Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Realistbear

H P I And M E W And Refurbishing Houses Adds Nothing To Happiness

Recommended Posts

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/...2186765,00.html

The Times May 20, 2006

Music to the ears of a tax-happy and HPI drunken Chancellor

Gabriel Rozenberg, Personal Investor

Give up now. Struggling to choose the ideal investment portfolio to manage your savings? Don’t bother. Anxiously scanning the headlines as the FTSE sinks? Waste of time. Refurbishing your house to add value? Pointless. It probably won’t make you happier, and if it does, the effect will soon wear off. You may as well pack it in while the going’s good.
This was the message of a programme on BBC Two last Wednesday, The Happiness Formula. A succession of academics and psychologists lined up to assure us that, despite massive improvements in health, education, prosperity and so on over the past 50 years, our national level of happiness has not risen at all.
The Government should therefore end its obsession with raising economic growth and concentrate instead on increasing levels of happiness.

HPI and MEW appeals directly to the baser instinct of greed and Gordon's "Miracle Economy" has reaped what it has sown: debt and the misery that goes along with it. No wonder we are no happier with all our new debts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think happiness has been overshadowed with greed! When I was a kid, I could just have that one square of chocolate and that would be fine for the day. Nowadays people can't stop at one square, they have to have the whole bar ... and then another and another (and no I'm not just talking about Americans! :P ) It's got to the point now where greed has got so immense that people are starting to think of ways to intercept the chocolate bar lorry on it's way out of the factory! :ph34r:

It's amazing how people have become so obsessed with house prices in this country recently ... us here too! There's a whole world out there that a lot of people are going to regret missing one day!

Rant over ... and I promise to stop using food analagies in my posts today! Starting to get hungry again! :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the text in full; after reading RB's initial post I was rather surprised by the article's real message:

"Music to the ears of a tax-happy Chancellor

Gabriel Rozenberg, Personal Investor

Give up now. Struggling to choose the ideal investment portfolio to manage your savings? Don’t bother. Anxiously scanning the headlines as the FTSE sinks? Waste of time. Refurbishing your house to add value? Pointless. It probably won’t make you happier, and if it does, the effect will soon wear off. You may as well pack it in while the going’s good.

This was the message of a programme on BBC Two last Wednesday, The Happiness Formula. A succession of academics and psychologists lined up to assure us that, despite massive improvements in health, education, prosperity and so on over the past 50 years, our national level of happiness has not risen at all. The Government should therefore end its obsession with raising economic growth and concentrate instead on increasing levels of happiness.

Even by the BBC’s standards, this show had it in for the aspirational classes. Accumulating wealth was portrayed as a Neanderthal instinct: “Struggling with our shopping bags, we get the same thrill cavemen felt, returning from the hunt,” the voiceover intoned as primitives ran wild.

Lord Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics, argued that because relative wealth made poorer people unhappy, rich people should be taxed more. “The heavy hand of the State should be brought to bear,” he said. Professor Andrew Oswald, of Warwick University, called for Wednesdays to be abolished so that we could all have more free time — which would doubtless be ample compensation for a 20 per cent pay cut.

These arguments are either banal or sinister. Can money buy you happiness? Of course not — and no one suggests that it will. Family and friends are more valuable than anything we can purchase. Moreover, personal tragedies can befall anybody, rich or poor.

Yet despite all this, money is useful. It lets us provide better healthcare or education for our families and helps us to hold down homes near our friends and support our parents as they grow old. By saving wisely we take responsibility for ourselves. Money can also buy insurance against life’s pitfalls. Virtuous spending like this should not be belittled.

Also banal is the idea that we should aim for gross national happiness, rather than gross national product (GNP). In his book, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, Layard writes: “We need a revolution in government. Happiness should become the goal of policy.”

Well, maybe I’ve missed something, but I thought that happiness was the aim; that would be what all those government departments are for.

If the Government really did use GNP as its only yardstick, it would end all taxes, benefits and public services overnight. Millions would suffer, but there is no doubt that it would boost the economy. Does it really need to be pointed out that our Government, which grabs more than 40 per cent of our income to use as it sees fit, bears no resemblance to this ultra-libertarian picture? Raising the growth rate is certainly an aim of the Government (one which it is currently failing to achieve), but it is only a part of the picture.

Layard, who is much in vogue in Whitehall, turns sinister when he lauds high taxes for “holding us back from an even more fevered way of life”. In other words, if our taxes were cut, we might, heaven forbid, be so short-sighted as actually to work harder.

And why do we all have such a screwed-up set of priorities? Well, it’s all the fault of the economists. Perhaps because he is one himself, Layard believes that economists have vast, mystical powers to direct society: economists “have great public influence and have thus inevitably helped to promote the public esteem in which money is held”.

This is an injustice. People do not desire money because of some neo-Marxist false consciousness. Instead, they struggle constantly to provide the best standard of living they can for their families. Sometimes that encourages them to spend long hours at work; other times it leads them to give up work, or work part time. But no psychiatrist can make those decisions better than they can themselves. The Government should not try to outguess their choices.

So be wary of these arguments. Their only merit is to give Gordon Brown a fresh-sounding excuse to raise taxes. When academics and politicians lecture us on raising our level of happiness, we should all watch our wallets."

So the author's intention is to rubbish the whole argument. What he doesn't seem to have cottoned onto is the fact that to do all the things he has in mind, you have to earn one hell of a lot of money - far, far more than the vast majority will or can ever earn. So it's yet another case of I'm all right Jack from a well-paid journo and stuff the rest of you. Another t*ss*r who is incapable of thinking for himself and producing a reasoned response.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well in essence it's correct. money does not make you happy,good friends,neighbours family etc do.

however to suggest that people that CHOOSE to better themselves get clobbered with extra tax is pure Dennis healy"tax them till the pips squeak" lunacy.

get rid of the adverts on telly,change the property programmes to "fix your car for a tenner",and clobber ALL spongers and shirkers,chavs and toff tax evaders alike and you will have a happier society!!!!

Edited by oracle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.