Money and Happiness in the U.S. – Better Life Index

Better Life Index, just released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Americans’ household wealth is about $102,000 on average, significantly higher than those in many other developed countries. Income inequality is high, however, with the top 20 percent of the population earning nearly $82,000 a year while the bottom 20 percent get by

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Our Federal Debt and the Pursuit of Wealth and Happiness

The national discussion on how to get our debt problem under control and reduce our spending raises many various arguments. A recent example offered that our pluralistic society is causing the givers to resent giving to the takers. Now, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, shares that only by allowing people to struggle to improve

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Prosperity’s Robin Hood – Taxes from the Rich and Bailouts to the Poor

The major themes within the economy these days continue to be upcoming tax increases, new proposed bailouts and wealth transfer programs, and increasing federal debt.
Matthew Lynn, the author of “Bust,” a forthcoming book on the Greek debt crisis, says that the debt crisis in Europe may be undermined by opposition to bailouts. What he

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Happiness: Wealth Contributes to our Abstract Sense of Happiness

The five happiest countries in the world–Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands–are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of wealth and prosperity.
“The Scandinavian countries do really well,” says Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup, which developed the poll. “One theory why is that they have their basic

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Living by Illusions – a Perspective from Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher shared these thoughts on October 13, 1978:
“At home we are a country profoundly ill at ease with ourselves…Why is that? What has happened to this country of ours that we thought we knew? It is not just a question of pinning down who is responsible, important though that is. The first step in

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Taxes: Money Flows in Time and Space to Where It’s Treated Best

Money will go, in time and space, where it’s treated well. Money will find its way to locations that offer good property rights laws and low taxes.   As laws change and those changes are telegraphed, money and wealth will move in anticipation of those changes.
Arthur Laffer, of the Laffer Curve, is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author

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Tax The Rich? But What If The Rich Start To Leave?

With growing federal deficits it’s natural that tax rates are going to climb and that the federal government will look for new sources of tax receipts.
It’s natural that the Federal government will continue the exercise started with the recent health care reform to find opportunities to tax the rich.
And it may be natural that the

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Hiring Disincentives and Unemployment Incentives - The Demise of the American Work Ethic?

The Puritan Work Ethic values of working hard helped make the U. S. a highly productive and wealthy society. Max Weber, in his 1930 book The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, demonstrated how that work ethic made specific countries prosperous.
Fast forward to 2010.
Economist Casey Mulligan at the University of Chicago points out

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Debt to Wealth: Tools You Can Use

Turning debt into wealth is easy, right? Here are some of the tools the rich use to help with their wealth creation:
Budgeting Tools: Yes, believe it or not, wealthy people budget. They may not budget the same way other people do, but they know exactly where there money is coming and exactly where it is

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Big Government and our Prosperity

Will big government bring us prosperity? How big we decide to have our government – now 25 percent of GDP - will impact our prosperity – our ability to build wealth from domestic companies (we can always tap growth in emerging markets), the tax bill to pay for transfer payments to others, the regulation that affects

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