[FoRK] World Map of Happiness

Stephen D. Williams < sdw at lig.net > on > Mon Jul 31 08:01:07 PDT 2006

James Tauber wrote:
> On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 12:53:50 -0400, "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net>
> said:
>> What?  What idiot believes that capitalism leads to unhappy people, 
>> besides Marx?
> The rich tend to over-attribute their success to their own actions and
> the not-so-rich under-attribute it.
> The better correlated individual actions are to individual success in an
> economic system, the less happy the not-so-rich will be.
Maybe true, maybe not.  My sense is that below some threshold of basic 
needs, it tends to be very true, very much above and I think people are 
more generous with feelings and less negative.  This is probably 
qualified by the perceived amount of true meritocracy, although this 
probably often differs a lot from true merit.  For instance, few seem to 
begrudge success of sports or entertainment stars; most would like to 
emulate them, even the very poor.
> People tend to compare their lifestyle to richer people in the same
> country, not people in other countries or people living at different
> times. People aren't happy at how much better their lives are than
> people in the nineteenth century or people in third-world countries.
> They are unhappy that there are still some people in their own country
> doing better than them.
> James


swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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