The Buddha knew very well the relationship between material wealth and man’s desires—how people’s minds change with the rise and fall of their fortune. This is why the Buddha had specifically instructed this mode of life for the Buddhists.
Other worldly disciplines such as philosophy have so far failed to answer this question fully. The general view is that nothing remains after death, so the meaning of life is to enjoy life to the fullest while it lasts even at the cost of squandering the precious lifetime, depleting massive amount of resources and destroying the natural environment. Still, happiness is beyond reach. It shows that to pursue happiness this way only leads to disappointment.