Money and Happiness

Thanks to Colin Morley for pointing to Polly Toynbee’s Guardian article A Hedonist’s Charter. “Money does not bring contentment. So how do you forge a politics where happiness is the priority?”. Here are a few snippets.

Mori has produced a new social survey – Life Satisfaction and Trust in Other People – exploring what makes people happiest. It confirms the overwhelming evidence from economists that income is not an important determinant for life satisfaction for most people. The poll shows that a doubled GDP over 30 years has made Britain not a jot happier…

Mori says its research should give the government a reason to dampen down “the pressures of consumerism and work and promote education that gives a more rounded view of happiness”. But, the report says: “Governments that attempt to argue for less emphasis on economic factors are likely to be seen as attempting to manage expectations downwards, or to lack ambition.”

…Hedonic thinkers are treated as off-the-wall unrealists. How do you forge a politics where happiness is the priority? Politicians need to find a suitable language for it.

It’s not just politicians who need to find the words – it’s all of us! In business, it is generally assumed that value and profit are the same thing, whereas in my view they have a very on-off relationship.

(You might also enjoy Fast Company’s article How to Lead a Rich Life. )

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