But hitting the jackpot generally leads to unhappiness. A famous 1978 study of major lottery winners in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that while the winners experienced an immediate happiness boost right after winning, it didn’t last. …

Does this suggest that money makes us unhappy? Not at all. There is a huge amount of research showing that money, when earned, has a generally positive association with happiness. The problem is when it is unearned, when raw purchasing power is untethered from hard work and merit. …

Entrepreneurs of all types rate their well-being higher than do members of all other professional groups in America, according to years of polling by the Gallup organization. And it’s not because of the money. The employment website CareerBuilder.com reported in 2011 that small business owners made 19% less per year than government managers. …

All this data relates to our policy debates because every year, fewer and fewer people earn their way in America without a government subsidy.