Although it has been said that money is the root of all evil, many people actually believe that they would be happier if they were wealthier. Could this be correct? This essay will support the thesis that not only does the pursuit of wealth not lead to happiness; it may actually make us unhappy.
Tim Kasser has written an excellent short book describing the scientific evidence relating to materialism and happiness. Kasser gives one striking quotation concerning Jim Clark, the founder of Netscape and other computer companies:
"Before Silicon Graphics, Clark said a fortune of $10 million would make him happy; before Netscape, $100 million; before Healtheon, a billion; now, he told Lewis, 'Once I have more money than Larry Ellison, I'll be satisfied.' Ellison, the founder of the software company Oracle, is worth $13 billion."
Kasser first shows that people who are rich are not necessarily happier than those who are not rich, provided ba...
... middle of paper ...
...ut on the effects of materialism. Regardless of its origins, in America materialism works against happiness.
This is a thought-provoking book about the pursuit of material goods. Kasser is not a preacher, but a scientist. He presents his evidence carefully, and concludes that materialism is a game not worth playing even on its own terms of promoting human happiness.
Kasser, Tim. The High Price of Materialism. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002. 149 Pages.
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