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Does money make you happy? (specifically: absolute spending power)

Once basic needs are met, it is not clear whether absolute wealth causes or is even correlated with happiness. There are several possible explanations for this, including the importance of relative over absolute wealth in western countries, the competitive work required to sustain that wealth, and the emptiness in pursuing material interests. In addition, the complicated nature of happiness itself complicates the answer to the question.

Implications to Other Questions


Experts and Influencers

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Agree
Experts In Business


Justin Wolfers    Business Professor
Betsey Stevenson    Business Professor
Mostly Agree
We establish a clear positive link between GDP and average levels of subjective well-being across countries with no evidence of a satiation point beyond which wealthier countries have no further increases in subjective well-being. Moreover, we show that this relationship is consistent with the relationship between income and happiness within countries, suggesting a minimal role for relative income comparisons as drivers of happiness.
09 May 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Does relative wealth make us happier than absolute wealth?
   Mostly Disagree

Experts In Investing


Robert Kiyosaki    Investor, Writer of Rich Dad Poor Dad
Mostly Agree
I have heard many people say: "Money doesn't buy happiness." That statement has some truth to it. But what money does do is buy me the time to do what I love and pay other people to do what I hate doing.
15 Jan 2002    Source


Neutral
Experts In Economics


Daniel Kahneman    Psychology Professor, Nobel Laureate in Economics
Neutral
...our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently... Below an income of $60,000 a year, people are unhappy and they get progressively unhappier the poorer they get. Above that we get an absolutely flat line. ...money does not buy you experiential happiness but lack of money certainly buys you misery... In terms of the remembering self we get a different story: the more money you have, the more satisfied you are.
01 Feb 2010    Source


Disagree
Experts In Economics


The Economist    Politics and Business Magazine
Mostly Disagree
...according to many surveys taken in rich countries [...] once a country has lifted itself out of poverty, further rises in income seem not to create a meaningful rise in the proportion of people who count themselves as happy. Since the 1950s, for example, the proportion of Americans who tell pollsters that they are “very happy” has stayed constant at around 30%, while the proportion who say that they are “not very happy” has barely fallen.
13 Jan 2005    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Does relative wealth make us happier than absolute wealth?
   Agree

Experts In Sociology


Glenn Firebaugh    Sociology Professor
Laura Tach    Sociologist
Disagree
In poor societies where individuals lack the necessary income to provide for their basic needs for food, shelter, and freedom from danger, an increase in income is likely to make people happier no matter how much their neighbors' incomes also increase. But once income becomes largely a status marker... Rich Americans tend to be happier than poor Americans, yet the average American is no happier now than three decades ago, when incomes were lower.
17 Jun 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Does relative wealth make us happier than absolute wealth?
   Agree

Experts In Religion


Gautama Buddha    Founder of Buddhism
Disagree
These are things that are the object of worldly interest, to be sensed, handled and tasted; these are the things that attract one, that bind one to the external world ... where, owing to the procreative force of lust, there arise all kinds of disaster, birth, sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, disease, old age, death. All these things concern worldly interests and enjoyment; they lie along the path of the philosophers, which is not the path of the Dharma [and therefore happiness].
Before 100 A.D.    Source


Experts In Media


Oprah Winfrey    Talk Show Host
Disagree
What I know for sure is that it's only when you make the process your goal that the big dream can follow. ...[However] your dream may have nothing to do with tangible prosperity and everything to do with creating a life filled with joy, one with no regrets and a clear conscience. I've learned that wealth is a tool that gives you choices, but it can't compensate for a life not fully lived and it certainly can't create a sense of peace within you.
01 Sep 2002    Source



Comments

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0 Points      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
Money can't make you happy, but it can remove sources of unhappiness, which will make you better off on average.


0 Points      Side Effect      08 May 2015      General Comment
::))))))))))))))))))))