Avoiding a Depression ≠ Happiness

By Jeremiah Eisele

Jeremiah EiseleBio: I am a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am pursuing a BS in Electrical Engineering. I was born in Alaska, and I grew up in a rural area on the Kenai Peninsula. After high school, I attended vocational school, and then began working as an electrician. I worked as an electrician for about 15 years before deciding to return to school and pursue a degree in engineering. After graduation, I plan to stay in Alaska and work towards developing sustainable sources of energy within the state.

Most Americans have probably heard the phrase – money cannot buy happiness. But Americans spend much effort in the pursuit of wealth. Of course people need money to provide for themselves and their families, but once we have secured basic needs what else can money buy? Many people see the accumulation of wealth as a status symbol. We also use money to buy almost anything we might want, including luxury items, vacations, and even companionship or love. However, once we meet our basic needs, most other purchases satisfy some emotional need. The fulfillment of emotional needs with material possessions is typically short-lived. After all – emotions are feelings, not objects, and feelings fade unless rekindled.

The success of the United States as a nation is largely measured through the eyes of an economist. Arguably, the most important measure of the country’s success is its GDP – essentially the amount of “goods” produced by the nation. Economists use GDP extensively to determine the growth rate of the country. The growth rate of the United States has a direct correlation with the financial wealth of the American people. Since the prosperity of the country and its citizens are closely related, there is a great deal of desire to keep the economy growing. Therein lies the problem, and hopefully the solution. Continue reading Avoiding a Depression ≠ Happiness