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Money myth

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 03-12-2003 11:08 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4619934,00.html

quote:
Lord (Richard) Layard, the LSE's director of the centre for economic performance, has this week delivered three startling lectures which question the supremacy of economics. It doesn't work. Economies grow, GDP swells, but once above abject poverty, it makes no difference to citizens' well-being. What is all this extra money for if it is now proved beyond doubt not to deliver greater happiness, nationally or individually? Happiness has not risen in western nations in the last 50 years, despite massive increases in wealth.

This sounds like the stuff of vicars, Greens and prophets of doom with sandwich boards in Oxford Street. Yes, we've considered the lilies of the field while getting on down to Dixons, humming "money can't buy me love" all the way to the bank. Retail therapy feels good. So most of serious politics, and thus our national life, revolves around cash, its getting and spending.

Layard is not the first to say this: there is a growing new scientific movement studying happiness. Daniel Kahneman, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for economics - yes, economics - is best known for his work on hedonic psychology. Suddenly the big question is being asked by those who spent their lives on making and measuring money: what's it all for?




This study focuses on Europe but I think it resonates more for America. I suspect one factor for the focus of money is also that we no longer feel like we have power in any other area. I do not think however that we should just shrug our shoulders as that is what those in power want us to do.

[This message has been edited by Brad (03-12-2003 11:20 PM).]

Robtm1965
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since 08-20-2002
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1 posted 03-13-2003 07:03 AM       View Profile for Robtm1965   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robtm1965

"Suddenly the big question is being asked by those who spent their lives on making and measuring money: what's it all for?"

>>> Money is to “civilised” man what a large wooden club was to prehistoric man.
Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
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Michigan, US


2 posted 03-13-2003 12:10 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Wish I had more time to address this. Lacking that, I'll simply suggest they get a psychologist or two on the team to replace some economists. Someone, then, might have actually heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Money, though not found on Maslow's chart, is simply a tool that can be used to help us gratify "some" of the lower-level needs. Like any tool, it can be used wisely or foolishly, and like most tools, it is limited in scope. Once you're half-way up the hierarchy, I suspect it has pretty much lost its usefulness.

And, Brad, I REALLY wish I had time to discuss the perceived lack of power you cite in society. You've alluded to it in a number of threads, and I just don't see it. Are you talking about a specific (and small) group? Or are you really talking about a lack of patience?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 03-13-2003 03:36 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm talking about what people say. When you ask most people why they don't vote, they do not say, "I can't be bothered," they usually say, "Because it doesn't do anything."

I see it as a two-fold process and patience is certainly a part of it, you go into a rant about something, get it out, and then like the nun-priest in Chaucer, look around, looking a little embarrassed. You then shrug your shoulders or make some other comment roughly equivalent to that.

To some extent, as Nakdthoughts pointed out, this is a matter of me reading too literally into what people say. Yet, I still think certain speech patterns are evolve for a reason.

The second part, however, is much more subtle. There is, I think, a certain contradiction at work. Specifically, you have the idea of independence on one hand as a kind of power, but on the other, people don't acknowledge the power one feels when people are doing things for you. There is power in not having responsibility. It isn't talked about all that much, but I think the resentment is still there.  

We, meaning expatriates, have always complained about the draconian methods of schooling in S. Korea and Japan, but what's the biggest question American teens ask except for "What do I want to do?"

All too often, I don't think they are properly equipped to answer that.

Much, much more of course, but I can wait until you have the time.

 
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