms.
Studies have found that wealthy people are happier than poor people and since a sound knowledge of the correct economic theories can increase the wealth in a community we can assume that the sum total of happiness in that community will also increase. This is our aim.
The other interesting finding about happiness is that it is a relative thing. If people are wealthier than their neighbours then they feel happy but if people are poorer than their neighbours they feel unhappy. Sorry to say that we are like this but it seems to be true.
We have had the current Labour government in power now for nearly 8 years. Are they increasing happiness or not?
Unfortunately, the direction our Labour government is taking us makes us poorer relative to other countries. Latest reports show that we have dropped two places in the OECD wealth per head list. Dr. Cullen's economic theories are driving us in the wrong direction.
As we see Aussies getting wealthier and as we feel ourselves to be getting poorer so will our disgruntlement increase.
The other thing of course is that the OECD itself which used to be all the wealthy countries is being overtaken in the wealth race by more and more countries outside the OECD with better economic thinking - smaller governments making for lower taxes and greater amounts of freedom.
If our economic strategies were making us wealthier than the Aussies would we then be happier?
Money isn't everything and wealth doesn't necessarily bring happiness. People can often be happy with very limited resources. However, sound economic theory shows us the way to increase everyone's wealth so why don't we just follow that path and leave people's happiness just to the individuals concerned.
May 2, 2007, 13:23
Happiness (and how to measure it)
Capitalism can make a society rich and keep it free. Don't ask it to make you happy as well.
May 2, 2007, 09:53
Economics Discovers Its Feelings
We often think and talk about happiness but can it be measured? Should happiness be part of the study of economics or not? Should economists attempt to change peoples happiness? Should governments be responsible for peoples' happiness?
May 1, 2007, 18:38