This for a country’s happiness and conversely the

This paper reviews how psychologists and economists agree upon the fact that money plays a significant role in our everyday lives. However, this ‘role’ in which it plays has been argued to have little to no effect on our everyday happiness. The paper uses statistics and research to examine the ethics of the relationship between economics and emotion. The backdrop between the two is dynamically important especially when applied to the everyday lives of people. This ethical consideration is something that families, professionals, and people in poverty should take under their wing as it helps us realize that perhaps we don’t need money to be content in our lifetime.


This is exemplified by the fact that even societies wealthiest people can bear the burden of unhappiness. This can be reflected in non-monetary, yet equally as important concerns such as fear of isolation, anxiety over careers and families or even uncertainty in relationships. Data has shown us that money can buy happiness in spite of such apprehensions. For this reason, I conclude that the most riveting types of pleasure and joy come from one’s internal satisfaction than it does by money.

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Can money actually buy happiness? The answer to this question is rooted in the depths of philosophical thought and theory. Some would argue that money is essential in order to live a carefree life, others, however, take a different approach and are content with only those goods they need to survive. I believe that money does not buy happiness, but it’s the experiences that we seek out. Happiness is not easy, you may feel joyful in the moment but more often than not the elated feeling will wear off. You could buy all the things in the world and still be lonesome and unhappy. When analyzing general opinions of the population at large, a graph of statistics shows that people who make $15,000 annually, are just as gratified as people who earn $50,00 annually. Furthermore, this source also depicts a world map which represents the color red for a country’s happiness and conversely the color yellow for a country which is unhappy. In this statistic, North America is red. This shows the high levels of happiness and satisfaction across the continent, however, it begs the question; is North America as a whole considered to be wealthy or as a society have we learned to conflate these two issues? (Time, Money, and Well-Being, 2009).

Living a happy life is not as hard when you have all the basic tendencies to live a comfortable life. When it comes to money, people believe that it will solve all their problems, however, money is limited and happiness is extended. Miller argues that “Once individuals have the necessities of life and are not extremely poor, then income does not seem to make a difference in happiness” (Miller, 2001). This view is significant as it exemplifies that happiness does, in fact, ware off eventually. Once one achieves a reasonable standard of life, happiness can, in turn, be called an “external source of satisfaction”. (Henagar, 2017). Money is the top cause of stress in America, which affects the mental health of one’s self. 64% of Americans are thought to be stressed because of personal finances. One’s physical state of self is also affected because by the high and ever-growing rates of health insurance and care (Bethune, 2015). This is relevant to the field of psychology because it handles how we as people are affected psychologically and how we come apart from money and our happiness.

One limitation that arises when researching this topic, is the level of controversy it retains. Scholars remain divided as to the correlation between monetary wealth and happiness – this is perhaps because happiness can never truly be measured and wealth will always be relative. For this reason, statistics and data will never truly be reflective of the population at large.

If one were to show from 2016 and upwards, it would help with what the issue is today, instead of 4 years ago.  Money is indeed an essential need to live but not necessarily needed for external uses (Miller, 2001). Going off of what Miller had to say, American Psychological Association states that, “Money leads to autonomy but it does not add to well-being or happiness” (Fischer, 2011). Although money holds a lot of power, it is not enough to be tilted as “The Cure for Happiness”, the memories you share with your family and content you have in your life is never primarily based on money.

While in the United States, money is a big factor, in Denmark it isn’t whatsoever. Denmark is ranked the happiest nation on Earth. They are fulfilled and overjoyed with self-satisfaction, the reason for this is because the happiness levels of the poorest in Denmark are as equal as the happiness of the richest in the United States. Christensen states that about two-thirds of the Danish population are satisfied with their lives, with numerous amounts of surveys having been done. Cross-national studies show that their economy and democracy corresponds with high levels of well-being. Denmark is ranked number one for the Gini Index; a measure of income equality (Christensen, 2006).

The equivalence of money and happiness can be applied to those who live in poverty. Those who are in poverty, find happiness from simple pleasures such as a sterile environment, food on their plate or a warm shelter (Miller, 2001). In contrast, celebrities who are known to possess fame and fortune can still be lonesome and depressed. For example, Marilyn Monroe had everything, she had the fame, the voice, the talent, the love etc. She was known as the star of her generation, overtime this level of stardom and fame began to decline. Later on, reports stated that her death was ruled a suicide from an overdose of chloral hydrate and barbiturates (Lathan, 2009). The reason her death is important is that it reflects the prime example of what this paper has sought to demonstrate; that you can be rich and have both money and status – but at the end of the day, none of that is enough if you aren’t happy. This can affect the way individuals, families, and societies view life and how they interact with it. Psychiatrists deal with this everyday handling the stress and depression of those who are depressed and those who think money can buy them happiness. It is important to understand the underlying meaning of psychological feelings and how psychologists are always trying to find different reasons for depression and why people are stressed economically (Bethune, 2015).

In conclusion, this essay has argued that money does not buy happiness unless you associate happiness with the basic essentials needed to survive, such as those who struggle to make ends meet. Happiness can be found everywhere and every day, being rich certainly doesn’t always mean you are going to be happy. Research has provided that money does not equate to the happiness of one’s self, a view which this paper sought to demonstrate. However, I was left to wonder, why people think that money buys happiness? And why do people look to materialistic items to find happiness, instead of the beauty of simple things? Further research should be conducted to show what pleases people most in their everyday lives – this should then be applied to our societies teachings of happiness. On a final note, American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson beautifully captures the essence of this paper; he stated that “Money often costs too much” – I believe the cost he is referring to is happiness.


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