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Rather than promoting happiness, I think economic policy should seek to stamp out unhappiness.

Yes.  As economic policy, "eliminating unhappiness", not "promoting happiness", should be the strategy.

But GDP is a meme which needs to be usurped.  And I'm afraid that without a succinct, mind-concentrating and positive alternative meme, GDP will continue to rule the roost as the bottom-line benchmark for measuring the success of a society.

As such, to turn people's attention and concern from GDP to more important measures, we need a number which can be easily used as a rough benchmark for comparisons.  Something like the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI), which factors in "poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth" among others such as GDP:

██ High human development██ Medium human development██ Low human development██ Unavailable
██ High human development██ Medium human development██ Low human development██ Unavailable

Wouldn't have be exactly the HDI, but how about something like it?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Oct 20th, 2006 at 06:08:04 AM EST
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