Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 21/Dec/2003: "GDP -vs- Happiness"

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GDP -vs- Happiness

These thoughts probably come frequently at this time of the year, although I've started to think about this more often earlier this year.

An interview with David Halpern in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit gave me some motivation to search for some further reading. For those of you who can't read German a quick summary of the interview: David Halpern used to teach politics and social science and now works in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit. He is analysing the increasing amount of studies about "happiness" and is looking at the links and differences between GDP and measures for happiness. While the GDP is rising, the happiness indicators are stagnating. Countries with a lower GDP (e.g. in South America) frequently have higher happiness indicators than countries with higher a GDP (e.g. the UK or the USA).

What does this mean for society, people and politicians? What makes people happy? Does our (capitalistic) society need to aim for different and/or additional measures than just GDP?

I think this is an interesting topic, here are a few links for some further reading:

I've only just started reading about this, so if you have any further links or suggestions please let me know. I hope to be able to post again about this topic some time over the next few weeks.

End of entry

Entry trivia

When writing this entry the weather was: cold, clear (I think)

When writing this entry I was listening to: The Bluetones - Return to the Last Chance Saloon

During the last hour before I wrote this entry I visited this website: SelfHTML Forum (German)

End of entry trivia

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