Monday, August 29, 2011

Jeff Sachs picks up and runs with the economics of happiness

The concept of an economics of happiness rather than an economics of growth is picking up steam as Jeff Sachs throws his weight behind it.

It's a short post and cuts to the chase.
The mad pursuit of corporate profits is threatening us all. To be sure, we should support economic growth and development, but only in a broader context: one that promotes environmental sustainability and the values of compassion and honesty that are required for social trust. The search for happiness should not be confined to the beautiful mountain kingdom of Bhutan.
Read it all at Project Syndicate, The Economics of Happiness.

UPDATE: Jeffery Sachs at Huffington Post, America and the Pursuit of Happiness


GLH said...

I don't disagree with Mr. Sachs, but wouldn't you agree that most of the problems over the past thirty years comes more form greed instead of growing the economy?
It seems to me the problem is the direction of growth. We can either grow GDP like information technology has grown or we can grow like the oil companies have grown? It seems one type of growth sustains the environment while the other distroys.
Just think of the growth that could come from feeding and clothing the people of the world instead of the military.

Tom Hickey said...

GLH, I think that if the world was focused on global prosperity, that is, distributed "happiness," then a lot of the issues would solve themselves. When the priorities and incentives are skewed, so is the outcome. Fix the priorities and incentives through institutional change.

John Page said...

Mr. Sachs does well to point the finger at corporate capitalism, but provides little in the way of alternatives. Corporatization equals globalization, which itself is founded on the near-religion of ever-increasing global trade. The antidote? Economic localization. Not as an absolute or dogma, but as a central guiding principle of economic development. Sounds impractical? Well, it's already happening. Watch the newly-released documentary, 'The Economics of Happiness', and get a flavor of the future. In an era of climate change and peak oil, economic globalization is simply unsustainable; we will have no option but to move in another direction. The good news is that as we decrease the scale of economic activity, we actually increase not only our own well-being but the health of the planet.