Letter to the Editor
Paul Krugman's May 2000 article, “Reckonings; Pursuing Happiness”, is about money vs. happiness. He uses examples from outside sources throughout his article to prove his point. I agree with him that money doesn't buy happiness, but the way that Krugman argues his point isn't fully effective.
He first uses examples that support his argument such as the surveys that were conducted by Richard Easterlin. Easterlin found that people were no more happy 30 years ago than they are now, no matter what their level of affluence is. This is a good example that adds to his argument with concrete evidence. Then he moves on to comparing America 's government with France 's saying that our unemployment rate is much lower than theirs and he assumes that being unemployed is demoralizing for everyone. I don't think this is a relevant example because not everyone is adversely affected by being unemployed and if people are indeed happy being employed, is it because they have money? If so, that sounds like they are buying their happiness.
By the time I reached the end of the article, any excitement that I had for the claim had been deflated and I didn't really care anymore. If Krugman had left the latter examples out of his argument and focused more on the former (surveys, etc.) I think it would have made for a better article.