to the old saying, money does not buy happiness–except if one’s English.
Researchers at the University of Warwick, led by Prof. Andrew Oswald and Dr.
Jonathan Gardner, studied 9000 families in Britain throughout the 90s, and guess
what. "We found there was a strong link between having money fall upon
you and being happy," said the (useless) professor.
go on about money, remind me never to give any of it to Warwick U. Surely there
must be a better way to use researchers than to have them ask a lot of stupid
questions of a lot of stupid people. The conclusion was even more earth-shaking
than the findings: "We think it is that money buys autonomy and independence."
Give them the Nobel for that one.
waste of time and money by Warwick U. established the fact that while receiving
an inheritance or winning the lottery can improve the recipient’s outlook
on life, "We calculated that to turn a really unhappy person into a very
happy person using money alone would take about one million pounds." The
geniuses also found out that people who can control their own worlds and destinies
are much happier.
like to know is whose idea this was. Ten years to find out something any poor
man, say our very own George Szamuely, could have told them in a jiffy. Oh yes,
I almost forgot. The geniuses also discovered that women tend to be happier
than men. "We don’t know why that is," said Prof. Oswald. Well,
a good guess would be that women end up getting all the moolah, and that makes
them much happier than those poor dumb bastards who slave away and then drop
dead. Just call me Prof. Taki.
Freud, oddly enough, was among the most recent soi-disant wise men to have contributed
to the ridiculous notion that money can’t buy happiness. Happiness, he
said, is the adult fulfillment of childhood dreams, and children, he said, do
not dream of money. Ergo, money does not buy happiness. As usual, Freud steers
us wrong. Gore Vidal knows better. Vidal, who was comfortably ensconced as a
leftish bon vivant long before the terms "limousine liberal" and "radical
chic" were invented, knows full well that the truly rich, like blondes,
have more fun. Indeed, he once added, if the poor were ever to find out how
much fun the rich really have, they would probably rise up and kill them all.
In my experience,
rich people are just like poor people. Some are terrific shits, others are terribly
nice. One simply cannot generalize. Stavros Niarchos, the biggest and richest
Greek shipowner, was as awful a person as one could come across. He was suspicious,
screamed at underlings and treated women with contempt. For some warped reason
I liked him, and after his death in 1996 I was proved right. He left half of
his multibillion-dollar fortune to a foundation that helps humanity. As did
his great enemy, the charming Aristotle Socrates Onassis. Then you have Gianni
Agnelli, one of the world’s richest men, and as wonderful a person as one
can hope to meet. Gianni is extremely intelligent, probably the most charming
person ever, civilized, well-read, generous, a war hero and very handsome. Agnelli
is as nice to underlings as Niarchos was beastly. The difference, according
to Prof. Taki, is that Niarchos hustled his way to the top, Agnelli inherited
his right as top banana. Manners, or the lack of, have a lot to do with how
one treats his fellow human beings.
I can’t think of any poor people who are truly ghastly. Yet I know a hell
of a lot of extremely rich people who are both horrible as well as truly unhappy.
Hollywood has always produced its share of grotesque multimillionaires, and
the present is no exception. I am told that one would have to look very far
to find as big a shit as David Geffen, and that five minutes away from him is
like a month in the country. I also hear that Michael Bloomberg is no prize,
but then nice guys finish last.
not so sure. There is always divine punishment, as no one has ever dared to
suggest that those who marry for money have not earned it. Perhaps Warwick U.
should have the researchers ask questions of those who have lotsa moolah. That
would be far more interesting than having some young whippersnapper fill out
a form saying that, Yes, I could do with one and a half big ones and my mood
would improve. When I used to gamble, it was all or nothing. I lost my house
in London once, a house that today would be easily worth $10 million. I was
obviously upset, but not really. After my father’s death I stopped gambling.
The thrill was gone. The euphoria of making money was only there when money
made a difference of lifestyle. One thing I’ve never understood about the
rich is the drive to make more money after they’re long past trying to
spend the interest on the interest. I suppose it is the curse of always looking
over their shoulder to compare themselves.
a true horror, married three very rich men, one uglier than the next, obviously
for the root of all envy. I would have thought she would have grabbed the first
bundle and settled down with a good-looking beach bum. Not our Lily. My great
buddy Porfirio Rubirosa, dead since 1965, at least married rich women, took
their money and divorced them, and then married beautiful impoverished youngsters.
Now that’s where money can bring happiness.