The Frank article discusses the effects of inequality on the middle class, particularly centering on how their happiness and overall well-being is affected. They decide to use a previous works to measure and analyze the happiness of American society. They further examine the subjective well-being of individuals, which encompasses both happiness and health. They compared American society to countries around the world, and how happy we were in relationship. They found two empirical findings between the relationship of money and happiness: that when someone gets more money it does not seem to make a difference and happiness levels do increase when a person’s income level rises. Another important point that they make is that an increased income positively affects the subjective well-being. It is also suggested that a lower amount of inequality leads higher levels of happiness.
While reading the article I had to agree with the author’s research. I feel like our society has become increasingly individualistic in our ideals and policies, therefore the inequality in our society has drastically increased. They gave us the example of Scandinavia, and how the Danes are among the happiest people in the world. If you take a look at the policies they implement and their attitudes towards community, you see that they focus on the well-being of all not just the few. They have universal healthcare, whereas our society does not. Healthcare is a major issue for the middle class in our country, some would even go to the length of arguing that it is a right for all of us to have, yet we do not. Not being healthy significantly affects our society’s well-being. When there is a larger gap in income inequality, there are lower levels of happiness. Resources are unequally distributed in these areas. Therefore there are greater amounts of crime, corruption, and inequality.
The data reflected that a person’s income played a role in the happiness of an individual; that when a person’s income increased they became happier; however the happiness level would eventually become stagnant at a certain point. I feel like because we live in such a capitalistic society we will never fully feel completely happy. We give ourselves false hopes that once we make it to the next level in our lives that things will get better, and they do for a while, but then that next level just brings us more needs and wants.
The old saying goes: “Money can’t buy you happiness”; and I do not believe that it can. I do however believe that our society needs to change its attitude when it does come to the issue of money. The author conveyed that a lot had to do with the temperament of a person. That even poor people can be happy. Our society has become so reliant on materialistic things that we have forgotten the things that are really important. We should work towards helping our other fellow Americans, but we won’t. We are too worried about what that would mean for our wealth.