“Money can’t buy happiness”

Does anyone still believe this old saw?
Strictly of course, it may be true on a transactional basis: one can’t go into a store and say “a pound of happiness please, thinly sliced”. But money can indeed buy us most of the things that make us happy.
If I had much money, I’d be sitting in my brand new NYC apartment, sipping a Coke as I contemplate my heaps of new books, decorate myself with a dresserful of new makeup, and admire my shiny new bleeding-edge computer, on which I have just bought first-class air tickets to Rome. I’d be deciding what to cook in my swanky new gourmet kitchen fully decked out with the latest gadgets and cookware. Assuming I wanted to cook dinner: I could also grab my posse and head out to Vong or Totonno’s or Peter Luger’s.
I must say, I’d be pretty darned happy.


“But”, gasp the do-gooders, ” you wouldn’t have what’s really important in life, like love.”
What. A. Crock.
Again, literally buying love poses a bit of a moral problem, not to mention legal ones if you’re caught. But take an average person, like me. I’ve been complimented on my wit, my intelligence, and my eyes and hair. But is anyone naive enough to believe that a fully decked-out version of me wouldn’t attract more attention than the previous shabby-chic edition? New haircut, wardrobe, and personal trainer to tone up the flabby bits certainly won’t guarantee love, but it will ensure that you are at your very best while trying to find it. And as any self-help guru worth his paperback rights will tell you, when you look good, you feel good. Confident. On top of the world. And that attracts potential love interests like bees to honey. So money may not buy love, but it can certainly grease some influential palms along the way.
I think that whoever coined the expression “money can’t buy happiness” must have been a socialist. It reeks of the sort of sickly smiling condescenscion that you can only get from a leftist, especially one who has already made/inherited all his money so he can sit back on his Chippendale chair and twiddle his manicured thumbs while sipping 100-year-old cognac and moralistically purring, “Money can’t buy happiness”.
I think that every human being on this planet deserves the chance to prove that assertion wrong.

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4 comments

  1. Steve

    Everyone on the planet? OMG, consider how the rich diet suggested would affect the truly poor and starving. Even the cost of securing the quantity of Pepto Bismo required for their resultant discomfort would be daunting. Nope. Impractical. Too expensive. Your unsettling recommendations would likely lead to just another round of unhappy socialism as attempts were made to redistribute the wealth and that’s been shown to be so very boring in the end.
    The present limitations on such experiences, i.e., the upper 3% in the income bracket in America, and Japanese and the nouveau Russian wealthy with comparable assets, seems to be working nicely. They often share, if only vicariously, with the rest of us through such means as CNN and The National Enquirer.
    (What’s wrong? Were you poorly treated on Valentine’s Day?)

  2. Dave J

    Someone wiser than I once said that while money may not be able to buy happiness, it makes misery a lot more pleasant. I believe it was my dad who added that money might not buy happiness, but poverty sure as hell doesn’t either.

  3. M. Scott Eiland

    Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it makes life a lot more comfortable and convenient. I’ve found that, when one asks a few follow-up questions, the people saying “Money can’t buy happiness” are often also prone to saying “we’re too dependent on luxuries” and “material things aren’t that important”, which leads inevitably to “I believe that taxes should be at a percentage that closely resembles room temperature in Hong Kong.” Approach with caution.