Why Money Can\'t Buy Happiness

For a background on the recent studies tying together economics and happiness, follow the links at The Austrian Economists.

What do we know or can we deduce about happiness?

First, happiness is a state of mind.

As such, neglecting the possibilities of paranormal abilities and some parts of religion, the state of happiness must logically be encoded and contained in the physical human brain.

It follows that while we may know little about the details of that encoding, we can be sure that both the encoding storage medium and the number of distinct states of happiness must be both finite and limited. This will be true whether we are talking about the quantum binary states of atoms, the left or right handedness of molecules, or chemical concentration levels, or something else entirely.

Already, we are able to reach one conclusion about the relationship between money and happiness. While money incomes can effectively be theoretically increased without limit, the state of happiness that may result is limited. This conclusion may be significant when trying to interpret survey results of happiness vs income or wealth.

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