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To what extent does wealth equate with happiness - Essay Example

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Extent to which Wealth Equates with Happiness Introduction In this modern society, people have always associated happiness with the amount of money earned. Many people think that those who earn more money are generally happier. According to some economists, this is true but others have refuted the claim suggesting that there are other factors to consider (Roberts, 2011)…
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To what extent does wealth equate with happiness

Download file to see previous pages... This was considered after recognizing that personal happiness has not increased in the Western countries regardless of the growth experienced in economic wealth (Penec, 2008:18). Brandon Keim noticed the same trend in China, where the Chinese have not achieved any life satisfaction from the two decades of speedy economic growth. The wealthy people are a bit happier than before, the middle class have not had any changes while life satisfaction for the poor has decreased sharply. This indicates flaws in the conventional system used to examine life satisfaction and happiness. Keim refers to a research conducted by Easterlin, an economist, who discovered that money only created happiness to a certain degree after which, people returned to the usual. Easterlin concluded that money could not buy happiness because after some crucial needs are met, life satisfaction begins to decline with increasing income. Of course, many theorists disapproved this theory (Keim, 2012). Domestic product increased by four times but surveys conducted in China showed a decrease in personal satisfaction. Could Easternlin’s theory or paradox be right after all? The wealth in China seems to be concentrated among the few wealthiest people, therefore, the surveys could have indicated just how much the Chinese people resent inequality. However, Penec’s article shows that money increases individual happiness but when the entire society becomes wealthy, people do not feel prosperous. People feel happy after they achieve a certain financial status but they get used to it and take it for granted. Other factors also play a role in an individual’s happiness, for example, type of job, stress levels, and environment factors (Penec, 2008:18). An article on The Economist, a weekly newspaper, analysed the situation in China indicating gain that the Chinese masses are not happy with their situation. In ancient China, Chinese leaders ruled by ensuring that their subjects were happy. This is not the case with the country experiencing over five hundred protests every day. This shows that the people are not happy despite the immense economic success that China enjoys today. The main problem is the gap created between the wealthy and the poor, which has resulted to inequality among Chinese citizens where the poor are in a struggling situation while the wealthy decide on the country’s economy. The article tries to show that the people’s happiness does not depend entirely on a rapid economic growth but relies on proper distribution of a country’s expanding wealth (The Economist, 2012). Tim Weber, an editor, claims that there is a research that shows that money makes people happier. The only problem is that economists are finding it hard to describe happiness, therefore, making it hard to measure it. Weber notes that a high gross domestic product translates to a lower chid morality, better education, and better quality of life. These are some of the factors that economists measure when they explain happiness. Weber writes that though an individual can earn more money than everyone else, some factors such as education, literacy, life’s longevity, and health, can only reach to a certain level, therefore, an economist’s happiness cannot exceed a certain level. Weber also indicates that happiness is subjective meaning that people have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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