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Upper bound of utility functions? It only works for "underpaid" human beings (who haven't yet reached the bound).

This might make a good submission for the Journal of Political Economy's back page.

Another example of how things that we think will make us happier, e.g. higher incomes, usually don't. Robert Frank (I think) has a really interesting example of why commuting makes people miserable that goes something along these lines: people think 'if I just move an hour of out town, I can get this great big house that will make me really happy.' So they do. But after a year or so they get used to the great big house, and it fills up with stuff anyways. So the house doesn't bring them additional happiness.

The pain of commuting lingers, unfortunately,

The flower hat example also suggests that there are inexhaustible sources of agony, e.g. ugly hats.

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