Skip to comments.Are Rich People Happier than Poor People?
Posted on 04/22/2008 11:52:57 AM PDT by expat_panama
[snip] It sure seems like the rich are more likely to be very happy than the rest of us. Is this a big effect? In 2005, Robert Frank argued:
When we plot average happiness versus income for clusters of people in a given country at a given time, we see that rich people are in fact much happier than poor people.
Its actually an astonishingly large difference. Theres no one single change you can imagine that would make your life improve on the happiness scale as much as to move from the bottom 5 percent on the income scale to the top 5 percent.
Lets go ahead and draw the plot that Frank envisions, using all of the data from the 2006 survey:
Heres the key point:
By comparing rich and poor people, we estimate a happiness-income gradient that has a slope that is similar to what we saw when we compared rich and poor countries.
OK, thats the United States, what about other countries? We estimated the well-being-income gradient for over 100 countries in the Gallup World Poll. Rather than show you dozens of separate coefficients, well let a picture tell the story (and let me admit, I love this graph).
... [ship] ... it stands directly at odds with a key claim of Easterlin (see p.106 to 107):
the happiness difference between rich and poor countries that one might expect on the basis of the within-country differences by economic status are not borne out by the international data.
(Excerpt) Read more at freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com ...
yes. and thats not fair, so I will fix it.
Money won’t solve all of your problems.
It WILL solve your money problems.
If I were a rich man ... I’d hire some poor schnook to be depressed for me.
You can’t buy love.
You CAN rent it.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing-viz. that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the standard of felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind, but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on the one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distemper upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtue and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest, nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
If Robinson Crusoe had listened to his daddy, though, there wouldn't have been much of a book!
Ask Magic Johnson...
I am not happier. I am bitter. I only cling to my guns and religion. I hope the government can same me soon. all hail Obama! I will be happy soon.
SOAK THE RICH!!!
I’d just like a chance to prove that being rich does not make you happy.
Another thing that the left doesn’t seem to get is that
income does not equal wealth. It’s not even the same definition.
Wealth is the integration of your positive cashflow. IE, if you spend everything you earn, you have no wealth.
My happiness seems to be more tied to how little debt I have, regardless of income level.
Money can’t buy happiness ... but it makes a really good down payment
And also buys a beautiful Escalade
There you go, proof that the Democrats want to make people miserable. They will take the money from the rich, but will not make anyone at the bottom of the scale any richer. Thus, the Democrats winning will mean a net decrease in happiness in this country.
I have had no money, and I have had money. I was happy both times.
In fact, I find that having little money makes life a lot more simple, which is good, becuase I am back to no money.
After growing up in an upper middle class family then for the last 9 years having a family of my own living in a less than 900 square foot home barely making ends meet, I’d say having money would not be too bad. My wife and I agree that if we did have wealth we would not be stupid and buy new cars and have an elaborate house. We would continue driving our used cars and still shop at the discount stores. We would still refrain from having credit cards. . . basically follow the Dave Ramsey method.
“..where he was confined by gout...”
A disease of excess?
happy rich people ping...
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