Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Libertarians Are Really The Most Happy

Commenter b. rose brings us this latest scientific news, well worthy of it's own post. According to the study, conservatives are happier than liberals because their ideology better allows them to rationalize social and economic inequalities. It sounds about right to me. I think people tend to be happier when they don't spend time worrying about how many millions some CEO made last year. If you see unfairness in every difference in income and social standing, you probably will be less happy than those who can accept that this is the way the world is and it's probably for the best.

As a libertarian, what's of even more interest to me is the use of the conservative-liberal dichotomy in a scientific study. Given we're talking about inequality, conservative would probably refer to someone who accepts and appreciates the free market system, whereas liberal would refer to those more critical of the free market and capitalism. Under that sort of definition, I suppose myself, along with every other libertarian, would be considered conservative. In the end, it makes the conservative-liberal distinction a bit misleading. As I said, we're really talking about people who accept classical liberal economics versus modern liberals who lean toward socialism. And it all makes perfect sense. I wouldn't think conservatives would be happier because they're opposed to abortion or gay marriage.

The researchers also make a side comment about the application of their findings to personal life:

"There is no reason to think that the effects we have identified here are unique to economic forms of inequality," the researchers write. "Research suggests that highly egalitarian women are less happy in their marriages compared with their more traditional counterparts, apparently because they are more troubled by disparities in domestic labor."

I'd tend to disagree on this count. While it does make sense that conservative women with traditional values would be more at home with traditional disparities in domestic labor, you're really just talking about expectations in marriage. Two married people are going to be happy in regards to their domestic labor responsibilities if they know what they're getting into and they have an understanding from the get go. A liberal gay couple could certainly be perfectly happy if they have an arrangement that works for them, just as the traditional couple could be happy with their own arrangement.

As someone getting married in less than two months, it just seemed to be worth pointing out.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Barack Obama said...

That whole post is an ideological rationalization, that I as a Liberal am just incapable of making.

You just don't feel for those people in Asia who can't afford rice anymore because of rich, white CEO's and lawyers like yourself; you don't empathize with these people the way I do because you're callous.

Now let's go subsidize some more ethanol so we can make this world perfect.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous b.rose said...

that was actually me. good impression huh? if it was audio i'd have the rock do his voice.

caannn you smmmmmmelllll what barack is cookin. stole that from caliendo.

12:13 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

And I was going to ask how Barack Obama knows I'm a white lawyer (although he was off on the rich part).

12:46 PM  

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