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Title: Can't get no satisfaction
Authors: Deidun, Alan
Keywords: Political campaigns -- Malta
Hondoq ir-Rummien (Qala, Malta)
Land use -- Environmental aspects -- Malta
Malta Environment and Planning Authority
Non-governmental organizations -- Malta
Issue Date: 2007-03-04
Publisher: Allied Newspapers Ltd.
Citation: Deidun, A. (2007, March 4). Can't get no satisfaction. The Times of Malta, pp. 1-4.
Abstract: I took the liberty of borrowing the title of Michael Shermer's article in this month's Scientific American, since the author inadvertently draws the line between quality of life and standard of living, an issue I have been harping on for the past few months. In the article he quotes the findings of a study conducted by London School of Economics economist Richard Layard, which shows that people are not happier even though average incomes have more than doubled since 1950 and "we have more food, more clothes, more cars, bigger houses..." (the last two are especially relevant to us Maltese). According to Layard, once average annual income is about $20,000 a head, higher pay brings no greater happiness. So why do certain individuals indulge in a "never-ending hedonic treadmill that paradoxically leads to misery"? Workaholic local contractors, with their retinues ofarchitects and endless development applications, immediately come to mind. The answer might be found in the witty quipping given by H.L. Mencken (also quoted in the same article): "A wealthy man is one who earns $100 a year more than his wife's sister's husband." Hence, the race to build more so as to rake in more profits is simply fulfilling the urge to go one better than your neighbour. Our islands are paying more than their fair share to quench such an urge, in terms of land space. These considerations make one feel snug in the conviction that development tycoons, of whom we have quite a few, get little or no satisfaction from the millions they rake in annually since they have grown oblivious to the meaning of the term 'appreciation'.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSciGeo

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