Is money the key to happiness or the root of all evil? If growth and prosperity don't provide a sense of wellbeing, what will? With a fiscal crisis already under way, we take a new look at the way happiness is measured and how it's achieved in the US and other parts of the world. Also, the inventory glut on store shelves and at frozen ports, and coping with numbers in the news, politics and real life.
FROM THIS EPISODE
In a put-down of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway once wrote, "The very rich are different from you and me… they have more money." But ever since Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in 1776, western economies have been based on growth and prosperity as the keys to happiness. On the day after Christmas, with the US heading into a major recession, it's worth asking if that’s really true. One study says Puerto Ricans are happier than Germans or Japanese? How come? Is a simpler, more frugal life more satisfying after all?
Ed Diener, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Princeton University
Vicky Robin, Co-author, 'Your Money of Your Life'
Daniel Kahneman and Ed Diener
Just the way bad weather backs up the airlines, a decline in consumer spending leaves inventories in place and backs up supply lines. One sign of the effort to get things moving is that post-Christmas sales this year happened before Christmas. Diane Mollenkopf is associate professor of marketing and logistics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Diane Mollenkopf, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Why is "average" a stupid idea? What does the "risk" of dying really mean? Is the national "debt" as big as it sounds? The BBC Radio program, More or Less, got a big enough audience to become a book. Now it has crossed the ocean with a new title, The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, Politics and in Life. Co-author Andrew Dilnot, the Principal of St. Hugh's College, talks about taking the mystery out of the numbers.
Andrew Dilnot, co-author, 'The Numbers Game'