The scarcity theory in economics applies to any situation where there is a high demand for a resource that has a limited supply. These are usually commodities, like gold, oil, gas and livestock. The scarcity theory can also apply to the necessities of life that people are forced to demand for in order to stay alive. This can be food, water, clothes and transportation to get to work. Sometimes these necessities are not even tangible items though.
In the state of our current economy, the scarcity theory can be applied toward the number of jobs available to the public. If there is a scarce supply of jobs out there, like there is now, then the public is going to demand more of them be made available. If people can’t get a job then they’ll be unhappy until they find one.
Happiness for many people is about being able to make enough money to simply pay the bills and survive in their lives. When there’s not enough supply to meet a high demand then people will always be unhappy, like with this current period of unemployment.
So, is not finding a job the only thing to get unhappy over? What makes happiness valuable?
Happiness generally comes from having your demands fulfilled, whatever they may be. Happiness can mean something different to each individual person.
In third world countries, people are happy when they have food to eat and clean clothes to wear. In rich countries, like the United States, they tend to have higher expectations for happiness. Food, clothing and shelter are all taken for granted in America. The American people want to have more material things for their happiness, like computers, iPhones, jewelry and other items that don’t really matter in life. What is really sad is that a large number of American people still suffer from depression and end up having to take medication in order to be happier. What’s worse is the medication is only a temporary solution for happiness because the effects tend to wear off fast. Instead of taking pills, people need to assess their lives and what they hold dear to their hearts.
Material things are like drugs. They give you a quick fix of happiness, but then after you get the item, you feel unhappy again. So, you try to get another item to get that fix again and the cycle never stops. Why is there such big demand for things that don’t matter? People simply don’t know what makes them happy.
Happiness is valuable because it gives people a reason to go on living.
If you felt miserable all the time then you would not feel like there was any purpose in your life. In affluent societies, things like family and friends are scarce. Affluent people have become independent loners that are obsessed with money while their own families don’t mean anything to them. These people may think they are happy, but if you get to know them you will find out they are deeply sad people on the inside. They just don’t understand what true happiness is or what really makes it valuable.
Then at the same time, you can take a look at a poor family and probably notice they are happier than a rich family. That is because when you are poor, you are forced to depend on family members for support. Families that have little money only have each other to lean on. If they had money, they’d be off in their own worlds playing video games, going to the movies or doing something else that doesn’t involve their family. Being together with your family more often will most likely make you happier because you are spending time with them. Human beings are naturally social and this behavior is the only thing that will truly bring them happiness.
When we look at supply and demand, we often think about commodities, products and services. Why don’t we think about the demands of friends and family? We never see that on any statistical charts. Shouldn’t those be more important?
Well, society might say they are but society doesn’t decide what the demand of the people is going to be. The people do that for themselves. Unfortunately, what people want are products and resources. These things have become the illusion of happiness. What happens is when people purchase material things, it gives them a quick fix of happiness, but then after they’ve had it for an hour, they are unhappy again. So, they’ll look for another product to purchase in order to get that quick fix of happiness again. Then the cycle will keep continuing until they have secluded their friends and family out of their own lives.
People have to learn to break this cycle and realize what makes true happiness valuable. When you spend time with your family, doesn’t your feeling of happiness stay with you before and afterwards? Most likely it didn’t cost you any money to spend time with them either. This should be a clear indication of what makes your happiness valuable and what doesn’t make it valuable.
The sad thing is most people demand friends and family in their hearts, but they don’t express it out loud to be noticed. The best way to make your happiness valuable is to express what truly makes you happy, even if it goes against societal and other social norms we have been brainwashed into following.
Even though a large group of people may be demanding the same thing, the value of their happiness could mean something completely different. Most people really don’t know how to be happy or what makes them happy. They think they do because of what everyone else around them says happiness is. But, the only way to truly know is to ask yourself what makes happiness valuable. If you can’t answer that question then don’t look for others to tell you.
Go on a journey of self discovery and focus on everything you have demanded in the past. Did any of those things make you happy? If something did, then try to get that again.
If nothing made you happy, then you have to try to demand something new and keep trying to learn. It may take your whole life to discover what makes happiness valuable to you.
But, don’t stop trying to figure it out – Happiness is valuable.