Gross National Happiness

Happiness is central to the idea of America; along with life and liberty, the Founding Fathers listed “the pursuit of happiness” as a fundamental right in the Declaration of Independence. Yet little has been done since to find out what actually makes America a happy nation. And while our leaders make all sorts of promises to the American people, they rarely speak of—or pursue—happiness as a national goal. What would our nation look like if they did?

In Gross National Happiness, Arthur Brooks, author of the controversial and strikingly original Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, reveals the main sources of bliss—and misery—in America. Based on an enormous and unbiased array of hard data, Gross National Happiness offers up some very unconventional wisdom about our happiness as individuals and as a nation.

For Instance:

* Despite the stereotype of grim conservatives and happy-go-lucky liberals, the truth is that people on the political right are nearly twice as happy as those on the left.

* Marriage makes people very happy, but children have the opposite effect: The happiness of couples, and the quality of their marriage, falls after the birth of the first child.

* Many politicians identify income inequality as a major problem facing our nation, yet this is precisely the wrong problem for policymakers to be addressing if we want a happier country.

* There is just one reliable way to “buy happiness”: by giving money away to charity.

* Work, not leisure, makes us happy. Ninety percent of Americans like their jobs, and 70 percent of Americans say that they would continue to work in them even if they were financially independent.

Witty, enthralling, and full of surprises, Gross National Happiness offers illuminating conclusions about how we the people—with the aid of our government and political leaders—can be the happiest nation possible.


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them