Money can’t buy happiness. In terms of GDP-per-capita, the USA is richer than almost all EU Member States individually. However, if you start measuring other factors (such as equality, life expectancy, wellbeing, environmental impact, etc.) then the US slides right down the rankings, coming 108th out of 140 nations in the Happy Planet Index.

Money is useful as a medium of exchange. However, critics argue that it shouldn’t be the defining indicator of success. According to some, we actually need to shrink the economy. De-growth, according to its advocates, is the only way to prevent catastrophic climate change and resource exhaustion. An economic growth rate of 3-4% a year means a doubling of human consumption every 20 years. By some estimates we will need two Earths to keep us going by 2030.

Of course, it’s easy to preach the evils of money if you already live comfortably. Roughly 8% of the world’s population still live in extreme poverty. Economic growth in countries like China has helped to reduce that number significantly since the 1990s, and the current aim set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals is to eliminate extreme poverty altogether by the year 2030.

Is money the root of all evil? Should we focus more on wellbeing, happiness, and personal relationships? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!


32 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. José

    No, religion os the Root of all evil. Excuse to kill, rape, make wars, devide people and create hate. Religion also want lots of Money bracause it is What religion os about. Money and Control.

    • Diane

      No it’s not, all religions are about peace and love but people manipulate religion for their own means, always have. All wars are about money, greed, power and control but they excuse so the say it’s a religious war.

    • Ian

      British socialism is said to owe more the Methodism than Marx.

    • Ned

      And I suppose capitalist dictators never killed anyone? You really need to read up on the evils committed by all the so called great impires. Maybe starting with the British empire. Churchill was responsible for the deaths of 20 million people in India alone. Yet he is regarded as one of the best British prime Ministers ever. And I don’t think you could decribe Hitter asa socialist either. Power corrupts no matter what political ideology it disguises itself in.

    • Ivan

      Ned Mc Carthy Like all commies you are either ignorant of the facts or just plain lie. Of course Hitler was a Socialist, his party was even called the ‘National Socialist German Workers Party’ and fascism, Nazism & Communism all derived from the same source, the Socialist ideology of Marx and Engel.

      By the way calling someone a ‘capitalist dictator’ is an oxymoron because dictators are by definition Socialists.

      Socialism fails always and it is the same people who suffer.

    • Ivan

      Take away the incentive to make a profit you take away the incentive to work. Banks are are business so without profit the whole system collapse.

    • Ivan

      Would you work for nothing comrade ?

  2. Mia

    And if we tried to let the ” money for moneys sake ” thing be an oldfashion way to think ?

  3. Diane

    Of course money is, the more you have the more power and control you have. Far too much greed in the world.

  4. Ian

    the correct quote is ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’ In other words selfishness and grasping .

  5. Chris

    The expression is ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’. Money is neither good nor evil. That is the prerogative of humans…

  6. M.par

    I suggest you watch the “ascent of money” documentary film. The problem is not money. The problem is “Riba”.

  7. Alice

    Money is power…. look around at today s society…… ordinary people are losing their civil rights and it’s gonna get worse

  8. Dan

    Well according to this ridiculous ‘Happy planet index’ the U.S is rated 108 and bizarrely Costa rica is rated no 1.Now thankfully i’ve never been to Costa rica but I have been to America many times,and if having money really does matter in this world,I can tell you I’d rather be poor and living in the U.S than rich and living in Costa rica.

  9. Christophe Dupriez

    Money is a substitute to violence: you pay to compensate your victim. Money therefore contains violence. No money and a lot more of physical violence. So if you decrease the violence level of a given society (for instance by culture and education, by diminishing extreme wealth differences), you decrease the overall need for money. Money violence is an effect, not a cause. At the end of World War II, highest incomes were taxed at 95% in the USA: it is possible to diminish inequalities but do we need a war to achieve this?

  10. Kitty

    It’s not money itself that’s the root of all evil. It’s the love of money and the greed that develops from loving it.

  11. Fusian

    The real issue is inequality. Taxes on capital should be increased and taxes on labour decreased. Also excessive wages or pensions should not be allowed and minimum wages and quality free education boosted.

  12. EU Reform- Proactive

    Are we now paying a visit to the EUI-EU philosophical department? Why not?

    “Money buys everything, except morality and (hopefully “principled”?) citizens”.

    This wisdom was already discovered in 1762 by Jean-Jacques Rousseau who wrote “The Social Contract”! He believed in the popular sovereignty form of government.

    That is- a government quite contrary to the EU model. Music for some ears- hear hear!

  13. catherine benning

    Is money the root of all evil?

    Money is simply a method of trade. It is inanimate and therefore not the root of anything sinister like greed.

    Greed is a human condition. To want more, and to do it at the expense of others welfare is where greed becomes morally questionable.

  14. RAFAY

    Materialism, which is of course connected to money, has been one of the defining factors of modern life. People invest more on physical possessions, but in the end what matters is the relationships. We hear stories of corruption around the world, mainly because we have become part of the vicious cycle of looking success through the lens of how much money we have. It is about time we understood that becoming only technologically advanced and having lots of money stuffed in banks is not the solution. The solution lies in fostering human relationships.

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