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Happy Face Money

HAPPINES AND LIFE SATISFACTION - CONT'D

Greed and socialism

But what about greed then? We have stated many times that greed is the engine of free markets. Wouldn't this graph destroy this statement? If people become content then there is no reason to be greedy. This is true. But the reality is not that simple. There are a few points that we need to consider.

Every person has a different contention point. As such what may seem extremely greedy for some people may constitute a barely acceptable greed level for others.

Greed is in equilibrium with physical goods and services and they are mutually regulated. If we become more content then we will work less. If we work less we create less wealth. Less wealth implies less goods and services and this implies a lower well-being level which implies that we will be less content. If we are less content then we begin to desire things we don't have which would increase our greed which will push us to work harder and produce more.

In this sense, socialism is nefarious because it modifies this exquisitely regulated system by injecting artificial wealth into it (through taxing but mainly through borrowing which is nothing but stealing wealth from the future). Therefore they provide "free" wealth to people which helps them achieve their state of contentness and become less greedy. This eventually leads to less work for the people on "social services". This is the classic "why work if the government pays"? dilemma. However, on the other hand, people that do not qualify for this " government support" must work harder to try to achieve their contentness level because they must now do so for them and also for all those people on "support". To make matters even worse, socialism makes those workers to work even harder because they are destroying wealth which could be used as capital to produce more wealth and hence lower the workload of people and helping them achieve their contentness level.

Rich people

The Chinese have a saying: "To get rich is glorious!" (Deng Xiaoping). This is nonsense. Wealth has nothing to do with glory and everything to do with contentness. As such there will always be people that are good at business and have extremely high contentness levels. These people are not a statistical anomaly but they are simply a statistical reality (in statistical terms one would say that they are 3 Sigma or more from the normal). They are few but they are extremely good at what they do. As such, they become very rich. But this is not an anomaly from nature; it is just nature running its course. However, these people do not induce negative impacts on us, but all to the contrary. Without their skills, dedication and know-how we would all be poorer. Significantly poorer. This would make our achieving our state of contentness far more difficult. In a very real manner they are helping us to become happier. It is plain idiotic to tax these people with the intention of redistributing this "excess" wealth to make everybody "equal". This is nothing but sabotage. This wealth is not "excessive" because it is working for us. It is providing us with better salaries, goods and services. The more "excess" wealth these people have, the better off we all are and the sooner we will achieve our state of contentness.

FREEDOM IS THE WAY TO GO

One of the corollaries (related conclusions) of this type of research is the direction that the entire world is moving towards. Some time ago we have stated that contrary to popular belief (i.e. socialistic) the entire world is moving towards increased levels of Freedom, Security and Economy (see The Law of Political Systems Direction). The question that we will attempt to answer is a simple one: is there any relationship between wellbeing and freedom of choice? The short answer is YES! The higher the freedom of choice, the higher our wellbeing. This is exactly what the graph below shows.

Well-being Free Choice

Reference: Inglehart, Foa, Peterson, and Welzel (2008) – Development, Freedom, and Rising Happiness: A Global Perspective (1981–2007). In Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 4, 264–285.

Increased freedom gives us more choice. Increased security gives us more choice. Increased economic activity gives us more choice. Thus, more freedom, security and economic activity increase our wellbeing. If we are to further increase our freedom, security and economic activity from our current situation, there is only one possible direction: Libertarianism and its consequence the Free Market. This is so because all other political (and hence economic) theories have already had their run and are now exhausted. If we stick with them we can only stagnate (best case scenario) or worse, go backwards (as it is already happening).

It is for this reason that governments (and politicians) interfere with our progress and thus our wellbeing. We cannot have more freedom if politicians keep creating more rules and regulations that curtail our options. We cannot have more security if governments keep creating more dangerous situations such as wars, national policies, nationalistic goals, ethnic goals, religious preferences, synthetic and arbitrary moral or ethical impositions and so on. We cannot have better economic conditions if governments keep destroying current and future wealth through the unholy trinity of taxing, borrowing and printing. Our biggest barrier to a better future is indeed the state and our only way forward is political evolution expressed as a wilful disregard of government authority (see When Countries Dissolve).

CONCLUSION

Money does indeed help us along to achieve happiness. Of course, money is also helpful in achieving many other desirable outcomes such as longer, better lives. As such, anything that prevents us from becoming wealthier conspires against our happiness. Next time you see your politician du-jour coming up with yet another law, rule, regulation, guideline, edict, decree, finding, etc., you must ask yourself: "Will this increase our wealth or not? Will this increase our freedom or not?" We can guarantee that if you think it through carefully the answer cannot be other than NO! This makes it patently clear that they are in the way to your wealth and hence happiness. They are the ones systematically sabotaging your wellbeing. They are the ones to blame. Remember this and next time help yourself by just saying NO to voting (if you still need more motivation, please see Every Vote Discounts).

Unless you want to vote. In this case go ahead and vote. Fulfill your "civic duty". Just remember that when things don't change or get worse there will be nobody else to blame but yourself.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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