"In the past few years there has been a burgeoning literature on the economics of happiness. While the understanding and pursuit of happiness has been a topic for philosophers—and psychologists—for decades, it is a novel one for economists. Early economists and philosophers, ranging from Aristotle to Bentham, Mill, and Smith, incorporated the pursuit of happiness in their work. Yet as economics grew more rigorous and quantitative, more parsimonious definitions of welfare took hold."

Read the full text free online from “Adaptation amidst Prosperity and Adversity: Insights from Happiness Studies from around the World” by Carol Graham, via The World Bank Research Observer. To learn more about Economic behavior and psychology please visit our latest Virtual Issue.

Image: Afghan boy smiling, by ArmyAmber. Public domain via Pixabay.

you see this ugly ass exalt fodder here?? 

yeah, well this generation 2 piece of shit has put me through treasure hell in the span of only 10 minutes. i am keeping her as a momento of my foolishness

little Mordaine here had all of her even uglier siblings exalted (but named already, bc i already have 2 unnamed on my progen’s list and that’s not going to happen again on my watch), but then i figured, “hey, why not just sell this one instead for more money than what i would get when i exalt her?? why not try it??”

so i put her up, and right when i was about to take her down and just exalt her after a few hours (not the most patient) she gets sold.

oh wow, cool. i frolic in the pitiful 3000 treasure i sold her for, and then after a while i just decide to go to her page and check if she was exalted, just out of boredom.

i am surprised to find out she isn’t, and i get curious and check out the lair of the owner, maybe to see their style of dragons and i was actually satisfied that she MAY have fit in.. someplace.

nah, not really. turns out she was put up in the AH, for more. (it was just 1000 more but shhhh)

i shouldn’t of been angered, since hey, i got treasure either way. (my treasure count is down to about 31000. i am noob) but for some reason, something has snapped in the immature part of my brain to the point where i thought “NOT ON MY WATCH” so what do i do?? buy her back. which ends up giving the person the 4000 anyway. wow, nice going, me.

so now, im stuck with this shitty, uglier than unwiped ass mirror baby with 1000 less treasure than before i had put her up.

what a keeper.

an ugly dipshit keeper. 

tune in fucking next time for another episode of “newbie discovers the extent of her commitment to virtual dragons” and, alternatively, “newbie discovers how treasure works”

A Little Republican FYI

Disclaimer: I am not trying to change your opinion in ANY way because I believe each person should be encouraged to follow what they believe in, its just that on tumblr and many other social media sites republicans are given a bad connotation and I would just like to give you guys a little bit of info about why I (a feminist, minority, young woman) affiliate myself with the republican party. We are all the future of this country and I think that it isn’t fair to blindly discredit someone or a party just because the word “republican” has a bad name.

Why am I a republican? 

First of all, if you affiliate yourself with a particular party that does not mean you are forced to agree with all aspects of that party. I am NOT religious and believe that the religious aspect of the republican party is a weak point that should be abolished. I also am PRO-choice and think that gay rights should not be as big of a controversy as it is. So why am I republican then? You may think I’m being oxymoronic but I’ll explain it to you. The world does not function without an ECONOMY. If our financial sector does not function properly nothing in the world can truly ever be okay since we are so dependent on the monetary aspect of life. Adding to that I have certain values that the republican party incorporates that constantly encourage me to be my best in life.

Income Inequality

This is a touchy subject, I agree, because I believe that poverty is something that should not fall on anyone, however, I will be going to Yale next year for college and I spent my four years of high school working so hard to get great grades and extra-curriculars so that I could succeed later in life. Currently, everyone believes that the “rich have so much money, we should tax them because they don’t need that much”. This is a horrible mindset to have. President Obama’s taxes on the rich have increased so much that my Aunt who lives near DC who worked so hard to get a 10,000 a year raise is only actually receiving 50 dollars extra a MONTH. I personally would have no incentive to stay up and work my hardest if I was going to get absolutely nothing for my efforts. 

So what should happen? A flat tax. If everyone is given the same percentage tax on their income THE RICH WILL STAY PAY SIGNIFICANTLY MORE, however there will be incentive for people to work hard and keep our economy flourishing since the reward will be worth it.

Welfare?

I do not agree with the way the welfare state is right now, but I BELIEVE WELFARE IS A GOOD THING. Here’s how, in my opinion, welfare should work. Say the poverty threshold is $15,000. If you earn $15,000 you receive $5,000 in benefits. However if you work for $16,000 you make $4,500 in benefits. So if you work hard and get a pay increase you end up making more money than before. CURRENTLY, if you earn $15,000 you get $5,000 in benefits but if you work $16,000 YOU GET NOTHING. Therefore welfare becomes a incentive to work, causing problems in our economy. Remember Romney’s 47% comment? WELL IT IS TRUE. It wasn’t rude, it was the truth and it hurts. A majority of people do live off of the government but it is simply because the welfare system does not help them get back on their feet, but encourages them to stay where they are.

The American Dream

Although I am Canadian, I have lived in the United States for most of my life and am planning to move back there starting next year. People used to believe that in America if you work hard you will be successful, but that is no longer the case. Americans may never have been the smartest people in the world but they used to always have the best work ethic. This is one value that the republican party preaches that means the most to me personally.

Racism

Remember, I am one of the largest minorities out there (Native American) so this is the perspective of someone who is not white. Abraham Lincoln is often viewed as a savior and is remember for abolishing slavery in the United States. How many of you knew that before the National Union Party was temporarily formed that Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN. Not a democrat. So the history of the republican party is not as horrid as you think in regards to racism. 

In modern times racism is still present but I want to make my opinion clear. When you come to the United States you are AMERICAN. This does not matter if you are black, white, hispanic, asian. YOU ARE AMERICAN BEFORE YOUR RACIAL BACKGROUND. This country used to be famous for being a “melting pot” but now everyone stands up for their own race before standing up for their country. Racism against African Americans is racism. Racism against white people is also RACISM. Americans should recognize themselves by their nationality and not bring race into every aspect of life. Everyone is slightly racist and you would be lying to yourself if you do not acknowledge that certain stereotypes about particular races arise from facts. However we don’t have to segregate ourselves, but rather we should come together as AMERICANS not white americans or black americans. 

Also please stop hating on law enforcement and our military. Each officer is trained in a certain way and it is not their fault but the systems. If somebody’s life is at risk race should NOT be a factor in judgement. A recent shooting a a black man happened when he got pulled over on the road by officers, but why isn’t this as big as Ferguson? Because the officer that shot the black man was black. Police officers should be better trained not to kill but rather to denature the threat but that does not make it OKAY for people to go around hating the people who protect us everyday. They risk their lives for us and as a daughter of an army veteran i am horrified to see how people like police officers and soldiers are treated in this country. I saw this video the other day of a soldier holding his daughter for the first time and you know what a comment said “how could he hold that child when he goes out to kill so many in palestine?” HE DOES NOT DECIDE WHAT TO DO HE IS ORDERED TO DO IT. If this man goes out everyday to protect your damn life in battle the least you could to is give him a little respect. We used to be a very patriotic country but now these topics of racism have tainted the American name.

Why I think President Obama is an unfit president:

First of all I respect President Obama, as he is a very smart and well thought out man, but I do not agree with his opinions and actions, I have no issues with him as a person.

  1. FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLAN: This sounds great doesn’t it? Tumblr especially has shown a lot of love to the president because of this but let me tell you why this is a bad thing and prove to you why it is important to know the facts before you make your decision. Do you know where the money to fund this is coming from? During President Bush’s presidency he created a special account in which college funds could be saved (by your parents, by yourself, etc.) and all the money you put from your income into that particular account that could only be used for college would NOT BE TAXED. President Obama is taxing these accounts now, so if you want to go to a state university, or like me, a private university all the money that has been saved for your education is being cut from. Education is important, i agree, but I believe people should work hard and if i have to struggle since my college fund are no longer what they used to be even though I worked hard an saved to go to Yale, that is unfair. Money comes from somewhere guys, nothing is free. It may sound good on the outside but the facts may be something different than what you expected.
  2. Universal Healthcare: As a Canadian who has had this implemented in their own country for years, let me explain why this is a large negative. It costs less for an individual to have a private healthcare plan than all the money that will be taken away due to a HST (Healthcare Sales Tax). SImple. You’ll save more money in the long run by not having universal healthcare because if you do have it EVERYTHING (groceries, clothes,etc.) will cost significantly more. Also the quality of healthcare goes down since doctors have no incentive for customer satisfaction since their salaries are constant by the government (trust me, I broke my knee and service in Canada was so bad that I was forced to g to the U.S where it was fixed instantly). What if someone can’t afford healthcare? I believe if you are under a certain poverty threshold you should be provided with a government funded insurance card to aid with your medical expenses. This stops everyone’s premiums from going up, makes common goods affordable, makes the quality of healthcare better, and makes it accessible.
  3. Honesty: I am ready to admit that anyway Obama is smarter than Bush. However, the one quality that stood out to me n President Bush was his honesty and integrity, something missing from our current president. President obama promised he would do so many things but many of them he never even tried to do. Lets talk about his executive over on immigration. Did you know in 2011 he HIMSELF said that passing an executive order to stop deportation was illegal and un-presidential? Don’t believe me? Watch this: http://youtu.be/TfZ3kaKZoIw . Also he claims to have created more jobs but do you really know why unemployment has gone down? Because a significant number of people are leaving the work force. Not because they are getting jobs.

Conclusion:

I could go on for a long time but I just want to wrap it up. I do not think the republican party is perfect, nowhere near, but with the proper reforms (less religious, more focused on their economic policies than their opinions on abortion and gay rights) they could be the best for our country. The goal of this was not to change your mind but to maybe show you that republicans are not as bad as you think. We’re not all racist, sexist, old, white males. Sometimes even a young, feminist, minority woman can be a republican. I respect all of your opinions and all I ask is for you to respect mine as well. All I want you to take away from this is please before you cast your vote or share your opinion, look at the facts behind what you are supporting and then decide if it is really good for the country.

Note: If you have any questions, want to know some facts, wish to discuss your own perspective with me, I’d be happy to! :)

2

"We’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has more than doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.  This is good news, people." –President Barack Obama in his 2015 State of the Union.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well, or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?
— 

PRESIDENT OBAMA.

At this point, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is caught momentarily clapping… before catching himself and stopping since his party is opposed to the administration’s proposal to raise taxes on the nation’s wealthiest.

The free community college plan would save millions of students close to $4,000 a year and help keep college costs down across the board. It would give community colleges a more serious competitive edge over exploitative and unreliable for-profit schools that prey on those who are most desperate for cheap education. And on principle, it would strengthen the promise of democracy by encouraging the development of more informed citizens. These are all good things.

But there’s one common misconception about expanding the accessibility of education that should be done away with: the idea that more education will guarantee full employment for a class of previously unemployable people. The deeper problem with joblessness today isn’t that there aren’t enough skilled workers — it’s that there aren’t enough jobs.

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will lay out a plan to extend tax credits to the middle class by hiking taxes on wealthier Americans and big banks, according to senior administration officials.

Under the plan, the capital gains tax would be raised from its current level of 15 percent up to 28 percent for couples with incomes over $500,000 a year. The plan would also strip a tax break, known as a “step-up,” that allows heirs to avoid capital gains taxes on large inheritances.

In addition, the plan would institute a new tax on the biggest financial institutions, basing the fee on liabilities in order to discourage risky borrowing. The administration says the fee would hit the roughly 100 banks that have assets of $50 billion or more.

The president’s plan would use revenues from those tax code changes to finance credits aimed at the middle class, officials said. That includes extending the earned income tax credits to families without children, which would benefit an estimated 13 million low-income workers, while also tripling the maximum tax credits for child care in low- and middle-income homes.

"This proposal is probably the most impactful way we can address the manifest unfairness in our tax system," an administration official said.

The tax hikes on capital gains would run into heavy opposition from Republicans in the GOP-controlled Congress. Other elements of the president’s plan, however, have enjoyed some degree of bipartisan support. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has proposed a similar tax on big banks, and many Republicans favor the idea of broadening the earned income tax credit.

According to officials, the capital gains tax reforms would impact “almost exclusively” the top 1 percent of earners, carving out the majority of middle-income families from the hikes.

In addition to the tax credits, the president’s proposals will also include a plan to give more workers access to retirement accounts. Employers with at least 10 workers who don’t currently offer their employees a 401(k) would have to enroll them in what’s known as an automatic IRA, a plan that Obama has included in previous budgets he’s proposed.

Bucking tradition, the White House has been laying out such proposals in advance of the president’s speech, rather than surprising viewers with the policy measures on Tuesday. The president has already laid out a proposal to make some community college free and to extend paid leave to more people, including federal workers.

Officials said they have been viewing the past two weeks as an opportunity to begin making the president’s case for how to improve the economy for the middle class.

"It’s a clearer way for the president to present his vision," said one official.

h/t: Dave Jamieson at HuffPost Poltics

That’s right — a mere 17% of the attendees of the World Economic Forum’s 2015 meeting in Davos, Switzerland, are women. Apparently, less than one-fifth of the 2,600 most powerful people from 140 countries chosen to determine the four key themes of the global economy — growth and stability, crisis and cooperation, society and security, and innovation and industry — will represent a group that composes more than half of the world’s population. While celebrities like Pharrell Williams, will.i.am and chef Yotam Ottolenghi are reportedly essential enough to make the guest list, countless women didn’t make the cut.

This past week was one of the worst in Canada’s economic history. It was so bad that in one 24-hour period Canada lost 20,000 jobs. Between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening Sony announced it was closing 14 stores and eliminating 100 positions, energy companies Shell and Suncor announced 300 and 1,000 job cuts respectively, clothing retailer MEXX announced the closing of all of its Canadian stores causing another 1,800 job losses, and mega-retailer Target announced that it was closing its 133 stores and throwing 17,700 Canadians out of work. One economist noted that the Target announcement alone represented the second largest number of job losses caused by a single event behind the collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery in 1992.

So how on earth did we get here? From the start of Confederation until the last decade Canadians gradually built up a balanced national economy. Our Atlantic provinces developed the fishing, tourism, and shipbuilding industries. Quebec and Ontario were built upon the manufacturing, forestry, and financial services industries. Manitoba and Saskatchewan relied on agriculture, energy, and tourism. British Columbia’s economy grew primarily through forestry, mining, finance and trade. And then there is Alberta. Since the 1950’s Alberta has been dependent almost solely upon the prospects of the oil industry. These diverse regional economies made our national economy strong and stable since a decline in one or more industries or regions were usually offset by gains in others. This was the case for more than a century until Stephen Harper came to power.

—  NDP MP, John RaffertyConservative Policies Damaging Canada