A Critique Of 'Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness'

1567 Words7 Pages
A Critique on "Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness"
Introduction
The essay “Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness” was written by journalist David Leonhardt. In this essay, Leonhardt discusses whether or not a larger economy increases a person’s happiness and well-being by supporting his claim with evidence. Born in 1973, Leonhardt has won an adequate number of awards for his in-depth insights and publication on economics. These awards include the Peter Lisagor (“Annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism”, 1999), Gerald Loeb (“2010 Gerald Loeb Award Finalists”), Society of American Business Editors and Writers (“Winners in Its 14th Annual Best in Business Contest”) awards. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary (“The 2011 Pulitzer Prize
…show more content…
Leonhardt begins his article by providing readers with a historical background on the Japanese economy. He then uses this background to display a contrast between wealth and satisfaction. This contrast lead to the Easterlin Paradox named after the researcher, Richard Easterlin. Consequently, this research became widely common in social science as it comes on par with the common human hope of an equal chance of happiness. Afterwards, Leonhardt proposes his argument as he introduces a new research by two young economists. In this research, they argue against the Easterlin Paradox. The two economists believe that money does bring happiness even if it does not guarantee it. In addition, the researchers, as well as Leonhardt, discuss that absolute income is more important than relative income. This research and discussion was conducted at a national level…show more content…
In his article, Leohardt argues against the Easterlin Paradox, a theory that states that money does not cause happiness. Even though Leonhardt is a columnist known for his credible, elaborate articles and columns that support his work and ideas, he fails in “Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness” to differentiate between correlation and causation. Instead, he represents a correlation which can be argued against since it merely covers a minority of the global population. In his article, the author selectively chooses correlations that match his argument. Furthermore, he only displays a scarce amount of research. Consequently, some readers consider his argument incomplete and weak. To some, his selective choosing of surveys that support his argument may be considered as a half-truth fallacy. The author’s usage of fallacies does not stop at this example only. He continues to use a variety of logical fallacies, which weakens his argument. For instance, the author uses the Appeal to Authority fallacy when he identifies his source’s field, such as “Psychologist”, as well as their university, “University of Pennsylvania” and the “University of Southern California”. While the reputation of the source’s institution does validate his sources, it is considered to be fallacious for he mentions sources in
Open Document