One of the central trends of modern society has been the disconnect between growing material welfare and stagnant or decreasing personal and societal morale. Happiness, however, is both local and relative. If your immediate surroundings are miserable, you won’t care how the country or world overall is doing, and if your relative welfare decreases in comparison to that of others, you’ll probably be upset about it. Inequality breeds discontent for this reason, among others. Thatcherite/Reaganite exaltation of Free markets has slammed headlong into these basic facts of human nature and proven unable to adapt to them.
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