Swickard: Happy cows and citizens

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. Our country is basically a happy country. What is the source of our happiness? Capitalism is the core of our happiness. Consider this: New Mexico has the happiest cows in our country. I do not make that claim lightly. I have it on good authority that when you see New Mexico milk cows they are happier than the milk cows in New York. The test of happiness in cows in general concerns the amount of milk they give. Milk producers are experts on cow happiness because they get more milk per cow if that cow is happy. No fooling, this is true.
     Likewise, Americans are happier than citizens of other countries and like our cows there is an external measure of happiness. It is the general freedom of Americans in the market. Disregard all of the political speech about how our country is very much in poverty. We Americans do not know poverty like people in Africa. Our poorest Americans are richer than the middle class in many countries.
     But that is not what makes Americans so happy. Rather, each and every American is free to trade their own things of value for any other American’s things of value. We get to trade for what we want in a relatively free manner. We are a country where what you want, within reason, if within reach.
      In our capitalistic system, when two Americans trade things of value, both with equal knowledge, they both come away from the trade better off than before. Hence, they are both happy. That is why the capitalistic system generates happiness since both sides of a trade get what they want or they are free to not trade. Read column