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I find it hard to agree with the statement that money buys happiness. The assertions that money buys happiness have been around for quite some time and has motivated many people to enter into pursuit of money at the expense of their happiness. According to Lee, (2005), the world’s per capita income has doubled over the years which would mean that people are happier today than they were in 1950s were the assertions that money bys happiness true. However, research has proved these assertions untrue. As noted by Lee, (2005), despite the increased per capita income in the United States in the last six decades, there is no any significant raise in the number of people who responded that they were very happy. Similar sentiments are echoed when the number of people who said that they were not very happy was examined. This is an indication that the availability of money or otherwise of money has no effect to the level of happiness to persons.
Arguments that money buys happiness have been put forth. Lee, (2005), notes that people measure wealth in relative terms. They therefore perceive that when they raise their income to better levels than their counterparts they shall have some satisfaction that they shall derive from the prestige of becoming better than peers. However, critically thinking, this pursuit for happiness can indeed be a reason for denying one party his or her happiness. This is because the journey to gain this wealth may be full of disappointments. Worse still when one gain new status by reaching a certain level of wealth compared to the rest of his peers, there are two constant fears that the person starts to nurse. To begin withy the person develop a feeling of insecurity that the rest may work as hard to up bring themselves hence deny himself a source of prestige and secondly, he develops another urge to raise further to catch-up with those who are above him. This therefore indicates that money cannot buy happiness.
Pursuit of money cannot be said to be a nonsensical issue. Money is the current measure of value and thus it is the recognized format that measures production. Although various thoughts have been advanced against the pursuit of money especially for those who believe that money cannot buy happiness, money should be pursued as it is an indication of productivity of a person and thus it provides the needed avenue for the money to be gained. Renowned economist Adam Smith as cited in Lee, (2005), would have viewed pursuit of money differently. Judging by the story cited in Lee, (2005), of a young man who desires reaches and thus toils to get money to uplift his status, Smith’s view was that pursuit for money is indeed an exercise in futile. From the story it is evident that the young man had to suffer at the hands of the employers he hated but was forced to work for them to earn a living.
There is also an economic cost for the pursuit for money. For instance person foregoes leisure to pursue money. One has to wake up early, sacrifice the level of sleep per day in order to create time to work. The work exhausts a person at the expense of rest. This shows that there is an opportunity costs as for the money being pursued. However the pursuit of money denies one the needed leisure activities that would have added happiness to a person’s life. The presence of opportunity cost that jeopardizes the quality of life of a person pursuing money make opposed to pursuit of money get a firm ground to argue their case. Beside, since money doesn’t have a diminishing marginal utility where the satisfaction earned from the first earning keeps on reducing in subsequent earning; there is sense to pursue more money. The fact that the marginal utility received from earning money keep on increasing provides the reason why people should continue looking for more money.
Today, the equivalent dollar cost of a four year university cost is approximately 25,000. This cost cannot be said to reflect fully the opportunity cost of taking the course. This is because, as stated by Rittenberg , (2008), analysis of opportunity cost must account the future incomes that the project is determined to fetch. For instance, getting education is a good avenue for a better paying job as well as an avenue towards further advancement of education. This therefore indicates that the dollar cost of getting education today should be contrasted with all possible future income, holding certain factors constant such as the fact that I shall work till the appointed retirement age. This therefore shows that the project is own pursuing as the activities I would have offered to pursue cannot guarantee the future income like the education would.
Apart from this view, by not pursuing education; I would be working, probably earning some little money as a non educated person. Combining this income as an opportunity cost to the amount paid to the university for the course would increase the value of opportunity cost. However, this is still way too far from being costs that can be considered worth pursuing at the expense of the education. Generally speaking the opportunity cost of pursuing education is the total sum of all the gains that are foregone for the sake of education (Fran, 2005).
Alberta oil sands in Canada have become one of the main areas where oil is mined today. With the light crude oil being in a diminishing state, oil sands that have been considered uneconomical for quite some long time now have proved to be viable projects and the extraction of these oils has begun in earnest. Despite this extraction, there have been various questions on the opportunity cost of this oil sand extraction. Among the major issues to be considered as part of the opportunity cost would be the cost of the massive forest resources that have to be cleared for oil sands to be extracted. This would be done by analyzing the amount the forest resources would earn if utilized in their capacity and their role as carbon absorbers. The next issue to be examined as an opportunity cost would be the future cost of oils against a dwindling reserve of light crude oil. The future income can be used to examine whether the oil sands should be exploited today or the exploitation should take place ion future.
Water resources that are needed in high volume in mining of oil sands will also constitute the factors for analysis in the process of determining the opportunity cost. This should examine the economic benefit that the large volumes of water can bring if used for other purposes other than in the mining of the oil sands. The actual costs of mining the oil today compared to what costs that are used in mining the light oils shall also be an important aspect for analysis in the process of examination of the process’ opportunity cost. The huge investments being done there today and how the money would have been invested in other projects also constitutes major areas that should be examined for the purpose of determination of the opportunity cost for this project. Lastly the huge destruction of natural resources and the huge release of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere will also give another area of analysis for the opportunity cost of the project in Alberta.
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