The Economist's blog on Newsweek happiness

The Economist's Free Exchange blog publishes an excellent post about the bullshit that liberal arts graduates who found jobs as newswriters try to sell you in mainstream media - specifically it addresses the "Why money does not buy happiness" thesis that's frequently being sold. The Economist writes:
As Paul Ormerod and Helen Johns note in their outstanding and completely non-confused monograph, "Happiness, Economics, and Public Policy", the trend in average self-reported happiness correlates well with almost nothing. Increasing inequality, for example, has also done nothing to the happiness trend. (Why don't we hear more about this?) They find a weak statistically significant positive correlation with happiness and higher crime. Yeah, weird. They also note that the variance in average self-reported happiness is often greater within a given year than between years. This is all suggests that the time-series data on average self-reported happiness contain very little useful information about anything of interest.
Read the whole thing. It contains lots of other useful information.

In general, I have come to detest the editorial and writing population incumbent in most written media. They all too often come across as naive and simple-minded socialist idealists who are trying to sell people their own illusions about how the world should work. It's as if they see it as their mission to use their position as newswriters to "help make the world a better place" - except that they are making it much worse by perpetuating idiocy and delusion.


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