He's an economist and the article was in my mind more reassuring than pessimistic about the current melt down we're facing. He does equate financial problems with pain, though. It seems our culture and for their political lives our elected officials feel that money is happiness.
Make no mistake lack of money is hardship, but comfort is not happiness. Sometimes hardship is its own reward and happiness comes more in the bad times than in the good.
Ask any couple married for many years who now have a nice home, comfortable retirement and good health when they were the closest and most loving and they will remember fondly the first struggling years when they worked the hardest and needed to rely on each other the most to survive.
Parents are at their wits end with three o'clock feedings, changing diapers and constantly crying babies, but after they've grown up and (for some lucky ones) leave home; that's the time they remember fondly. Maybe it's nostalgia kicking in, but by and large it takes a full year of practice and a grueling schedule to win a championship for that fleeting moment of euphoria. Ten years later it's not always that winning moment that is remembered as fondly as the struggle it took to do it.
Maybe we've had it too easy for too long and we've gotten complacent and bored. It takes a shakeup like this to help us focus on the important things in life.