I attended my OU tutorial at Chester on Saturday in preparation for my next essay, which is a report on whether Economic Growth brings health, wealth and happiness.

Considering the current economic issues, it led to an interesting debate within the class. One question that came up several times was ‘does money really make you happy?’

It’s an interesting and difficult one to answer. Some people felt that it did and others felt that the more you had then the more you felt you needed and wanted. In other words people feel the need to buy the newest/most up-to-date version of something; a keep up with the Jones’ approach.

Health wise the majority vote was that we tend to eat and drink more of food that is regarded as not good for you. We go on holidays abroad where before you go there is the pressure to get a base tan on sun beds which we regularly hear reports of links to cancer.

One very interesting point raised was that we have gone from being a country which was heavily manufacturing based to one which is regarded as a weightless economy.

In other words we have moved to knowledge-intensive service based industries. So does this mean that the UK is a greener place to be? No because we still buy goods that are manufactured in foreign countries and then shipped over here so in other words we’ve just moved out pollution problems to another country.

But does money make you happy?

Well you certainly need money to pay the bills, put your children through education etc but who is happier? Those who have more than enough money, or those with just enough to make ends meet? Those without may say of course money makes you happy while those with money may disagree. It's an interesting debate – I wonder what you think?

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