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Money really doesn’t buy happiness

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If you're working long, hard hours to get more money so you can afford that new SUV or a condo in Park City, listen to this: Even some economists are now saying that — just like your mother always told you — you can't buy happiness.

These economists have started looking at surveys that basically ask people how happy they are. An important finding, according to an Associated Press article on Page M9 of today's Money section, is that cash spent on "stuff" — tangible status symbols like bigger homes and cars — doesn't increase a society's happiness.

"If we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before," wrote Robert H. Frank, professor of economics at Cornell University, in a recent essay.