The Illusion of Wealth
Wealth is often a factor people consider when being asked the ineffable question: What would make you happy? Many come to the (perhaps sensible) conclusion that if they only had a bit more money, they could buy all the things that would make their life more comfortable, exciting, and fulfilling. Of course, we live in a society that is built on trade, that is run by profits, and where once propaganda may have been solely the tool of governments, now every company employs it to sell you things you didn’t know you needed (and probably never did)!
Now, Of course, a certain threshold of wealth is needed to be able to cover the basics of human needs, but beyond this does an increase in wealth increase happiness? Numerous studies seem to have concluded that the benefits we receive from wealth falls off with diminishing returns. Once we hit that comfort threshold having more money doesn’t improve our overall happiness. Yet most of us have been so effectively brainwashed that this is the thing we continuously pursue, material things, mass produced products designed to give us a reason to have more money. Designer clothes with ridiculously high profit-margins only exist because our ravenous appetite has demanded the production of high-price goods that give us outlets for our money. “I’d rather cry in a Lamborghini” is often quoted to opponents of this world view. Are we really so self-deluded that we can’t see how little effect any of these trinkets of status we hoard have?