Sunday 1 November 2009

Does economic growth bring happiness?

Over the years, I have read many articles from left-leaning greenophiles that claim that economic growth is a waste of time as people are not getting any happier as they get richer. The Greens preach that we should stop economic growth and instead promote happiness and love of the planet blah blah blah.

I developed a new theory about this today.

Whilst our incomes have increased dramatically this century, in the last 20 years or so, household debt has exploded by every conceivable measure. Yes, we are richer, but we are weighed down by a millstone of debt. The prospect of spending the rest of your life slaving away to pay off that debt must fill many with dread, and dampen down the happiness that they feel from earning more. Any pay rises that they get are swallowed by debt repayments.

Much of this debt has been taken on in order to buy into a skyrocketing housing market. The market has been stoked by stupidly restrictive land release policies which choke the supply of new housing. These policies have been enacted in the name of being green, and saving our precious bodily fluids, er, land, from rapacious developers who want to carpet bomb koala habitats with McMansions.

In other words, the Greens are doing a good job of making almost everyone in this country miserable; especially those who are currently being crushed, or face the prospect of being crushed, by an impossibly large mortgage.

So the best thing we can do is lift all planning restrictions and build like crazy. That will make us happy and the Greens miserable. The Greens love being miserable - why else would they live on mungbeans and tofu and refuse to drive cars? We should make them as miserable as humanly possible, and be happy that we are doing the right thing.

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