Does Wealth Equal Happiness?

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Essay #: 054823
Total text length is 4,675 characters (approximately 3.2 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Does Wealth Equal Happiness?
It is easy to understand why the very title of Adam Smith’s famous work, The Wealth of Nations, would be anathema to someone like Karl Marx. While Marx is concerned about labor, especially the so-called “common laborer”- the one at the very bottom of the pile- Smith makes it clear that the most satisfactory existence of a nation, whether one could call it “happy” or, perhaps better, “contented with the status quo” is that nation with the best well-distributed forms of labor where experience and education counts. Happiness is not a moral prerequisite but a material one as Adam Smith sees it.
Smith makes it very clear near the beginning of his thesis that “in Europe, the wages of mechanics, artificers and...
The end:
.....
Looking back at Smith’s combining morality with materialism to spawn wealth, it is hard to overlook what the Industrial Revolution in England alone created: child labor, slums, a smoke-filled atmosphere dangerous to lungs and hearts and a greater gulf between
have’s
and have-nots. Smith’s wealth was really more wishful thinking than Marx’s stark and grim reality.
Happiness should transcend mere financial survival.
References:
Grote
, D. (2000): “Adam Smith’s ‘
Waggon
-way’ to wealth vs. the
Fed” Theology Today 57.1, p. 95
Smith, A. (1952): The Wealth of Nations Vol. 39 of The Great
Books of the Western World Chicago: University of Chicago
Press.
Tows, J. E. (1999): The Communist Manifesto with
Related Documents Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s