Krystal Ball: How happiness became a luxury good

Krystal Ball discusses the happiness divide between classes as the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to expand.

About Rising: 
Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day’s political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day’s political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country’s most important political newsmakers. 

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Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media:

Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball

Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball


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  • LoganLogan

    Author Reply

    Happiness be at a premium now, but you know what isn't? Anger and outrage. Channel it. Remember it's not the left or right doing this to you, it's the pedophile power-monger millionaires who are making the rules for us. THEY ARE NOT LAWS.
    When you're finally angry enough, you'll remove them. Not with votes, but with your lack of happiness. It's time for a new society, otherwise, prepare for more of the same with diminishing returns.

  • Seriously, the Washington Post, you're so funny

  • I scoffed when he said “every life matters” ………..

  • Marriage is not a luxury good. It doesn't cost alot to get married. People decide to get spend money on a wedding/honeymoon. And kids don't cost alot either, LOL! I got 5 of them. It's a myth to think that marriage and children cost SOOO MUCH MONEY. Give me a break.

  • Happiness is best obtained by staying out of debt (including student loan and car debt), marrying before having children, and staying employed in a decent paying job.

  • Thank you Krystal for being such a powerful voice of reason!!!

  • Well Saagar, the GOP will make it harder for 30-year-olds to get married unless they re from wealthy family and the Dems will make it only a very small incrementally better.

  • I think we need to actually have a goal as the US. I have a good one too. We fix world hunger. We are the 3rd/4th largest country by size. Top 2 are frozen hellscapes(Russia and Canada) and we have more useable land than China(4th or 3rd in size, its complicated). We could use the best science and technology to produce a vast amount of food, then sell it cheap to industrialized countries and give it away to developing countries. We are the richest country in the history of humanity, probably have more highly educated people than any other. We could use that to make countries our allies. We want Venezuelan resources(vast deposit of new tech metal), how about we make sure no one goes hungry. How easy will it be for American companies to get that metal after the people love us? Have this be a government project, hire the young labor force(like in the depression) to feed the world. But that would cost rich people money, so it aint happening.

  • That study with the 75,000 happiness was done several years ago.. if you adjust for inflation the new number is about 98,000.

  • They say the best things in life are free, such as love, personal development, and family. But Americans do not feel comfortable pursuing romantic relationships without money. They are working or job-hunting too many hours to develop personal hobbies and abilities. And building a family is not an option for many.

  • I really like these two. Very smart and balanced analysis by both. Civility and intelligence is a lost art.

  • Exponential population growth + outsourcing/automation = Humans willing to work for much less for corporations shaving every corner (legal and otherwise) to stay competitive.

  • Some of what you all are talking about is cultural though. Getting married doesn't have to be expensive and it didn't used to be expensive. But, Americans are mindless consumers a lot of the time and they want these extravagant weddings because that is what is advertised as the standard, but American people on a whole need to be more conservative and realistic and less wasteful in general IMO.

  • Getting married is not that expensive..being married is expensive……men are not getting married because of other reasons

  • Most suicides are males…so I don't think ppl care that much as a whole

  • Money doesn't buy happiness. People thirst for purpose and meaning.

  • And don't even get me started on marriage. Women don't want to date me because my tooth enamel is permanently discolored by medication that I was forced to take fr an ear infection as a toddler The only way my teeth can ever be white is with veneers, and I need braces first. Where am i supposed to get the money for that? That's just for women I know in person. When women find out that I don't have a job, which is usually among the first five questions, they don't want to date me. They'd rather date a burger flipper even though that's an easy route to the emergency room with my physical challenges.

  • I have a master's degree, $75k in student debt, and have lived in the NYC shelter system for over eight years. I have physical challenges that limit me to a desk job, and the Social Security Administration says I'm not disabled because i can do one. My application response rate is under 1%. I've had 32 interviews including scams and temp agencies since becoming homeless and had eight temp/freelance jobs, none of which paid enough to let me afford anything, and would have been the rug pulled out when they ended, as temp and freelance work naturally does. I've applied to well over 3,000 jobs in those eight years that I have been tracking on spreadsheets (My 2019 and 2020 spreadsheets are unfinished, or I could give an exact number. I had to replace my laptop with the stimulus money after some wires got damaged, but moving the files has been another headache). I've gone to over 60 people for help to improve my resume, but they don't know why it isn't working so they'll all be like, "Let's work on your interview skills!" when the issue is that the interviews rarely occur (and have a much higher success rate). My B.A. is in English and communication (double major) with a film and media concentration, and my master's is in cinema and media. I've written five screenplays and three stage plays, but can't find anyone in the industry willing to read them. This leads idiots to tell me two things: how I should have majored in engineering or the skilled trades when my only bad subjects in school (from best to worst) were math, industrial arts (which I not only hated by needed seven stitches in an accident), and gym, or that if I wrote better scripts, the people in the industry would know it and be willing to read them, as if they have magical powers. They don't understand that you're supposed to send query letters first for legal reasons like that black woman who says that The Terminator and The Matrix were simplified versions of a script she submitted in the early eighties, which usually results in a form letter about how they are not taking new clients at this time.

  • The Deaton & Kahneman study’s findings have been routinely mischaracterized to say that happiness tops out at $75k. What they found was that emotional well-being does not increase after $75k. They defined emotional well-being as how often one gets sad, stressed or feels happy throughout the day. If basic needs were met more money didn’t make people more emotionally secure. However, when it came to life evaluation, in which participants were asked, “How satisfied are with your life as a whole these days?” more money correlated with ever increasing satisfaction and there appeared to be no limit.

  • Kia SKia S

    Author Reply

    Within minutes I thought of what Andrew yang said about GDP. Never heard any other politician talk about that and dive into the whole concept. Then Krystal gave a shout out
    Wish he was the nominee

  • America is a neo-feudal country. The rich are ONLY happy when there are peasants suffering under them and serving their every whim. Epstein was only one example of this. Bezos, with his peasant-robots, is another. Time for a revolution! And there goes Saagar pushing his nuclear family values BS. No pushback from Krystal? So very sad. KB needs to lift her game pushing back against Saagar's offensive reactionary, exclusionary values. It would be a damn lot more entertaining than this love-fest for starters and would mean that they could actually find their common ground as well as clearly spell out their differences. Now that would make first-rate viewing!

  • saanjar is my favourite conservative
    Krystal is my favourite progressive

  • Currently I make under 40,000k a year, but I'm happy (content is the more appropriate word). My secret? Well, I don't have kids, and I make sound financial decisions. It allows me to have stocks and credit cards.

  • W JW J

    Author Reply

    Next Stop: The End of Days. 👌😁


    Author Reply

    Happiness doesn't rely on money.

    The phrase Krystal is looking for is "consumption". The video should titled "How consumption became a luxury good".

  • Identity politics is a mechanism to divide the underclass . The underclass has yet to catch on . The crisis today is really class based . Identity politics exists to distract people from this reality .

  • happiness is not objective

  • Rising is real journalism. The thoughts spoken clearly belong to the speakers. I applaud their honesty and intelligence which always enlighten things for me. Thank you.

  • AdamAdam

    Author Reply

    Working class is ground beef, allowed to exist only because executing them is too costly. This pandemic proves this.

  • – she delivers so cheerfully . . . Um.

  • The Baby Boomer Rich Elite are just taking their ball & going home, and the door is closing on a whole way of life their generation took gross advantage of, without leaving behind societal or economic systems that would benefit those who followed. As a narcissistic parent would disinherit their children as a sick, mean-spirited ploy to hurt or control them from beyond the grave, so too has our government disinherited any American planning on living past the next decade…


  • Saagar, you really need to do a Special Report: Tucker Face, why I support Mr Carlson's Hate 4 Profit racket.

  • 8:30

  • Yeah, hailing from Finland! Though we too could do better while acknowledging gender disparity, ethnic minorities and classism.

  • Hey Sagar I happen to like my empty consumerist cohabitation life with my gf lol

  • as of this post the stock market is down roughly 2% for 2020, in what way is it accurate to say stocks are soaring. I had so much hope for this show when I started following it. Not so sure now. And by the way, companies viewing their job as maximizing shareholder value is not something new or radical either. A freshman undergraduate college student will have learned this fact in his first intro level economics course.


  • KaiKai

    Author Reply

    I refuse to have kids and condemn them to an existence as miserable or more miserable than mine. I can only hope that someday this country gets on the right track and prioritizes its people instead of profits, but I highly doubt it'll happen in my lifetime.

  • Have you two ever talked about A.L.I.C.E. income earners??

  • You get tax benefits if you’re married, I don’t understand how it has gotten to the point where you are economically punished for getting married? Can someone explain that? It seems to me that the culture has made it so that you need to have a big expensive wedding and that’s why?

    Also if women in Africa can have 20+ kids to help out the family, how America has made it so that having kids is worse for you economically? Crazy.