The U.S. Is the Unhappiest It’s Ever Been

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"Report co-author Jeffrey Sachs calls the United States a “mass-addiction society.”

Yahoo Finance, March 20, 2019

... In the U.S., where prosperity is on the rise, researchers pin the blame on declines in social capital and social support and increases in obesity and substance abuse. Author Jean M. Twenge believes fundamental changes in how Americans spend their leisure time are also to blame, pointing a finger at the rise of digital media and the decline of face-to-face interactions.

Report co-author Jeffrey Sachs calls the United States a “mass-addiction society.” The prevalence of addictions — including gambling, social media use, video gaming, shopping, consuming unhealthy foods, exercising, and engaging in extreme sports or risky sexual behaviors — in American society seems to be on the rise, perhaps dramatically, he writes.

“The free-market theory taught in our universities holds that consumers know what’s best for them, with businesses efficiently and appropriately catering to those desires,” Sachs wrote. “The prevalence of addiction suggests a very different picture: that individuals may be lured into self-destructive behaviors, notably by businesses keen on boosting sales of their goods and services.”

You can read the whole report here.

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