From Joe Carter at EO, we find a gem:

10. Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?

Recent surveys have indicated that conservatives, on average, report being happier than liberals. Two psychologists wanted to know why, so they re-analyzed data from several large national and international surveys. The conservative-happiness relationship was not explained by differences in demographics or thoughtfulness but was largely explained by conservatives’ greater rationalization of inequality, including belief in a meritocratic world. According to the authors, such beliefs serve a “palliative function” or act as an “emotional buffer” when confronted with inequality. The same was true overseas, especially in countries with lower standards of living. Moreover, the authors found that the happiness gap between liberals and conservatives in the United States has widened over the last three decades as inequality has increased here.

Alternate explanation: Lack of covetousness makes one happier.

If indeed part of the reason is that conservatives view inequality as less problematic I’d offer perhaps it’s less disturbing to not be bothered by inequality because it’s intrinsic to reality. The old maxim, “Yes, the game (life) is rigged, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play.” Everyone’s abilities are unequally bestowed, and our luck in finding a way to maximize the abilities we do have to our benefit is unequally distributed as well. Furthermore, our parents and their parents all had unequal abilities and in an unequal fashion bestowed as they saw best what advantages they could on their children … unequally. This is not unjust. It is just a fact of life and nature.

I tell my children that if they are bored, that’s not a problem intrinsic to the universe around them, it’s a problem with them. The universe has plenty to interest everyone all the time (especially in the absence of TV and computers).

By the same token, if you’re bothered by inequality between men, that’s a problem with you, not the universe.

Filed under: ConservativeCultureLiberalMark O.

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