Getting what you want isn't the same as happiness. It's strongly decoupled (although there is some relationship between the two). So why do people expect e.g. having a bigger economy would lead to people being happier? Of course, it might, it might not. But it will lead to more people getting what they want.

It's probably worth being extremely skeptical of happiness numbers, satisfaction polls, etc. We know they don't even speak to extremely similar and related things, so it's almost impossible to contextualize the numbers appropriately. Even if you just showed someone a prompt, like "are you satisfied with your current healthcare?", it wouldn't capture how differently people think about the question. Some people think about happiness, some people think about satisfaction or complacency, some people think about if they get what they want (although very few, in wealthy countries – I dare say, few people think about whether their problems were addressed at all, they attribute all success to pre-existing systems and inventions, and all failures to the lack of a 'cure').

If there's any emotion that I think the economy is good at preventing, it might be anguish or frustration. That's when we will do the most to get whatever it is we want. And it has a way of cultivating hope – you have to be able to imagine something better, otherwise you'd never switch providers. Of course, perhaps it's an insufficiently poetic kind of hope. But it's the same thing, in the end, but smaller, life sized. I feel so much of life doesn't quite have room for the big emotions poems point towards.