Correct government policies resulting in better social order can improve quality of life of people in all countries, in all socio-economic segments, from the extremely poor to the extremely rich. Naturally improvement will be highest in the lowest segments of population and lowest in the highest ones.
Level of happiness and satisfaction should be the main parameter for measurement of individual’s quality of life. If someone is rich and unhappy, although he lives in luxury, his quality of life is poor, as quality of life is a mental, not an economic state. It is wrong to consider this quality of life proportionate to economic wealth. This is unfortunately what the establishment is wrongfully doing. If someone is poor and happy, his life quality is rich. Unfortunately our money-oriented society sees it differently.
Rich vs. Poor
Riches normally translate to emotional flatness with low peaks of joy from new stimuli. You must get down in life to appreciate life’s highs. Rich people normally do not get these down-in-life states. They are pampered from the time they are born. When a rich child loses a balloon, his parents replace it immediately. The rich kid has any toys he wants, so he does not experience as much the ups and downs of a poor child.
The poor kid plays make belief. This allows him to have the same joy from a piece of wooden block as the rich kid has from a new expensive toy. The poor kid’s imagination gets stimulated a lot better, and his creativity grows as a result. The rich kid lacks in this department, therefore things which are joy for normal people become ordinary, unexciting for him. To achieve the same level of joy, he must seek higher levels of excitement. It is hard for him to achieve emotional peaks that ordinary people reach from normal life experiences. Because the rich person can’t achieve these peaks as easily, he often reaches for cocaine, unnatural sexual practices, etc. Despite the fact that he is educated better to stay away from drugs than an ordinary person is, he often becomes hooked.
There isn’t anything more pathetic than a rich businessman, a multimillionaire who runs a corporation, where he lies and cheats ordinary people in order so that he can become even richer, so that his corporation is even more powerful, which feeds his ego and makes him feel good about himself. How many people does he have to cheat, how many lies does he have to say, how many of us have to suffer because of his products like weapons, junk foods, cigarettes, junk bonds, or whatever is this man making or selling? He feels superior because he has money, expensive cars, and a pretty wife – although she married him and stays with him just for his money, which makes her nothing more than a whore. If he did not have his money, she would not give him second look – because of his commissioned-salesman-like personality and other unattractive personality traits.
He goes to a concert of classical music – because he wants to show that he is culturally enriched, but he thinks about his business and his money throughout the event. In his spare time he plays golf and while doing so he thinks and talks money and business with friends who are lawyers – the same breed as him, or other businessmen, with whom he measures his power over other people, his economic-success, and similar “qualities of life”. They all feel very good about their money, power, and their connections. They consider themselves something better, as they offer jobs to the “less fortunate ones”. Directly or not, they give money to politicians, who are of the same sort as they are: insensitive, phony, shallow, and they are all responsible for the fact that quality of life is measured by money.
They all have what our society considers to be prestigious occupations. They are paid extremely well for what they do – and they are the ones who are responsible for the status quo of our society. They are indirectly responsible for the homeless, for the single mother, who is thrown out from her home together with her babies, because she owes tax money – and she becomes homeless. While the rich live in neighborhoods, where the police makes sure that there is no, or only very little crime, this poor new homeless woman is not allowed to live on the streets where the rich live. The police only allows her to live in areas, where there is crime, gangs, and rapes. Or she is offered a shelter, where there are bugs, rats, and coughing residents infected with tuberculosis. Welcome to America!
When rich people see this woman begging in the streets, do they give her money? No, because “it is her fault how she chose to live”. They don’t want to support this low-life segment of our society! Ordinary people give her money, although they were also brainwashed into believing that this woman chose to live this type of lifestyle. Now, can someone who is rich and insensitive have a rich life, can he be internally rich, if he or she can pass by this unfortunate woman and not give her anything?
There are exceptions of course. There are rich people with healthy personalities, with wives who love them, with businesses which produce products and services that are good for the society, businessmen who treat their employees fairly, however it is a rare phenomena, as the competition is fierce and one needs to pay his employees the least, provide them the least benefits, use unethical methods to stay competitive, so the pressure on the businessman to develop a crooked personality is omnipresent in the capitalist society. Market economy makes the situation worse. And yes, no matter how bad this man is, he may have a wife who loves him – despite all his personality faults.
· People must experience the bad, so that they can truly enjoy the good. Only after they experience misery, will they truly experience happiness. If this type of dynamics is missing, life, and emotions generally too, become flat.
· When a poor child loses his toy, he cries for a long time. Then he creates make-belief toys, plays with a piece of something that was thrown away and will imagine it to be a super toy. He will experience a high level of enjoyment and will become much more imaginative than the rich kid, who does not have to play this make belief. The poor child’s life thus becomes richer.
This is not to say that emotional flatness or unhealthy personality can’t develop in a poor person. Because he is often exposed to terrible social conditions, it often happens too. He too can become emotionally flat, insensitive, can become a criminal, etc. This is something the capitalist society, where social disparities are great, is responsible for. Market economy makes it worse.
Middle Income Couple Example
Let’s take a look at a young couple in a neocolonized Eastern European country. Both the young man and the young woman work. They raise family. When they met and started going together, they did it because they were attracted to each other. At the same time the rich, when they find love, they never know if the other person loves them, or is there just for the money. Ordinary folks have it much clearer in this department, so they don’t have to be on guard and as a result can experience a true love much more easily than the rich ones can. They have enough food to eat, live in an apartment, and have experienced the good and the bad together. That allows them to live a much richer life emotionally.
What is the lesson from all of this? Life’s happiness is all in our heads, not in our wallets. Money really have little to do with being happy and being happy is the quality we should all be striving for; this is what makes life most worthwhile. It is not riches that make us happy – as the establishment is trying to claim falsely in their propaganda in films, magazines, books, and on television.
People are not born “bad”. They are made bad by the society. It is true that genes play a role, but a well functioning society is able to suppress the bad traits people have and make the good ones grow and dominate. People can learn to have empathy, or they can be made to lose empathy that they were born with. It all depends on how well the society functions. While socialist society helps in development of healthy empathy, capitalist society is very good in destroying it.
People must be taught to be good. Good deeds and behavior must get praised and rewarded. A leadership of genuinely good people is needed. It must serve as an example. We don’t need crooked politicians who act nice, but a sensitive person can see bad, hideous personalities through their phony facades.
We can see genuine goodness and sincerity among some of the very old people, this can be seen most in old women, who were born e.g. in Easter Europe. You can trust them 100%. They don’t tell lies. They were raised in different, better times, times when people were poor economically, but healthy emotionally, were taught that one needs to be good, sincere, truthful, sensitive to societal wrongs and human suffering. Music, books, movies and magazines promoted these values then and did teach people to have empathy, to cherish family values, to be good. The society where young people are brought up today is teaching them different values. Crooks, including crooked politicians, lawyers, and businessmen, celebrities with low moral standards – all these are being idealized by the media.
During the time of Communism, movies and TV programming for kids taught the children the highest morals, taught them to be genuinely good, sensitive, and loving; it taught them healthy emotions and how to be well behaved. In the US the situation was quite opposite. The kids were taught violence, slyness; they wanted to see blood. At that time Shelley Duvall, together with other actors, made a series of fairy tales for kids that included such titles as Jack and the Beanstalk and Rampelstilskin. There was no violence; good values were promoted, and the kids loved these short films, despite the fact that they were very cheaply made by e.g. the Czech standards. The movies Duvall produced were funny and refreshing at a time when the mainstream media kept on pushing totally different, very bad examples of values, like the Transformer series, which was full of violence.
The media, the politicians, the multinationals, and the secret services are responsible for forming the following type of people:
How to Make Most People Happy?
In a new healthy society, which I vision, there will be no need for networking to make business contacts, to make these connections in order to get ahead; there will be no need to make friends in order to sell them stuff through multi level marketing. All this creates crooked characters, stress, false friendships, etc.
The solution to more happiness is, among other things, by more equally dividing riches among all people. The riches bring little happiness to the rich; on the contrary, they are responsible for the already described emotional flatness and therefore diminished ability to achieve true joy in life. If the rich need to cure their low self-esteem, psychotherapy is a lot more effective and a lot less expensive than having a lot of money and power. Work is good for these folks, because after they finish working, they will appreciate a lot more their free time.
The poor people on the other hand need to have more money so they suffer less and can enjoy bigger and longer life’s highs. There are a few rich and a lot of poor people. But the rich have among themselves concentrated so much wealth, that if half of it is transferred to the poor, it would mean nothing to the rich, while life of vast numbers of the poor would improve. They don’t need much to be happy.
Steps to improving quality of life
In our effort to change the society and its values, we must realize what is the political reality and what exactly is the power base, which we will have to educate and fight at the same time, because the entrenched establishment has very strong self-preserving tools, like powerful secret services, powerful media, powerful army and police forces that do work efficiently to promote and preserve the needs of the elites. This means that all changes must be done not via revolution, but via rapid evolution. The rich and powerful must not feel any discomfort and they too must benefit from the changes.
Our predecessors of generations ago did not have radio, TV, electricity, supermarkets, cars, rock-n-roll, hip-hop, techno, or drugs. They would be considered very poor by our standards. But they were happy – probably more than we are. They were content with what they had. They had plenty of fun and created entertainment with what they had. No one reminded them all the time on TV that more is better and that if you don’t have more, you are less of a human being. And no one was telling them that everyone could be rich and successful, slim and funny, that all that was needed was to want it enough and work hard on it, which is naturally not true. The hard work required to obtain something that one is programmed to need brings out stress, dissatisfaction and the end result is less happiness than we had before, or that our predecessors had. They knew that they were farmers and factory workers and no one was pushing them to be landowners and factory owners. They realized that they have a certain place in the society and they made the best of what they had. They were lacking the modern stress created by the need to change one’s personality, stress from trying to be extroverted, rich, funny, skinny, and famous.
To show that money has little to do with happiness, let’s compare level of dissatisfaction in the rich and powerful USA and in a poor country. In the two middle columns we will find (1.) percentage of people in each of five economic categories, (2.) multiplied by a level of average dissatisfaction in that category. When we add the results and divide them by 100 (an arbitrary constant I use in all these examples), we get average dissatisfaction level in that country.
Country Population Percentage Level of Dissatisfaction
Segment of Population Dissatisfaction Points
Very rich 1% x0.9 =0.9
Rich 9% x3 =27
Average 80% x9 =720
Poor 9% x30 =270
Very poor 1% x90 =90
Total 100% total dissatisf. points =1107.9
1107.9:100=11 points – average dissatisfaction in the US
Rich 1% x1 =1
Average 9% x3.3 =30
Poor 80% x10 =800
Very poor 9% x33 =300
Extremely poor 1% x100 =100
Total 100% total dissatisf. points =1231
1231:100=12 points average dissatisfaction in a poor country
If Americans, while living in the US, had to live the life of the people of the poor country:
Rich 1% x3 =3
Average 9% x10 =90
Poor 80% x30 =2400
Very poor 9% x100 =900
Extremely poor 1% x300 =300
Total 100% total dissatisf. points =3693
3693:100=37 points – average dissatisfaction in the US if the economic level there was on the level of a poor country
If Americans, in the US, had the same attitude towards life as the people have in the poor country:
Very rich 1% x0.3 =0.3
Rich 9% x1 =9
Average 80% x3 =240
Poor 9% x10 =90
Very poor 1% x30 =30
Total 100% total dissatisf. points =369.3
369.3:100=3.7 points – average dissatisfaction in the US if Americans had the same attitude towards life as people have in a poor country
1. Based on Gross National Product (GNP) – per Capita
This table takes into consideration only average income per person. This criterion had been used a lot in the past, especially to prove how much better life is in Western capitalist countries compared to the socialist ones. Here, in this way of looking at quality of life, the first place goes to the US now and second one to US four decades ago.
All values are adjusted for inflation and are not necessarily the official statistics, which I consider biased.
This table takes into account cost of living. This is the table that is used most lately. It still considers economic factors only. The first place goes to the United States, the second one to the Communist country Czechoslovakia; the third place goes to Czech Republic now, couple decades after the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia.
Explanation: Inc. = income
3. Quality of Life with Social Factors Included
This table takes into account all major factors, not only the economic ones. Unfortunately this type of comparison is practically never used, because it shows the capitalist system in a quite negative light. What is interesting is that first place goes to a Communist country, well ahead of the United States of now or four decades ago.
1. Life Enjoyment Index of an Individual
“Life Enjoyment Index” is less money dependant than the “quality of life index” of the previous table. The first place goes again to Communist Czechoslovakia.
2. Life Enjoyment Index with More Equally Distributed Wealth
This table shows what happens by simply distributing wealth more equally among the population. Naturally it would require major political and socio-economic changes and it would take time for the high-income groups to adjust. Because the low-income groups will be better off economically, it will cure some of the social problems, like high homelessness level, crime, hate of the rich; it will increase awareness level among the poor in regards of STD dangers, etc. This will, as a result, also bring higher comforts to the middle income groups. In the high-income group the increased freedom from crime, less hate by the poor, less homeless population, etc. will bring enough benefits to compensate for the lower income levels.
Life enjoyment is what we need to strive for. That is the true factor by which we should measure quality of our lives. Money has little to do with life enjoyment, except when we consider the lowest socioeconomic groups. The table above shows how doing nothing more than redistributing income more fairly would benefit our society. In the first column we see 37% increase (22 vs. 16) in life enjoyment – compared to the previous table. This column covers majority of the world’s population.
3. Life Enjoyment Index by Adding Improved Psychological Factors
So far we have been looking at people satisfaction and life enjoyment by examining effect of the various factors, by improving everything by better distribution of wealth, etc. In the previous pages we have also learned the importance of psychological factors, which can improve satisfaction about three times. Redistribution of wealth has a big effect on these psychological factors; however the biggest improvement will come from
Our society can achieve all this quite painlessly. The end result will be big additional improvement in satisfaction and life enjoyment. This book is a recipe. I’m sure that there are other recipes that are equally efficient; however I must confess that I have not seen them.
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