Money DOES Buy Happiness, But Too Much Triggers Status Anxiety and the Sadness Just Returns

By Gary Cutlack on at

The University of Warwick has been tracking the happiness index of people in countries with rising wealth levels, suggesting that more money actually leads to fewer problems -- but once earnings rise above a certain level the greed urge kicks in and you start getting stressed that nothing's good enough.

The researchers suggest that people gradually get happier as they earn more and a nation's GDP per capita increases, which hits a sweet spot at around the £22k per year salary level. Go higher than that and the masses start thinking above their station in life, expecting bigger houses, better cars, one of those posh coffee machines, a power shower, a jetski, one of those taps that makes boiling water come out, abdominal liposuction and more, which sees happiness begin to erode back down again.

Dr Eugenio Proto, co-author of the report, said: "Any economy which gives its citizens lots of aspiration cannot truly be a bad economy, but this aspiration gap -- the difference between actual income and our desire for things like nicer homes and consumers goods -- eats away at levels of life satisfaction." [Independent]