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>I'd cite the fashionable argument that education is inversely correlated with happiness

That argument doesn't seem to be supported.

The article points out that high school graduates are more satisfied than dropouts. Also up to a point higher income (correlated with higher education) leads to higher satisfaction. A quick google search seems to confirm that education is correlated with life satisfaction [1,2,3].

Furthermore the study mentioned in the article is specifically looking at location differences. They acknowledge that other factors like "income, education level, age, and marital status" matter more, but that there even controlling for those factors there are still differences based on location.

[1] http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/does-education-...

[2] http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012...

[3] http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/main/does-educat...

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