These are all important issues — are people better off nowadays? There is a small branch of economics trying to measure and address “happiness.” But I don’t have easy access to those people and that literature until I move so don’t know of their progress. I took a class called “welfare economics” in fall of 1968 that tried to develop a conceptual framework but we lacked computers and data back then that could make any practical headway so I changed majors to finance while finishing ROTC (that was the last class I needed for my BA in economics).
Generally the economic data are solid, objective, easy to measure concepts such as pounds shipped, costs, wages, prices,… Because back in the old days people did not have much of anything so more was usually better. But in the past 100 years USA and much of the “developed” world has moved from the problem of starvation to the problem of obesity. Studies have shown that fasting can extend lifespan but obesity can drastically shorten life and make victims miserable. I enjoy skipping meals, the ketogenic diet,… My brain seems to work better when burning my own fat. People might have been happier back in the old days due to better hi-fat diet. But they sure were poor in other ways. I will look into this problem of happiness, welfare measurement when I can move to a better educated location. May still be too nebulous and impractical for me. But if they can see increased death and decreased brain activity then probably people today are as miserable as they look compared to the people I knew decades ago.
I do not pay any attention to Shadowstats. Williams has admitted it is a hoax. He just subjectively added in a constant. You can see it visually in the graph at this site: http://azizonomics.com/2013/06/01/the-trouble-with-shadowstats/
Williams is probably getting paid by used gold salesmen or some other brokers of some other asset that promise “pie in the sky” that will go up when something else goes down. Price indexes are too hard for an individual to computer. It takes a lot of people and/or computers. The MIT project is in the right direction, data collection by computer.
My 100 email accounts are going bonkers. I can’t find the thread I wanted to reply too. I get 1000 emails per day plus read like crazy.
happiness economics is the quantitative and theoretical study of happiness, positive and negative affect, well-being, quality of life, life satisfaction and related concepts, typically combining economics with other fields such as psychology and sociology. It typically treats such happiness-related measures, rather than wealth, income or profit, as something to be maximized. The field has grown substantially since the late 20th century, for example by the development of methods, surveys and indices to measure happiness and related concepts. Its findings have been described as a challenge to the economics profession
The philosophy of happiness is a direction by which philosophical inquiry approaches the nature of happiness and the ways by which to attain it. Both the classic Western philosophy (Ancient philosophy) and the Eastern philosophy since its inception deal with the subject of happiness.
> The tone of your article suggests that your neighbors’ houses are > burning but at least your hasn’t caught fire yet. Or the joke about the > two men that were pushed off the top floor of a highrise building. > Halfway down one man turned to the other and asked why he was not > screaming? “Well so far so good” replied the other. This article is a > puff piece that ignores the facts. Worse. It is an attempt to lull > Americans back to sleep when action is needed:
> 1) Life expectancy in the US per Wikipidia is now 79.8 years (35th > directly after Costa Rica). The US is no longer number one in longevity. > Maybe it is because of those GMO foods and high fructose corn syrup, or > Donald Rumsfeld’s Aspartame that are not allowed in the foods in many of > the countries with longer lifespans. The US is now listed as the most > obese country second only to Mexico. Cancer rates are skyrocketing (More > corporate net profit at the expense of American health).
> 2) Forego the flu shot and build your immune system instead. Per Dr. > Russell Blaylock, Dr. Mercola and others AVOID the flu shot. They > contain mercury, excitotoxins, and other poisons . Many have become > extremely ill and died as a result of receiving the flu shot. But then > Big Pharma would lose money.
> 5) “The average American now retires at age 62.” Not from my > observations. Let us not confuse “not working anymore” with > “retirement.” Many Americans that do attempt retirement find that there > money does not go as far as it was projected when they first began > contributing to their retirements. Of course since the dollar has lost > 98% of value since the creation of the illegal private “Fed’ in 1913 > that would be a no brainer. Hmmm….lot of 70 year old “retired” persons > still working at Walmart or at fast food drive thru.
> 7) The murder rate HAS gone down dramatically in the last twenty years. > (except in gun free hell zones like Chicago where the murder rate is > higher than combat casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan). According to > Professor John Lott that reduction in murder rates is directly > attributed to the expanding CCW (concealed weapons permits) not more > laws or better policing. Remember that as globalist politicians with > their own larger and larger security teams continue to attempt to disarm > you despite the facts.
> 10) Stagnant like Japan’s economy? Why would anyone use a comparison > with Japan to demonstrate economic well being? Japan has been mired in > twenty years of deflation and stagnant growth. Unable to devalue the Yen > with inflation and due to an aging population the Japanese have been > unable to be competitive. The current Abe administration is attempting > to inflate away their problems by printing billions in unbacked Yen. It > is not working. And by the way Japanese unemployment is not 5.6% nor is > American unemployment near this level. According to John Williams’ > “Shadowstats.com”.(Williams is a former comptroller general of the US > who now devotes himself to educating Americans with respect to the false > figures being fed to them by the US government and the corporate > media). American unemployment if figured the way it was before 1980 is > actually about 23% and growing. (This includes U1-U6 levels). No it is > not equivalent work if someone leaves a $75.K a year job and gets > employment at McDonald’s as the BLS figures assume. People who are > leaving the workforce in droves are no longer counted as being > officially unemployed. This is similar to taking food and fuel out of > the CPI (consumer price index) to figure inflation because no one eats > or drives a vehicle .
> Why don’t we compare America now to America in the past. Actual > inflation (not phony official stats) is now about 9% (per
> Shadowstats.com). Youth unemployment about 40% in California. This is > higher than the “Great Depression” when Americans were more self > sufficient.
> The US is in debt to the tune of $212. Trillion in long term > obligations. $17 Trillion in short term obligations if “official > figures” are to be believed (per Professor Lawrence Kotikoff). This does > not include bankrupt counties,states, and municipalities, and > individuals. This is mathematically impossible to pay. It will be > defaulted away or inflated away. That is about as simple as it I can put > it (probably under the cover of a contrived war to blame the economy on > somebody)
> The US has about a thousand military bases worldwide and is losing > undeclared wars everywhere at a cost of trillions a year. This is > according to Gerald Celente. Celente is the head of “Trends > Forecasting”which is widely regarded in business and government circles > as the most accurate trends analysis and forecasting agency in the world. > Wall Street global banksters have comepletely hijacked Washington > DC. Not one high level bankster has gone to jail despite massive drug > money laundering by B of A and others, rigging precious metal prices, > and falsifying millions of mortgage documents. This is felony fraud that > is euphemistically called “robo signing” as corporate talking “hairdos’ > on the evening news giggle. US AG Holder stated it might “hurt the > economy” if we actually prosecuted bankers. “Justice is pronounced “just > us.”
> 12) According to the Federal Reserve “leisure time” rose to 35 years in > 1990. Why are 24 year old figures being quoted? Let us talk about life > after the 2008 collapse of the bankster ponzi scheme. By the way there > is no current recovery. The private and unconstitutional “Fed” props up > the balance sheets of banks by printing trillions of unbacked dollars. > Little is actually being manufactured and there is debt everywhere. > There is no recovery-only a coverup.
> ***50) We “haven’t got it made.” But we do have to get our country back. > It has been hijacked. PS. do not confuse having much “entertainment” > with “freedom.”
> BTW-John Mauldin is an excellent economist. His very informative > interviews can be accessed for free at “KingWorldNews.com”. >