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To be filed under “useful idiots”

From the Guardian:-

For years, economists have debated if there is a cut-off point beyond which growth adds nothing to wellbeing. Now – in a study published on Thursday, the day that official figures show the fastest growth for three years – two economists have gone a step further and estimated that “sweet spot” with some precision. And the UK has reached it.

According to Eugenio Proto of Warwick University and Aldo Rustichini of University of Minnesota, life satisfaction peaks when incomes per head – adjusted so that money buys the same basket of goods and services worldwide – reach $36,000 (£22,000) a year. Per capita incomes in the UK on this basis are $37,000. Beyond this point, they say, we get richer but less contented.

Now far be it from me to question such sterling science, which, apparently, takes in amazing scientific evidence like “survey evidence and GDP data”, but I’m pretty damn sure that Professor Eugenio Proto (do you think he’s a lecturer? Average higher education salary, £37,000.00 a year, apparently. Eugenio must be way miserable) and his delightfully named colleague from Minnesota are talking what we in the know call “bollocks”. I’m on just under £20,000 a year, and most of the time, I’m bastard miserable about it. I’m miserable because I can barely afford to do any of the things that I want to do. I’m miserable because one or two nights out a month – if it’s in any way reasonable, say – a meal, four or five drinks, a bus and taxi home (yes, my fault for living in the arse end of the universe, I grasp this) – eats up pretty much most of my disposable income. But according to Eugenius, I’m a mere 2k a year away from the tipping point where I get Oh! so miserable…once I get to that point, I begin – apparently – to yearn to keep up with the Evanses. And woe is me, for I cannot afford the white goods and faffy food, woe woe and thrice woe.

Only problem is, I – and many, many of my countrymen and women – can’t afford them now. And some months, we can’t afford off-white goods, and junk food.

I do wonder whether the authors of the above report are deliberately trolling us all, are subsidised by some firm offering zero hour contracts, or have decided that nobody yet has quite nailed the “dismal” part of the old insulting description of their discipline and are therefore going for it.


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