Humans in general, are generally happy if they are working to produce gains, not to forestall losses. It does not take a great deal of income to do that. Most of what we spend is on status signaling to ourselves and others. Food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, electricity, appliances, air conditioning, children, family, friends.

But we need be insulated from ‘the evil people’ who are unsatisfied with such – so we pay heavily to keep away from them. We pay even more heavily to be with people who are better than us, that we can learn from, and gain from the opportunities of proximity.

If you truncate your lower classes, occupy your mischievous young males with physical labor in support of the commons, occupy your young women with children, and invest heavily in commons, most of us will be able to live very well, and the few that make our living-well possible will live far above us in signals – as they should.

We have economics all wrong. We need multiple economies both martial(slave), public works (underclass), syndicalism(labor), and capitalism( middle, upper middle, and upper) And we do not need this hamster wheel of continuous consumption. We need only eradicate immigration except for the very best of the upper classes, eradicate through constraint on reproduction the lower classes, and eradicate the ability for non-kin to compete with us for control over the production of commons, and the status signals that are the reward for assisting in the production of those commons.

Unfortunately we have not learned to constrain the impulses of women to satisfy the need to give (free endorphins for redistributing the production of others), and we have not learned to constrain the impulses of all (as did the communists) to satisfy the need to feel ‘above’ someone, or that they are not the low rung on the ladder, (free endorphins for false status signals), or the need to demonstrate status through conspicuous consumption (endorphins for possessing that which others do not), or the need to virtue signal (free endorphins for empty talk or gossip).

Other societies, including ours, in much of our history, have suppressed unearned signals as a form of theft.

It seems like this more than anything, combined with democracy that let it loose, has been the reason we are not happy.

The hamster wheel of consumption is merely selling us the curse of Sisyphus by the promise of a utopia, the same way a drug dealer sells drugs, a fast food chain sells sugars and fats, a dietary supplement manufacturer sells ‘vitamins’ an advertiser sells status, a politician sells socialism or communism, or priest and his prophet sells life after death or some number of virgins.

They’re all lies.

Happiness is simple. Working to produce gains, not to forestall losses. And we can only forestall losses if we have the inventory that is sufficient to live off our gains.