Happiness Should Be Top Priority, Says Economist

 “World-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs thinks that happiness, rather than GDP growth, should be a top priority for the United States…

Sachs argued that the sole aim of public policy should not be GDP growth, though this is a topic on everyone’s minds — instead, he said, public policy should focus on increasing happiness, a topic particularly relevant to modern America. While the U.S. has the largest economy in the world, the World Happiness Report, a study coedited by Sachs, found that America placed only 17th in overall happiness. As an expert on economic development, Sachs said, it seems to him like Americans do not take care of themselves very well…

As a modern economist, Sachs said he is not after economic growth and trade. Instead, he is seeking “the good life” as described by philosophers like Aristotle and Buddha. For Sachs, living a good life does not mean living in a society where freedom is given to maximize personal utility, as a libertarian might argue — rather, he said, it means finding a golden mean, living by virtue and being able to flourish.”

Article: Economist argues for happiness over GDP, Yale Daily News

Image credit to Victor Kang

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