No economic growth - grow happiness instead!

The big news today is that economic growth is down to 0%. This is obviously a tragedy, but will it make us less happy... What we really need is an index of national happiness - a measurement of how much happier we are this year than last year. Economics is important, but we are now in a position where there is enough stuff to go round - what we need to do is to manage our affairs in a way that makes us all happier, that would be real success. Does the government need a new department to rival the exchecquer or the Bank of England? Maybe the department for the happiness of Britain? We need new indices too, at present we look at the Retail Price Index, Gross Domestic Product and the Balance of Payments. I think we should be looking at a General Wellbeing Index, Gross Domestic Happiness and the Balance of Contentment. Growing waistlines are showing us that we have more than enough material wealth, what we need to do is to create a culture that feeds more than our stomachs. edit Trawling through the internet I found a wikipedia entry on Happiness economics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness_economics Interesting stuff!

Comments

Bhutan doesn't measure economic growth, they measure happiness. Ironically (or perhaps as a result of it) they are one of the least developed nations in the world

I don't think the problem with Bhutans economy is that they look to promote happiness, Bhutan is a third world country with a lot of problems but at leats the government cares about the wellbeing of the people. Imagine what Britain or America could do with all of their resources and the same aims. The economy only has to do well enough to provide us all with a reasonable standard of living. The system has been abused by the powerful to create a strata of "super rich" and now we can see this is causing the economy to fall to pieces. Wouldn't it be better to have fewer billionaires and more community gardens?


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