Happiness
Table of Contents

Of all the things that we should care about, happiness is often the least considered when policy is concerned.

When have you ever heard this posed: Lowering the speed limit might reduce the number of fatalities, but how does it affect the happiness of drivers? I'm suggesting we do raise the speed limit, but it's not one of the factors. I guarantee you factors like traffic flow, enforcement, cash flow, safety… all come into discussion…but never happiness.

It is then no surprise when certain studies conclude that conservatives are actually happier than liberals. //www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022202012.html

If all you needed for happiness is safety, security, and good health then it would be very easy to produce. Indeed, what they have actually found is once you have a minimum of these, you don't get much happier having more. Sure, if you're starving or don't have a roof over your head, you're going to be unhappy. yet, even living on welfare in Canada or the USA, people just don't have that problem. I'll try and find the stats, but I think the level at which more money doesn't seem to increase happiness is around $15000 for a family of 4. Yeah! Let that sink in.

So what does create happiness? A purpose in life, being satisfied with your work, having loved ones in your life to care for you and for you to care for them…

So while liberals concern themselves primarily with material goods, they will never be happy.
I think this quote from the above article sums it up.

"Begin with a paradox: Conservatives are happier than liberals because they are more pessimistic. Conservatives think the Book of Job got it right ("Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward"), as did Adam Smith ("There is a great deal of ruin in a nation"). Conservatives understand that society in its complexity resembles a giant Calder mobile — touch it here and things jiggle there, and there, and way over there. Hence conservatives acknowledge the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is: The unintended consequences of bold government undertakings are apt to be larger than, and contrary to, the intended ones.
"Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised — they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong, they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes — government — they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity — it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness."

The key here is of course that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. Liberals blame the world for all ills. How can you be happy thinking everything that affects you is outside your control? That's the liberal mindset.

An easy example of this from my experience is South Africa. It is perhaps the richest nation in Africa. Yet, much of the local black population remains in poverty and hopelessness. Marxism and dependence on the state and corruption seem embedded in the culture. Yet, throw in some Somalis coming from an even poorer nation. Somehow without government grants or special privileges, these Somalis do very well in South Africa. This is one of the reasons why the local South Africa blacks hate the Somali blacks. They are succeeding, while the locals cannot. The Somali migrant will open a store on their own merit out of nothing and build it into something. The local South African sits there waiting for a government loan and then waits for government contracts. So it's no surprise then when they turn on migrant workers in anger killing many. Their anger and frustration is there…but for what? Being in South Africa, the Somalis certainly seem happier than your average marxist.

This is why libertarianism and classic conservatism is better for humanity. It allows you to free yourself from the shackles of dependence. Once you have the minimum food/shelter/security to live on, every else is just the pursuit of happiness. Now what about happy socialist countries like Norway? Well those tend to be very homogeneous societies, but also societies with very good individual liberties. For example, school choice in most Scandinavian countries is a no-brainer. No one feels oppressed by the state in that regard.

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