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The Pursuit of Happiness

1. David G. Myers, in The Pursuit of Happiness, says in Chapter 2 that there is little, if any, relationship between wealth and happiness. In other words, being wealthy is no guarantee whatsoever that the wealthy individual will be happy.

Myers argues that although "nations' well-being differences correlate modestly with national affluence, . . . the link between national affluence and well-being isn't consistent" (35). Overall, those from rich and poor nations do not show great differences in life satisfaction, "warmth of spirit" and enjoying the company of other human beings (36).

Similarly, the richest people in any country are not necessarily the happiest. Neither are they necessarily the most unhappy, for money can bring less financial worry, obviously, more travel opportunities, etc., but this does not equate with happiness. Happiness is basically spiritual, or religious. I personally believe that if one is a Christian, he will always have in mind that God loves him and is on his side and will help him in his various enterprises, as long as they are for his own good and/or the good of others.

Also, increase in wealth does not mean increase in happiness: "our becoming much better-off over the last thirty years has not been accompanied by one iota on increased happiness and life satisfaction" (44).

These findings obviously stand in utter disagreement with the personal and social values upon which the United States and the "American Dream" are based. Above all, that Dream is based on the belief that any person can become rich in the United States through hard work, and that such wealth will bring happiness. The entire economy and the advertising industry which fuels the economy are rooted in the created desire for goods which are expected to brig such happiness to the consumer. On the other hand, the individual who does not have these goods which wealth provides is taught through advertising that he or she will be m...

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The Pursuit of Happiness. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 23:45, October 20, 2014, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1680550.html