This Has Nothing To Do With Alan Greenspan | - Part 5

On Children and Happiness

Here’s a subject that I haven’t read about in a while – whether people are happier with children or without children – and, according to this story at voxeu, the question is a lot more complicated than it might seem, though the basic answer remains that it is the latter.

Study after study has shown that those who live with children are less satisfied with their lives than those who do not. Is there something wrong with these empirical analyses? Or is it that happiness measures are unreliable? This column argues that the results are correct but that comparisons of the wellbeing of parents and non-parents are of no help at all for people trying to decide whether to have children.

Our two new studies, Stone and Deaton (2013, 2014), use a large American data set from the Gallup Organization to try to get to the bottom of all this. The first paper focuses on the elderly, the second on parents and children.

If we look at everyone in the population (aged 18 and above), and consider child-at-home status and life evaluation, we get a version of the standard finding.

  • People with at least one child at home evaluate their lives slightly less favourably than those with no child; the difference is equivalent to a 5% decline in income.
  • Those who live with children also report more anger, stress, and worry, but also more happiness.

We don’t have children, but I sometimes wonder what it would be like – that  feeling usually passes pretty quickly, though I’ve got nothing against kids. To me, it’s a personal preference and, unfortunately, a decision (or accident) that many people don’t even think about. For many, it’s as simple as get married, have kids and that’s not necessarily good.

Some friends of ours who are also in their early 50s have two adult children living at home (a daughter with a husband and their son) and that situation is not likely to change anytime soon. They seem to be quite happy with what, to me, would be almost a worst-case scenario for what they call the Boomerang Generation.

It Wouldn’t be a Fair Fight

The latest word from Eastern Europe is that Russian President Vladimir Putin will use military force only as a “last resort” in Ukraine, helping to explain why today’s other big headlines are yet more record highs for U.S. stocks.

Via Reuters, here’s what the match-up would be should that “last resort” come to pass.

Goodbye Teradyne (Revisited)

Saturday marked the 7-year anniversary of my departure from SoCal semiconductor test equipment manufacturer Teradyne and the end of a 20+ year career as an engineer.

I don’t miss it a bit and echo the comments made the last time I looked at this post a couple years ago when I noted, “… it brought back lots of memories and, after clicking on the link to “maps” at the end of the post, I can’t help but recall the scene in Top Secret when Val Kilmer was having a bad dream about not having studied for a test in high school, only to be relieved when he woke up and found himself being beaten by Nazis”.

Anyway, here’s that post I had all cued up prior to going into work on that last day in 2007.


After more than seven years, today is my last day at Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER), a major manufacturer of test equipment for the semiconductor industry.

I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve worked with over the years and I wish you all the best of luck in the future.

Since joining the company in January of 2000, time spent here has been mostly enjoyable – writing software for a world-class semiconductor test platform has had more than its share of excitement and challenges.

I can’t say that the last year or two have been as enjoyable as some of the earlier ones. Maybe it was because I was distracted by other interests.

Maybe too it was because “perpetual fire drill” is no way to live and there’s been a steady stream of talented engineers out the front door. Despite assurances heard by employees, the attrition rate doesn’t look normal to me.

Yes, I know things are changing – good luck with that.

I really can’t complain – Teradyne has been pretty good to me. I’m just tired of software and tired of Southern California – it’s time to move on.


The Miracle in Missoula

This must have been terrifying. Lots of snow, a steep mountain slope behind a residential housing area, and possibly some snowboarders going where they weren’t supposed to go all contributed to this avalanche in Missoula, MT.

As detailed in this item at the Missoulan, two adults and one child were pulled from the wreckage caused by the Mount Jumbo avalanche at about 4PM local time on Friday. Both of the adults were buried for over an hour, surviving only because they were lucky enough to end up in a large enough air pocket that prevented them from suffocating. About the only bad news was that the couple had just remodeled their home.

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