Douglas Adams: Happy Paper Solution?

Posted by admin on Monday, July 6, 2015

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams saying that many look to solve problems by throwing greenbacks at them – but happiness doesn’t come from spending. Douglas Adams said:
 
Douglas Adams Many solutions were suggested for this problem [unhappiness], but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy quote
 

“Many solutions were suggested for this problem [unhappiness], but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy” — Douglas Adams

 

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In this quote, Douglas Adams is wryly commenting on how many approaches to solving unhappiness revolve around money or the economy. When referring to the “movement of small green pieces of paper” (money), Adams notes that proposals to address unhappiness tend to focus on financial or economic changes like tax policies.

However, he points out that money itself does not feel emotions like unhappiness. Adams seems to be suggesting in a lighthearted way that true happiness is an inner state, so simply manipulating money or the broader economy may do little to directly impact people’s levels of fulfillment, satisfaction and well-being.

Overall, the quote humorously questions the assumption that societal unhappiness can be cured through monetary or fiscal solutions alone.

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