What Money Can't Buy

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — For as long as people have been writing down their philosophizing, there have been variations on the same theme – money can’t buy happiness.

From those of you hearing me right now who are thinking: maybe not, but I’d be glad to give it a try—to the folks I saw on TV over the weekend wondering why billionaires would patronize a sleazy Florida strip-mall massage parlor, there are plenty of us who doubt that cliché. 

As the Baby Boom generation has moved from the Decade of Greed in the 1980s to the current era of maximum income inequality, the myth of money buying happiness has prospered.

But a story in Sunday’s New York Times by a Harvard Business School graduate entitled “Wealthy, Successful and Miserable” sticks a pin in that balloon.

The author went to his 15th reunion and found a surprising number of his classmates who had hit it big were not enjoying the ride. 

“They talked about missed promotions, disaffected children and billable hours in divorce court. They complained about jobs that were unfulfilling, tedious or just plain bad.”

Said one guy who makes $1.2 million a year: “I feel like I’m wasting my life.”

How can that be? 

Think of the first-class plane rides, the second homes, the extravagant winter vacations in the Caribbean.

Maybe the moral of the story is that while money can buy you the things you think have value, nothing of real value has a price tag.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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