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Thread: Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness (in America)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    ~snip

    ....five means by which to improve social trust: campaign finance reform, policies aimed at reducing income inequality (such as public financing of health), improved social relations between native born and immigrant Americans, working to move past the fear of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and improved access to high-quality education.
    What an amazing coincidence that those are the things at the top of the Trump "administration"s priority list!

    Aren't they?
    Everything stated in this message is to be considered my own opinion, and not an official representation of this forum, it's members, or staff. Actual mileage may vary. Price does not include tax, title, and license. Some assembly required. Each sold separately. Batteries not included. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. If conditions persist, contact a physician. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Keep in a cool dark place.


  2. #22

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    Money doesn't buy happiness at all.

    But is happiness material as the OP implies? Or statistics-wrapped psychological assessments as the report says?

    That's not what the founders meant when they wrote "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    Some say Jefferson replaced happiness for Locke's property. Why? Well, Jefferson was an Epicurean.

    Now some say Epicurus was concerned with pleasure, but that's not what he wrote in his Letter to Menoeceus:

    When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual lust, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is wisdom. Therefore wisdom is a more precious thing even than philosophy ; from it spring all the other virtues, for it teaches that we cannot live pleasantly without living wisely, honorably, and justly; nor live wisely, honorably, and justly without living pleasantly. For the virtues have grown into one with a pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from them.
    Jefferson in his Letter to William Short wrote:

    As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurian. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. Epictetus indeed, has given us what was good of the stoics; all beyond, of their dogmas, being hypocrisy and grimace. Their great crime was in their calumnies of Epicurus and misrepresentations of his doctrines; in which we lament to see the candid character of Cicero engaging as an accomplice. Diffuse, vapid, rhetorical, but enchanting. His prototype Plato, eloquent as himself, dealing out mysticisms incomprehensible to the human mind, has been deified by certain sects usurping the name of Christians; because, in his foggy conceptions, they found a basis of impenetrable darkness whereon to rear fabrications as delirious, of their own invention. These they fathered blasphemously on him whom they claimed as their founder, but who would disclaim them with the indignation which their caricatures of his religion so justly excite. Of Socrates we have nothing genuine but in the Memorabilia of Xenophon; for Plato makes him one of his Collocutors merely to cover his own whimsies under the mantle of his name; a liberty of which we are told Socrates himself complained. Seneca is indeed a fine moralist, disfiguring his work at times with some Stoicisms, and affecting too much of antithesis and point, yet giving us on the whole a great deal of sound and practical morality. But the greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man; outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up. Epictetus and Epicurus give laws for governing ourselves, Jesus a supplement of the duties and charities we owe to others....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Money doesn't buy happiness at all.

    But is happiness material as the OP implies? Or statistics-wrapped psychological assessments as the report says?

    That's not what the founders meant when they wrote "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    Some say Jefferson replaced happiness for Locke's property. Why? Well, Jefferson was an Epicurean.

    Now some say Epicurus was concerned with pleasure, but that's not what he wrote in his Letter to Menoeceus:



    Jefferson in his Letter to William Short wrote:
    People forget what money is since it veils barter so well. At its core money facilitates what is the foundation of our prosperity. Specialization. It lets you convert what you make cheaply into other things that would be very expensive for you to make. This actually does make you happy because you can eat, be clothed, be housed without which you'd be scrubbing the tundra for grubs to eat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    That's nice. Just stating the facts. We can discuss their interpretation tomorrow perhaps.

    Yes, places like Canada do have a different protocol. They don't import legions of unskilled, uneducated migrants. That would be insane yet you appear to think it's wise and just for the US.
    When did I say that? I have said that taking in a few refugees who are not males of a certain age should not be a problem. I have also said that getting rid of 11 million illegals is probably impossible and would likely result in adverse economic consequences. Shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped is generally useless. I have said that the employers of illegals should really be the target in order to really make a dent in illegal immigration. I have also said alternatively that if such labor is necessary, that it be made legal to employ foreigners on a temporary basis (nothwithstanding the obvious issues faced by Europe). I know very well what I have said on this forum.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Private Pickle View Post
    Happiness through governmental social change....

    Pass...
    "I want to be miserable and free"
    I have a big cook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    Do you really think that the following stats even begin to touch those in America? Toronto is just slightly larger than Chicago.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Toronto

    There is no society that is free of racism or bigotry. Canada does a generally better job of inclusiveness, but it's not perfect, particularly where its native population is concerned. You should also consider that the Canadian incarceration rate is 114 per 100,000 vs 693 per 100,000 in the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...rceration_rate
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”
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    The happiest countries all have small populations. Smallness tends to promote solidarity, intimacy, and democracy. Largeness tends to promote division, suspicion, and authoritarianism. The decline in happiness within the US is, I believe, a direct consequence of its increasingly centralized political system. There is simply no way for 320 million people to live happily and peacefully under a unitary polity. The "union" must be dissolved so that the disparate cultures and communities that comprise America can pursue their happiness and their destinies in their own way.
    Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
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    And no doubt Bethere will be happy to know that thirteen out of the fifteen happiest countries on that list come from Germanic backgrounds...
    Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
    --Immanuel Kant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    The happiest countries all have small populations. Smallness tends to promote solidarity, intimacy, and democracy. Largeness tends to promote division, suspicion, and authoritarianism. The decline in happiness within the US is, I believe, a direct consequence of its increasingly centralized political system. There is simply no way for 320 million people to live happily and peacefully under a unitary polity. The "union" must be dissolved so that the disparate cultures and communities that comprise America can pursue their happiness and their destinies in their own way.
    Small and relatively homogeneous.
    Alea iacta est

    Check out the blog.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Who View Post
    <snip>

    I would seem that the report concludes that the increasing divide between the haves and have-nots, perceived corruption in government and a decline in general trust in one another is making for an increasingly unhappy America.

    Suicide rates and drug and alcohol addictions (and attendant mortality) are on the rise among for middle-aged white, non-Hispanic men and women. They are falling in Nordic countries. It would also appear that America's war on terror is producing a very hostile "us vs them" mentality, which is exacerbated by "daily indignities of searches, frisking, body pat downs, orders barked at airports, and terrorist alerts" and declining belief in the government's justifications for military interventions. The last metric is described as "the severe deterioration of America’s educational system", rising tuition rates and declining student aid.
    What is happening, in my opinion, is depression that stems from a person thinking they are not getting what they are "supposed to have." That's an artificially induced feeling that comes from societal ideas that do not benefit the population. Our young are taught that they should achieve a certain standard of education and career success by a certain time in life, and if they don't make it, they feel badly.

    Yes, our educational system is a sham, but this unhappiness syndrome runs deeper.

    I read about a study once that followed a number of people who were in grips of financial down-spirals. For whatever reason, they were losing their homes, jobs, cars, declaring bankruptcy, and they were incredibly depressed. But, once they hit the financial bottom, things changed. Since there was no further to sink, they had only one direction to go -- up. And, for the majority, their attitudes turned around at that point. I remember thinking it was so odd that most of them were saying how much happier they were, now that they could refocus on their new lives. And, they came out of the financial hole. They had new goals. New hope. And, with that feeling of hope, comes happiness.
    “I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
    ~Leonardo da Vinci

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