Somehow I accidentally got on TV on a program where the gray-haired people discussed an important topic of our time for an hour: can we buy happiness for money. Once again, I was amazed at how limited the perception of even well-educated and people with rich life experience was, and how predictable, primitive and declarative the arguments of both sides are. The problem is not even that it is possible or impossible to buy in the process of life, but in the lack of understanding of the very essence of money as a social tool.
Money is primarily a tool for the interaction of a person with society, i.e., there is a convention according to which human labor is measured in certain conventional units of credit, which he allocates to a society, which then pays him this amount by the labor of others. Obviously, in the conditions of weak social coherence and low functional specialization of population groups, the presence of such a specialized tool is not so important (in many cases, barter exchange is enough)However, with the development of civilization, the need for a simple mechanism for measuring labor costs on some abstract scale began to grow exponentially. If at first the value of money was more or less tied to the value of material values and labor, then with the development of the financial and banking sector and a radical improvement in connectivity on a global scale over the last few hundred years.the measurement system has become a payroll system. This led to the fact that in modern conditions, although people understand the essence of lending in the financial sector, they are accustomed to monetary relationships within society, but they completely ignore the main problem of this process: objectively, credit of an individual to societylabor for moneyIt hasnegative dividend rate. 🙂
Money is a very dangerous abstraction, because the human psyche is very enthusiastic about anysimplificationinteraction with the outside world by reducing the variability of solutions and methods, and money is actually a very convenient and seemingly universal criterion for assessing dominance in the social environment.Comparison and goal-setting for a single, fairly stable criterion-vector, is so tasty fetish for consciousness that the overwhelming number of people leading active social life, willy-nilly, are in its power. At the same time, competition is constantly growing, since the number of people supporting this development paradigm is steadily increasing; Along with this, the labor costs of individuals grow to fight with an increasingly large crowd trying to outrun them on the way to the coveted golden calf, and credit to society is not a very profitable thing. In the sphere of behavioral economics, there is even such a term — money illusion, a monetary illusion — the property of people to orient themselves more toward the abstract nominal value of money rather than their purchasing power.
A person usually makes decisions much easier, using abstractions rather than real things (which is why stock markets are often much closer to playing poker than making cold calculations, bringing volatility and instability in the wake of changing players' moods), resulting in unrealistic loans, derivatives are traded, customers and buyers are misled for risk, and so on. Money is just one of these abstractions.Even such an insignificant level of abstraction as the transition from paper money to credit cards can significantly change a person’s cautious attitude towards spending - let alone talk about the direct migration of labor assessment into money. 🙂
Unfortunately, what is happening today with the global financial sphere is also viewed not at all from the point of view from which this problem can be correctly assessed (or, at least, it is not voiced this aspect publicly). Now there is a catastrophic decline in the value of money in relation to the psychological value of labor, because people are trying by any means to compensate for labor costs with all the falling ratio of dominance / financial resources. This problem could be solved by diversifying the dominant spheres in society into radically different areas, but this is almost impossible with the current speed of the locomotive of civilization - the dispersion is constantly decreasing and the situation is getting worse.
So is it possible to buy happiness for money?For money, you can buy only a place in the dominant rank of society. Many perceive happiness as a function of social status - for them the illusion of the influence of the financial component on happiness will be very bright,but the profitability of solving this problem in life will be very low. One of the side effects of such a choice is the “time is money” syndrome, which puts life time on a lower level of hierarchy in priorities than an abstract resource value. In fact, the time of human life has no specific value - it is priceless for an individual and costs practically nothing for society; the desire to give their life to society for commodity-money outsourcing is an extremely disadvantageous way to feel happy.