Does Money Buy Happiness?, by Don Peck and Ross Douthat

1373 Words3 Pages
Erika’s sweet sixteen is today, and her parents bought her a brand new car. She pulls into the school’s parking lot and flaunts about how her parents not only got her a car, but also a trip to Italy. People start to walk away, even some of her best friends. As the day goes on, her friends have not talked to her since morning. Fed up, Erika asks them what is wrong. Kristie, one of her friends, tells her how they cannot stand listening to her talk about her ostentatious gifts anymore. When Erika gets home from school, her mom asks her what is wrong. It is then she realizes what her friends were trying to say and tells her mother she does not want the car anymore. Her mother, astounded, asks why not and gets a reply of money cannot buy friends, nor can it buy happiness. According to “Does Money Buy Happiness,” by Don Peck and Ross Douthat, they disagree with the connection between money and happiness. Happiness is a feeling adults experience when they receive a gift, win something, and various other reasons, but does money buy this happiness everyone experiences? Don Peck and Ross Douthat claim money does buy happiness, but only to a point in their article which originally appeared in the Atlantic Monthly (252). Throughout their article, reasons on why money can sometimes buy happiness are explained. While some of the reasons given are effective, not all are satisfying answers for adults working diligently to make a living. Money is a part of everyone’s life, yet it is not always the cause of happiness. One reason described to be a cause of happiness is income. Don Peck and Ross Douthat indicate how, “National income appears to be one of the best single predictors of overall well-being, explaining perhaps 40 percent of the difference in contentment among nations” (352). With this statement, comes the explanation of how income can influence happiness in adults who strive to earn a living. Research illustrates how, “For individual countries, with few exceptions, self-reported happiness has increased as incomes have risen” (Douthat 352). While these two statements provide sufficient evidence for the reason of income bringing happiness, income itself is not relevant.
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