The Sunday edition of the Baltimore Sun has a feature on happiness by Joe Burris, which contains a number of quotes from your resident happiness wonk. I'm especially delighted to have received the last word:
Those rankings raise the age-old question: Does money buy happiness?
“All the evidence points to the fact that people who have more money are more likely to say that they're happy on these surveys,” said Wilkinson. “People who say that money doesn't matter are misleading you. Within just about any country, as you go up the income scale, the people higher up the income scale are happier.”
The last sentence in the quotation is a casual gloss of the first where “are happier” = “are more likely to say they are happy.” I was thinking of this chart:
Maybe one of these days, the conventional wisdom will actually reflect the data.