Is Income a Life of Happiness?

Thursday, April 1, 2010 3:44 PM By Stephen J Christophers

I can agree we need an income to live and exists in all societies in some form, even under the most basic social structure, some foundation economics are present. It's a system that gives life a structure and people - lazy people - direction, and aids social progression in a linear stable fashion.

Nevertheless, the quality and happiness index in such societies seem lesser to a degree than more simple social groups that are generally geared towards relationships with stable roots and further personal freedoms of expression towards happiness rather than simply a level of economic based income. In systems such as the U.S. and U.K. for example, the need for higher incomes through inflation cycles, forming economic bubbles that deflate periodically. A game of simple capitalism, by-way of removing and divorcing us from - perceived happiness - relationships with objects we desire, people and personal freedoms we hold as bench marks. This gives relevance to the capitalist economic model, which presents "happiness" at a cost; a system in which the building of jobs and social status prevail, while at the same time placing a value on most everything in society not found to be growing in ones backyard. This become a driver for the system; thereby, isolating those outside of the system and vice-versa; and if outside of the system most generally adopted, those without a means to accessing it are inherently short changed on all aspects of social and financial well-being within it.

Moreover, we see people get in debt to their particular system: whether giving them cars, homes and a sense of security or driving them into extreme poverty, it is under social conditioning they suffer. There can be no clarity outside of their personally adopted model, or to a higher sense of moral value when one is in total belief of one particular system. This has the ability to estrange one from other ways of thinking, other people, ideas, sometimes children and family Perhaps real happiness is easy to avoid under such conditioning. Similarities can be found in religion – it’s a systemic conditioning of ones belief; an addiction to a personal or social model formed outside of subjective logic.

We have all seen poor people who work together and show genuine love towards one another having little more than the smiles on their faces and the bare essentials for existence, and living as their basic priority, seemingly ahead of everything else. This can be also said of wealthy families, as happiness is not to discriminate. So what is the common positive driver for their happiness?

There’s no easy path to this answer, it is hard to get people to "Care" if it goes against their belief system to do so. If there is no common belief system shared, a common focus is lost and therefore an ingredient to happiness with it . But, when there is conflict in society we tend to settle back into the ways of evolution; an animal instinct. I struggle with answers to this issue, and other questions, that relate to me personally... In reality, socialism is not the way forward as its system exploits and currupts; neither is capitalism, as it also suffocates and represses essential element at its extremes. However, to quote again Freud, " best society is a balance between want and repressions not a comfortable doctrine." But still, a lesson from history is that when the majority has had it with their exploitation they rise...or for worse, the exploited are just hoarded into an election. One of the fundamental control functions found to pacify modern society.

I do believe however, that whoever you are there is a society on earth where your particular disposition is valid and some type of harmony can be found. Nevertheless with the flattening of the world it is becoming difficult to find compromises within extremes. On a personal level, happiness above all is the ability to produce and be recognised for it - to be valued in society - but in a competitive EQ based model i find myself continuously lost in a sense people are happy to do with a false Happiness. Where trying to fit in becomes overshadowed by their true self. For me the right brain world is the focus of happiness not money or income. However, to focus my potential and use my extensive knowledge i require high-end technology which in turn boost my happiness index - being the product of a high education. But, for the more simple farmer, on a rice field in Cambodia - less is probably more. How we deal with such differences is often what brings us frustration and anger and adds to unhappiness. Simple problems often have simple solutions. Yet in the complex life the cost of those solutions become vastly exagirated.

So, is the answer mearly to simplify? I would argue not as i get great satisfaction from my complex life. I could never be happy with a simple life or a shallow outlook that suits a particular trend - income therefore becomes personally relative to happiness but shares a moral ground with freedom and access to a more meaningful life...more later.