The Red Herring of Happiness
September 22, 2011 Behavior

There are some people who believe that there are limits to how much the receipt of additional income might be able to increase your level of happiness. I am not here to argue that. Rather, my thought for today is simpler: suppose you are one of these folks, do you also think that it would be nice if Americans had access to lower cost health care? Do you believe that the cost of college should be lower? Do you think that the American government spends too much on military related activities (over $1 trillion per year). If so, how then do you reconcile these two views? I suppose you might argue that these high costs only impact a certain class of people, but empirically this idea is not supported at all. Or maybe you suppose that these costs do impact all Americans, but savings on them could be directed only toward a certain class of people. Or is it something else?

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