Recent studies from the US suggest that the recession has actually made people happier (unlike previous recessions)
Why? Well we became so expectant of accelerated material growth (during the period where everything that anyone seemed to touch turned to gold whatever their level of talent) that our ambition became so over-inflated it began to eat away at our happiness. So the old unrealistic ambitions equalling disappointment scenario.
But steadily we are seeing in the age of Web 2.0 materialistic wealth falling increasingly behind intelligence as the key currency.
“Perhaps this in because in a networked world, it is far easier to demonstrate intelligence than before. And because the idea of wealth as a measure of talent has taken rather a knock in the last two years” (Roy Sutherland, The Spectator- Christmas Issue).