"Moment Of Surrender"
A new report from a Wharton professor entilted "The American Dream? The Private and External Benefits of Homeownership" dismantles the prevailing myth of the happy home owner. The author writes, "I find little evidence that homeowners are happier [than renters] by any of the following definitions: life satisfaction, overall mood, overall feeling, general moment-to-moment emotions (i.e., affect) and affect at home… They are also more likely to be 12 pounds heavier, report a lower health status and poorer sleep quality. They tend to spend less time on active leisure or with friends. The average homeowner reports less joy from love and relationships… Contrary to popular belief, I do not find significant differences in family-related time use patterns, family-related affect, number of normal work hours, indicators of stress or measures of self-esteem and perceived control of life by homeownership … Homeowners are happier on average only on an unadjusted basis. Once household income, housing quality and health are controlled for, they are no happier than renters. What’s more, they report to derive more pain from both the neighborhood and their house and home. This positive pain gap remains stable and robust when health, neighborhood characteristics and financial stress are controlled for. As for the most frequently cited channels of a positive impact by homeownership, namely self-esteem, stress, health and family life, again there is very little supporting evidence in my data… [H]omeowners spend less time on active leisure activities or with friends, which have been documented as some of the most enjoyable affective experiences."
This is a most interesting read, as I find that a subtle but palpable peer pressure exists around the topic of home ownership, supported so effectively by wall-to-wall programming such as HGTV and similar decor porn media outlets, "big box" home decor and improvement stores, and countless home magazines. The message we receive is that you only arrive once you've purchased a home, that you are somehow less responsible or that you are living carefree if you are a renter. I think home ownership is one of the most significant decisions any of us will ever make and it should be made for all the right reasons at the best possible time for the individual(s) involved. The subprime mortgage crisis reveals the dangers of selling the dream to those who should never have taken the keys in the first place.
The country's top court has dissolved the government. The decision, which effectively dissolves the Prime Minister's government, follows months of opposition protests that have driven government officials from their offices. The Consitutional Court also banned at least one of the ruling coalition partners, effectively dismantling the government over allegations of vote-rigging. Adeputy prime minister from one of the remaining coalition parties will take over until the parliament could approve a new government.
The head of state is cutting short a state visit to Europe and returning to the country in the face of a political crisis that could bring down the government next week. The head of state will be called upon to decide who should govern if the minority government falls in a confidence vote. Opposition leader announced Monday that he had informed the head of state of a formal entente between the opposition parties, and called on her to let him govern. The Prime Minister's minority government could fall Monday when the House of Commons votes on last week's economic update - unless the Prime Minister prorogues Parliament.
Fascinating times indeed. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. By the way, the first country is Thailand and the second country is Canada.