"Money is overrated"-Coming to realize what really matters

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Mansewerz, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    I'm at a point in my life where it's a time of change, going to college next fall, deciding important life choices.

    And, i'm starting to realize more and more that money isn't that important. When I look back at all I have, I wonder if I really need all of it. I have a ps3 that I hardly ever play, for example. Plus, in psychology, I learned that Denmark is the happiest country in the world, and part of it is that they don't care as much for money. They work 37 hour work weeks, get more time with family, and are generally happier people.

    I always wanted to be that famous guy who became richer and had it all. But, I'm realizing that as long as I have strong relationships and can help others and enjoy my life, money is not that important.

    A great part of me now wants to go off to a country where I can live modestly, help people, and enjoy my life with family and tennis. The story below definitely opened my eyes:

    Sure, this is a simplistic look at it. But, does anyone else want to have a career that is fulfilling while living a modest life? Are material goods really that important?
     
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  2. norbac

    norbac Legend

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    The only important things in life are Frank Lampard, beers and lamps.
     
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  3. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I think you've got a good attitude. Money can come in handy, though, better to be "comfortable" than poor.
     
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  4. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Hahaha, loving it. Frank Lamppard?

    And, I agree, better to be comfortable. I'm talking more along the lines of being a teacher with a modest salary vs being a company executive or stock broker who makes much more money, but has a less fulfilling job.
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno.

    I used to make a lot of money in my job. I quit when we had our third kid.

    I think a lot about how life would be different if we hadn't had kids or so many kids. Or how much more money we would have if I had kept working.

    Then again, I am happy with things as they are.

    Maybe that means I have my answer?
     
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  6. SoBad

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    I understand where you’re coming from and you have a healthy attitude, but I am not sure your view is realistic. Your story positions money as a means to unnecessary luxuries, but don’t forget that money can also be the difference between life and death (of a condition that is expensive to cure), between freedom and (possibly wrongful) imprisonment, and more generally speaking can often cure petty sources of great misery. Money is not overrated – do not underestimate the power of money.
     
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  7. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    benjamin franklin said in hard times, you can only count on three things in life: an old wife, an old dog, and money.

    and someone else said everyone is your brother until your rent is due.
     
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  8. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Danes may claim not to care about money, but they can afford to -- the 2010 International Monetary Fund data lists Denmark as #16 out of 182 nations in per capita GDP. The study that declared Danes the happiest people in the world found Moldovans the least happy -- they were #132 in per capita GDP. Affluence predicts happiness better than any other single demographic variable.
     
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  9. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    I got hooked with your thread right away. I had the same thought some years ago. I have found the most important stuff is not what the "world" or the mercantillist society wants you to believe. Almost everything now is based on the economy. And even human relations are treated under such mercantillist values, where the idea is to win something in exchange of what you have to offer, turning yourself into a product. Sad pooh...
    Human experience has a lot more texture and depth to it, no wonder why there are so many mental illnesses and physical too! mind and body affect each other.

    Man, in order to make money looses his health, and to recover it looses his money. I don't remember where i heard that phrase, or read it, i'll check.

    Even your thoughts affect the world for better or for worse at every instant. Not just your thoughts, your emotions aswell have a snowball effect that in the end reaches you. That is why empires fall...

    What is important in life?

    Well, I think one important thing is love, but not love as a feeling but as an action, not something you do because you have to, but something you do in a productive way. Because in this societies the productive people are the ones that produce money, and that is a value most persue. The truth is, it won't make you happy. Happy people are portrayed everywhere as succesfull people, people with lots of stuff, that do lot of fun activities, people that are amused and entertained with varied things and activities. But they are actually being pasive about their goals, dreams, life, desires. We are being told what to like, do, and want. That is a pasive way of living.

    Another important thing can be satisfaction, but what produces satisfaction? That kind of feeling that won't go away when you achieve something and look for a new goal afterwards? A better car, a better house, a better job a fancy dinner, a gorgeous woman... everything will cause boredom in the end, at least once you get used to those things.
    So what gives you satisfaction?
    I believe a feeling of well being... but what is that?
    It is not a circumstance, it is a state. A state of mind and body wich can not be achieved easily or by chance, it has to be looked for and achieved through hard work. Not the kind of work that you get paid for, but personal work, that will in the end be beneficial to every sensitive being.

    I believe, meditation is a great way of influencing the circumstance, also become a loving person. One that loves, everything and everyone through the love to one self, love to life and love towards a couple. Hell, love towards your profession, love to tennis. Not a corny hollywood style kind of love, that is not love. I believe we live in a world where many things are disguised as love, as manipulation or guilt, posesiveness and a variety of other neurotic behaviors.

    Said this, its not by choice that we are so loveless, it is by our circumstance we remain on ignorance of the choices we have and remain this way.

    Same with compassion.

    It is not a fight against those with power, its a search of everyone's humanity within your own humanity.
     
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  10. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    applying this to tennis, it would be like always training and always trying to get the gear right, and never ever learn to enjoy the game and just play.

    Just live, without fear and without being reckless
     
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  11. Steady Eddy

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    I think the decision to work in education might definitely be a good one for you. Also, the notion that teacher's live in poverty is not true. Their work hours, job security, and benefits make it one of the more preferable industries to work in, IMO.

    I get the point of the story about the Mexican fisherman. But all sorts of people want more money, and it's not just because they're greedy. Just maintaining: your body, your car and your house is pretty expensive right there. We human beings are pretty high maintenance. Living in a good, safe neighborhood, seeing the doctor/dentist, and paying the insurance on, you, your car, your house, already you need all this money. The idea that people want a high income just to buy lots of "stuff" at stores isn't accurate. Past a certain point, sure, what do people want with more money? But as modern people there's lots of stuff we believe now to be a right. Things like cell phones, internet access, and health care. (In fact, some political groups maintain that health care is a right!) I'm just saying it's easy to ridicule "materialism" without realizing how many material things we ALL want and value.
     
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  12. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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  13. Kobble

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    Money is overrated. The really bad part is working hard for it, and sacrificing fun and dreams for stability. Money isn't that hard to get. At least enough to buy cool cars and a good house isn't. Basically, it is a medical degree away. The problem comes in the reality that you will face sick people all day long, and many get burned out doing something boring for a big check. That is why things like being a tennis pro or golfer are so desired. You get to make 6 figures hitting balls and getting a tan around the world, sign autographs, and have girls at your disposal in your most green years. By the time this gets boring (27 years old plus), you will be doing your fairwell tour and preparing for retirement. The other way, you will be grinding all those joyful years away, and then when you are burned out you finally get a good job and hope you can have some fun before the gray hairs set in.

    If you are asking me what is the most important, I will say adventure. Problem is, most people have another mouth to feed when they acquire the means to have some. Then, guilt holds you back because you worry about getting killed when people depend on you.

    I think the original poster is smart for trying to find a good society to live in. U.S. is losing its allure.
     
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  14. JustBob

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    "With the extra money, you can pay another Mexican to fish in your place and spend all your time with your family and friend's."

    Take that Mr. MBA from Harvard! :)
     
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  15. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    When you make money, put most of it away in savings and don't blow it. Materialism seduces many people into a life of financial shackles and thus oppression. Hope you're strong enough to resist it.
     
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  16. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    nice story but in the real world, some poor mexicans would risk their lives to cross the border and make money -- some don't make it.
     
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  17. ProgressoR

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    Just be careful, I know plenty of teachers who went into it with great motivating reasons and ended up being completely demotivated by the part that is not teaching - planning, homework, meetings, management.

    I agree there can come a part in life when you feel you might want to leave a certain job (well paying or not) and leave it all behind and lead a simple fulfilling life, but think about it. That is possibly due to YOU, just being unable to find your own happiness. Instead of blaming everything else and hiding, make the change, make your environment what you want it to be.

    One thing you can be sure of, there are LOTS of people feeling like this. Use it. Bring them together, work together, for the change you feel is needed.

    Dont mean to be judgmental on the OP or anyone, just me saying stuff.
     
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  18. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    salsainglesa:
    You mean...capitalist?

    Mercantilism is the belief that a country will be self-reliant, not trade with any other countries and only export goods rather than import them so the people don't have to have their economy affected by other countries.

    The flaw with this was that although it is possible, as population grows it becomes more difficult to fend for everybody. Also, economically look at it this way:

    I work 8 hours a day to produce food that I eat. It's split between farming bushels of wheat, or bushels of corn. Each hour that I spend farming bushels of wheat, is an hour I lose for farming bushels of corn.

    If I use all 8 hours for bushels of wheat, I can get 24 of them. If I spend all of that time on bushels of corn, I get 8 bushels (negative slope of 3 on a graph because for each bushel of corn I grow, I lose 3 bushels of wheat).

    Now, my good friend Manny farms the same things. He eight hours, Manny gets 36 bushels of wheat in 8 hours and he can get 36 bushels of corn in the same amount of time if he gives up farming the wheat (and this slope is -1).

    Manny makes more than me clearly, but he should trade. Why? Because when they both produce a total of 33 bushels of wheat (My 15 and Manny's 18 ) and 21 bushels of corn (My 3, Manny's 18 ).

    If I give my whole 8 hours to farming bushels of wheat, then I make 24 (as previously stated above) and if Manny were to spend 2 more hours farming corn, Manny gets 12 bushels of wheat and 24 bushels of corn.

    Adding all that together, we get a total of 36 bushels of wheat (3 more than before) and 24 fish (3 more than before). With this, both I and Manny increase consumption by 1.5 bushels of wheat, and 1.5 bushels of corn (because for 3 more productions of each, Manny gave up 2 hours).

    Hence, Capitalism is greater in the fact that all countries that trade with each other will reap the many benefits. If there's a disaster of some tragic sort (earthquake, flood, tsunami, etc.), then we're encouraged to help each other through alliances to bring back the benefits.

    Too Long;Didn't Read - Salsainglesa, your belief of mercantilism is incorrect.

    Where? God or my country of residence never told me what to like, do, and want. China does, but here I chose to play Tennis because I like it, because I wanted to. Wha - what is this? I don't even. ._.
    =================================================
    Also, a problem I see here is the word 'work.'

    I'm doing what I want (small internship at a medical facility for my Biochemistry degree) and so I don't really "work" but more or less have fun. I have fun 3 hours a day Mon - Thu (sometimes Tuesdays off) and get 4k in USD. This is why I have so much time for Tennis, recently broke it off with my girlfriend, but there are many fish in the sea -- as long as the Mexican fisherman don't get them all...

    See what I did there? Anyways...
    =================================================
    The real question is -- let's say I want that fish from the fisherman because the fish I catch taste like $%!&, so what would I trade? Maybe he'll give it to me for free because he's a nice guy and spend like 10 more minutes getting a fish for me.

    But then, everybody wants that fish (which is food, and therefore a necessity by the way) because he catches the best, tastiest fish. He's going to run out of time and what does he get out of it other than fatigue?
     
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  19. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    My view is that you are taking a myopic view on the subject. Yes, people in wealthier countries will generally rate themselves as being happier in polls, but the reasons are more nuanced than you explain.

    1) The first issue is self-perception, and Danes generally perceive themselves as happy. When answering poll questions, it is likely that people will answer according to their conditioned responses.

    2) Among affluent countries, studies show Danes to be happier than most countries with equally high per capita GDP and a greater inequality in distribution.

    3) The culture in Denmark encourages a comfortable work environment and supports the raising of children in a positive way to a much greater degree than the U.S. allows. By this, I mean that a greater percentage of the budget is allocated to schools, health care, and programs that improve the quality of life.

    4) I have spent much time in the U.S., Russia, Denmark, and Sweden. I have also travelled to many other countries. My girlfriend is Danish. My take is that the easy going, friendly, progressive (regarding things like women's rights and environmental issues), and rational approach to building a society is a part of why Danes say they are happy.

    That being said, Danes would probably rate themselves quite a bit lower on the happiness scale right now than the would during late spring or summer. The long winter can take its toll on moods.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
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  20. Janne

    Janne Semi-Pro

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    Actually, a recent study made by OECD ("Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers") reports that Denmark has the highest amount of people who cite psychological problems as reasons for why they can't work. They're simply burned out. These statistics deal with people from the ages of 20 to 64. Here's the list:

    1. Danmark - 48 %.
    2. Schweiz - 42 %.
    3. Sverige - 39 %.
    4. Nederländerna - 38 %.
    5. Tyskland - 36 %.
    6. Storbritannien - 34 %.
    7. Finland - 32 %.
    8. Belgien - 31 %.
    9. USA - 30 %.
    10. Österrike - 28 %.
    11. Nya Zeeland - 27 %.
    12. Norge - 26 %.
    13. Australien - 25 %.
    14. Kanada - 22 %.
    15. Polen - 18 %.
    16. Tjeckien - 11 %.

    I think it's normal for people of our age to go through this phase where we come to realise that money isn't everything. But I wouldn't go so far as to call it overrated. A life where you don't have to be afraid that any unexpected expense may put you homeless is never overrated. I'm definitely not arguing that money is everything, because it's not: a happy, secure and comfortable life is much more important. But money really has this magical power of making that life come true.
     
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  21. PCXL-Fan

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    You can't be happy about having to struggle with finding good food and unavoidably faced with worry constantly day in and out about the future for yourself and your children. Gdp is an indicator of national wealth. Rampant national poverty generally lead not only to social discord and crime but also to impoverished governments, which leads to corrupt leaders and underpayed police which leads to corrupt police.

    Whether you can afford the latest non-essentials (i don't consider good quality food and relative future security a non-essential btw) affording large amounts of nonessentials is probably not a great indicator of happiness. A recent captain obvious study was done showing no long term benefit of non-essential material items towards happiness.
    Maybe Timmy's parents purchased him a ps3 and a big screen tv for christmas, but those goods benefit on happiness are only short term.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
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  22. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Boobies > Money

    Health < Boobies

    Good serve > Boobies

    Loyal Wife < Boobies

    Hot wife ± Boobies

    Psych degree < Boobies

    Friends < Boobies

    Loyal dog > Boobies

    Boobies > Cheeseburgers

    Stay in college. Stay away from da booby.
     
    #22
  23. stanton warrior

    stanton warrior Rookie

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with the bold part!
    Then again I play on clay... :)
     
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  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Denmark is also one of the richest countries in the world. maybe they don't care about money because they have enough.

    People that have enough money don't need to worry about it. whether you make 70K or 80K a year is no big difference in life quality.

    If you have a high life standard it's easy to say "I don't care about money-I just want health and friends).

    However if you are poor and at the end of the money there is still some month left:D it will be a big worry. this is already true in the rich countries (a single mom that doesn't make much money for example) and even moreso in third world countries.

    the richer you get the less money is important for happyness. I would say wealthy people that don't care about money ar happier than wealthy people that chase for more money, have an extremely luxory life and define themselves through their wealth.

    However for poor people the life standard is very important because it can make the difference between having food on the table and not having it in extreme cases.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
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  25. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    What you are beginning to understand is called the Happiness Curve, AKA the Fulfillment Curve. It measures fulfillment on the Y axis and consumption on the X axis. See here for more info.

    Just be careful not to let too many people realize that what we really seek as humans is not more stuff, but better relationships. Those can't be bought. However, the moment we start cherishing relationships instaed of stuff and stop our feverish, selfish overconsumption the entire world economic system will crash and plunge us into a life much like that of your mexican protagonist. And, we'll probably have to live in a world with a clean environment, too. Who wants that crap?
     
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  26. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    'The great source of both the misery and the disorders of human life, seems to arisen from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another.. Some of those situations , no doubt ,deserved to be prefered than others, BUT NONE of them deserved to be persued with that passionate ardour that which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice, or to corrupt the future tranquility of our mind, either by shame from the rememberance of our own folly or by remorse of the horror of our own injustice'


    Why are we happy?Check this Talk at ted.com:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
     
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  27. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    My 5 cents:I have been to Denmark many times and the people there are nice but quite
    wellinformed so they are a bit cynical.
    We in the US are in general comparatively mis and disinformed which leads us to think things are jolly and therefore we are more silly perhaps. Or manipulative.

    Just my nickel 4 ya.
     
    #27
  28. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    getbettererI was refering to mercantilism as trade or comerce only in a mostly primitive way. But sure capitalism is more accurate, thank you for the correction. The idea being that treating human relations as investments and that you earn something out of other people is basically a fallacy.

    In theory capitalism works, the problem is that there has been abusive practices all over, and the developed contries take advantage of their underdeveloped counterparts. The abuses go beyond that, since the rich get richer and the poor get poorer even within this societies.
    Also food is not the only things produced, if it were, it could work better.

    Regarding what people are told to like is a management of their aspirations and expectations, since we grow in a society wich molds our desires since we are very little, its quite evident in the growing numbers of people with eating dissorders and addictions and mental diseases. Its more subtle (but not by much) in the material things people wish for. And also about the ideas we build in our minds about what life should be. We are fed the illusion of freedom, but we are actually part of a well ingrained machine of production.

    The thing is dehumanization is all over, abuse and exploitation perpetuated actively and with a great degree of unconsciosness by the one's with power, and pasively by the rest.
     
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  29. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    #29
  30. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    Steady,

    I know you are a retired teacher but you and Mansewerz should be informed. This is about to change as school teachers are under attack in both Ohio and Wisconsin, and soon to be in other states too. They are looking to strip teachers of their benefits, job security, etc.

    If I had known 20 years ago that teachers would be the enemy of my state, I would've chosen a different field. I might still choose a different field and make a career change.

    Mansewerz,
    I like they way you think and do not disagree. I'd just go into whatever field you choose with an exit plan if it doesn't workout. Don't place all of your eggs in one basket!
     
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  31. Manus Domini

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    OP, money is definately overrated. But it is necessary, unfortunately. :(

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    oK, good. i cant see which one you mean .. 'mathieu riccard´doesnt show result on that site, explain thanks.
     
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  33. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    #33
  34. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Bulgakov
    We've been to Denmark, found that people live quite comfortably with little in the way of material wants. Of course there are people in the world with the same income who may be less happy -- neither I nor anyone else is suggesting it's the ONLY factor. But it may be the most predictive factor.
     
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  35. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    isn't Denmark all like similar socioeconomic class too? So both the rich and the poor are far closer to middle class than in America?
     
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  36. VaththalKuzhambu

    VaththalKuzhambu Rookie

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    Denmark, happiness, alcohol, sex and drugs. Which is the dependent variable and which are the predictors?
     
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  37. PCXL-Fan

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    Your wording of "predictive factors" speaks to using studies and data analysis to base findings. You don't need to stick to the limited confines of a study to understand the world and how things work, and see why where when and how income plays a role and to what extent they do. Common sense.
     
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  38. Manus Domini

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    I thought that was Holland?
     
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  39. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    They have some similarities but are 2 different nations nevertheless.
     
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  40. stanton warrior

    stanton warrior Rookie

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    So true...!
     
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  41. theyhatethecans

    theyhatethecans New User

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    Money isn't overrated but living above your means certainly is. I hope to teach my kids that they can lead whatever lives they would like as long as they spend less than they pull in. If that means kayak instructor or tennis bum, you can live a fun satisfying life doing these things on very little money (while saving). Now, when you make certain choices, such as getting a spouse or having kids, that's when the money thing becomes necessary, so if you see that in your future, try to build a career (and you can really enjoy your life while having a career by playing tennis 3 times a week or basically by finding fun things to do away from work - seems obvious but so many people don't do it).
     
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  42. VaththalKuzhambu

    VaththalKuzhambu Rookie

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    Bob Dylan: A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.
     
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  43. jmverdugo

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    In my opinion is all about Quality of Life and what you consider your basic needs, the less you need the less money is going to be a factor, but it is always a factor.
     
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  44. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    If the rich get richer, does it necessarily follow that the poor get poorer? It sounds like it should follow, but that's only if we assume that the economy is a zero-sum game. Another view is, that a rising tide, raises all boats.

    Empirically, we know that two of the poorest nations, with some of the largest populations, China and India, have grown their economies enormously over the last 30 years. Many people there are still very poor, but in a relative way, they have improved economically. How did this happen if the poor only get more poor?

    Domestically, things have changed alot in the U.S. As of 1970, only 10% of Americans had ever been on a plane. In the 60's, one car families thought they were affluent and central air conditioning was very rare. Now, even poor families spend $150 a month on media: cell phones, cable TV, etc. Those are services that didn't even exist 40 years ago. Nowadays, a family considered poor might have two cars, cable TV, air-conditioning and cell phones. Maybe you're right to feel that they should have more, but it's wrong to say that they have less than they did earlier.

    Capitalism isn't perfect, but it seems to work very well. I think much of the world still lives in abject poverty because of corrupt dictators who keep their economy in ruins.
     
    #44
  45. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    Salsainglesa:
    *facepalm*

    Did you read through my entire post? ._.
     
    #45
  46. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    It seems to me that capitalism, although far from perfect, was the best system to solve the world's production problems. But today we don't have a problem of producing enough goods, we have the problem of too many goods and not enough consumption. This is where I think capitalism doesn't work that well, when there is abundance. We need a "next generation" economic system that goes beyond delivering abundance and starts to deliver quality of life.

    So, socialism and capitalism both can't deliver abundance and quality of life together, therefore, we need to stop looking left or right and start looking ahead.
     
    #46
  47. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    KenC:
    What is this? I don't even...

    There's a reason why we have TARIFFS which are still used today worldwide.
     
    #47
  48. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Why do *we* have tariffs?

    Anyway, to contribute to the OP, the correct answer is:

    "Moderation in all things"
     
    #48
  49. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    "Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness". The Founding Fathers didn't think so either :)
     
    #49
  50. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    Feeling part of a whole certainly changes how the worls is percieved. I liked the graph and the approach aswell.

    http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/trade
     
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