Britains first Measure of Gross National Happiness

Read the BBC take on it here:

"People who are married, have jobs and own their own homes are the most likely to be satisfied with their lives"

Whilst Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian is a little more circumspect:

Can we legislate for the common good?

 Just watching Newsnight and the concept of the common good has come up in relation to tax evasion. That guy who lost his job at Saint Pauls over the occupy movement suggested that we might have to pass laws to encourage the common good. Crazy, I thought, how can you do that? Maybe this could be some kind of science fiction scenario, a world where it was illegal to act against the common good.

We can't all be billionaires - but we can all be happy

 The banking crisis was caused by people using the money trick - see the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressel - to funnel cash from the poor to the rich. They pushed all the money into dividends and bonuses before busting the banks and demanding government bail-outs.

They mistakenly believe that huge wealth can somehow make them special cases and immune from unhappiness. Money can do so much for them, surely it can do thisd too. Sadly for all of us, they find that they are wrong too late to fix the damage they have caused.

Feast or Famine

We live in a very strange world where some people are obese while others are struggling to find food and neither state is a particularly happy one. 

In the same way, some people are incredibly wealthy while some are incredibly poor. Again, neither situation is conducive to happiness. The rich are riddled with problems, drug addiction, alcoholism and plastic surgery aren't symptoms of a happy or meaningful life. But then neither are alcoholism, repeat offending or benefit fraud. Notice we get alcoholism in both states.

Happiness Lessons

 Listening to the today programme on radio 4 this morning I heard a story about how we should test  kids in PE to make sure they are getting fitter. And I thought, well, hey, why not teach them about what makes people happy - and then test how happy they are - and then see if we can make them happier.

Which is either crazy, or a brilliant idea which will happen pretty soon! Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

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