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It's just not worth it anymore

by Zwackus Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 06:47:34 AM EST

The results of a recent study show what some of us may have intuitively felt for some time now.

Cost of Living Now Outweighs Benefits - America's Finest News Source

ET's always been strong on Doom, but it seems like the gloom side is still alive and kicking.

"This is sobering news," said study director Jack Farness. "For the first time, we have statistical evidence of what we've suspected for the past 40 years: Life really isn't worth living."

Here I was, thinking this was a problem that I suffered from alone.

To arrive at their conclusions, study directors first identified the average yearly costs and benefits of life. Tangible benefits such as median income ($43,000) were weighed against such tangible costs as home-ownership ($18,000). Next, scientists assigned a financial value to intangibles such as finding inner peace ($15,000), establishing emotional closeness with family members ($3,000), and brief moments of joy ($5 each). Taken together, the study results indicate that "it is unwise to go on living."

"Since 1965, the cost-benefit ratio of American life has been approaching parity," Farness said. "While figures prior to that date show that life was worth living, there is some suspicion that the benefits cited were superficial and misreported."

Analyzed separately and as one, both the tangible and intangible factors suggest that life is a losing investment.

"Rising energy costs, increased prices on everyday goods and services, and the decreased value of the dollar have combined to drive the cost of living in this country to an all-time high," Farness said. "At the same time, an ever-increasing need for additional emotional-energy output, low rates of interest in one another, and the decreasing value of ourselves all greatly exceed our fleeting epiphanies."

We're all doomed!

Is life worth living?
. Yes 52%
. No 0%
. Maybe 11%
. All of the above 23%
. None of the above 0%
. A and B are both correct 0%
. C and D are both correct 11%

Votes: 17
Results | Other Polls
IF the numbers are correct they convey a simple common sense truth:

Someone else has been paying the price of American living (I'll extend that to industrialized/first world/whatever nations).

by Torres on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 09:43:20 AM EST
I'd say life in non-industrial countries often bests the US standard of living in terms of what makes life worthwhile.  There are obvious exceptions, but more more more possession of "things" like VCRs, SUVs and colossal houses, all owned by banks, does not make for a pleasant life.

Some of my most pleasant memories are of such things as walking down a hot, dusty country road with my grandfather to the local general store where he would pull out a small coin purse, fish out a couple of nickles and buy my brother and I each a 5oz soda.  Much later in life I walked down a similar road in Zambia and bought another small soda at a remote gasoline station.  I fished it out of one of those old water cooled boxes, long obsolete in the US and other modern countries, and paid the equivalent of 5 cents for it. Very few things provided me as much pleasure as these simple experiences.  One experience based on the love of my grandfather, the other reminding me of that same love.  

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 09:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this presage our long awaited overthrow of Neo-Classical Economics?  After all, what is Homo Economus rationally supposed to do given these facts?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 10:28:21 AM EST
... absolute utility was thrown overboard a century or more back, and in terms of relatively utility, suitable continuity and concavity assumptions for analytical tractability rule out suicide, which is a corner solution.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 01:20:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note though that they add:
Alvi added, "And let's not fail to mention that some religious experts say there are penalties for early withdrawal.
For those of you who haven't noticed, it's The Onion.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 11:28:38 AM EST
It may be the Onion, but it sounds just like any of a number of bogus "scientific" studies that the press reports on.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 12:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So sad. Just a year and a half again the same finest source had announced:

Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man

Twenty-six years after Ronald Reagan first set his controversial fiscal policies into motion, the deceased president's massive tax cuts for the ultrarich at last trickled all the way down to deliver their bounty, in the form of a $10 bonus, to Hazelwood, MO car-wash attendant Frank Kellener.

In practice, stronger trickle down is needed. </SNARK>

by das monde on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 10:58:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inner Peace (short-term):  15,000 €
7th Chakra Illumination:     19,995 €  (h/t Migs)
Buddha Wisdom:                Priceless  (h/t Cosmic Coincidence Control)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 12:18:35 PM EST
Sign of the times: Sophocles on stats. Ecclesiastes chronically depressed for his poor credit rating.

Ramina Grobis has conveniently put some classic reflections together here.


"Not to be born surpasses all value;
To go back whence we come, as fast as possible,
Is second by far.
When the young creature is born
In ignorance, what blow full of grief is not to be expected?
Who is not caught up into pain?"


"Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun."


"Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say what is the most unpleasant thing for you to hear? The very best thing for you is totally unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist, to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however, is this: to die soon."

But since we're already along for the ride, Epicurus still has the best attitude: a piece of bread, some goat cheese and good friends all carry the day at a modest cost.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 12:52:37 PM EST
Me 'n Rimbaud were having a quietly violent swordfight underneath an Enercon E82, debating the value of the young, swords slashing under the swishing rotor.  "E Tu, Altenheim," shouted the soon-to-be dead young poet.  "hunter T. waited a while before he pulled the plug, you precocious effete (see French) snit," i snorted as, being amurkan, i pulled a gun and shot him.  Thus was the debate over the value of life brought to its proper concolusialis.  There were no remittances, though the reminders come from every angle.

Sometimes even the young die old.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 01:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You 'n the tumoured bard should sorta find each other. He had his simple moments, not all that illuminating but nonetheless:

Quand le monde sera réduit en un seul bois noir pour nos
quatre yeux étonnés, - en une plage pour deux enfants fidèles,

  • en une maison musicale pour notre claire sympathie,
  • je vous trouverai.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 04:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But i've just noticed that my mind is asleep.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 05:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From elsewhere on there

DHS Warns Of Rise in Right-Wing Extremism | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

The Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement officials that the recession, the disenfranchisement of returning veterans, and the election of a black president could lead to an increase in recruitment by white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups. What do you think?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 16th, 2009 at 10:52:19 AM EST
Not all situations can be further satirized.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 16th, 2009 at 01:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is that sigline on Agent Orange about political news and Comedy Central...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Apr 17th, 2009 at 05:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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