Thursday, February 19, 2004


I have lost track of where I got this quote about happiness from and Google doesn't know it so maybe it is behind a subscription wall somewhere. I have commented on this subject previously myself here and here:

"In a recent New York Times op-ed touting his book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, psychology professor Barry Schwartz criticized political reforms aimed at expanding choice. He argued that "for many people, increased choice can lead to a decrease in satisfaction. Too many options can result in paralysis, not liberation."... There is much to be said against this thesis. First, if choice makes us unhappy, why do so many of us stop patronizing mom-and-pop stores and rush to Wal-Mart the moment we get the chance?... Choice in the marketplace grows out of individual freedom. I want shoes. Many people are free to sell me shoes. That presents me with choices, requiring me to pay attention and to discriminate. What's the alternative? Government control aimed at limiting choice. Where's the evidence that that makes people happy?... Schwartz is a professor. If someone were to suggest that too many books, journals, and magazines crowd the shelves, that all this choice makes people unhappy, and that government could serve us better by restricting the number of choices, Schwartz and his ilk would scream like banshees".

There is a more reasonable article on what makes us happy here.


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