Americans cash-wealthy, time-poor

Excerpt from Miller-McCune:

Tim Kasser wants to be happy. If you live in America, odds are, so do you.

There’s a crucial difference between you and Kasser, though. After two decades of poring over and contributing to academic research on what makes people happy or unhappy, anxious or depressed, Kasser can predict what’s likely to keep him content and what isn’t. He makes life choices based on those studies; he thinks if you did the same, you might end up happier. And he thinks it’s time the government helps you get happy.

The research tells Kasser that Americans are cash-wealthy, time-poor and not as happy as they could be. So he teaches two-thirds time at Knox College, where he’s been a psychology professor since 1995, devoting the extra nonteaching hours to research, writing, personal projects and time with his wife and two sons. The studies say a sense of community is important to well-being, so he works at this tiny college bordering the small, western-Illinois town of Galesburg, where he knows people he passes on the street and where, when you have a new baby, staff and faculty deliver food to your house for the next two weeks. The literature suggests that living simply will probably increase his feelings of contentment. So he lives on a farm eight miles from the school, raising goats, growing fruit and vegetables and taking long hikes in the woods.