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How Much Money do we Need to Lead a Good Life?

Is enough money ever, really, enough? Is there such a thing as too much?

Does having more money make us happier? Many of us certainly behave as if we think so. Yet not all money is equal: having an extra £1000 would make most people happier, but it might be expected to bring a lot less extra happiness to a millionaire than it would someone who was destitute. Perhaps the more money we have, the less extra happiness we can achieve by acquiring more. Or is the real happiness money brings a sense of success and status, in which case money’s function is more about keeping score than purchasing power?

But if money really is the key to happiness, can we all become affluent? In a world of limited resources, is our happiness always going to be bought at someone else’s expense? Or have we become like children, consumed by an insatiable desire for ever more “goods” but perpetually disappointed by what we have? “Money can’t buy you happiness,” opined Spike Milligan, “But it does bring a more pleasant form of misery”.

At a time when economic growth and the generation of wealth are at the top of the political agenda, join us for a discussion of how much money we actually need. We’ll be joined by Robert, Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Warwick and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is an expert on Keynes, of whom he as written an acclaimed three-volume biography, and is also a biographer of Oswald Mosely. He was a founding member of the SDP, but has also been a Conservative peer and is now a cross-bencher. Expect an evening in which economics, psychology, idealism and pragmatism collide over an issue that directly affects the choices each of us makes about the way we live our lives.


Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky | talks


Date and Time:

27 September 2011 at 8:00 pm


3 hours



The Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place

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Organised by:

Big Ideas
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For more information, visit www.bigi.org.uk

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