X
JOIN US

Do you want to help create a happier and kinder world? If so, please join our movement, add your pledge and we'll send you practical action ideas to make a difference. By choosing to Join, you trust Action for Happiness to take care of your personal information and agree to our Privacy Policy.

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

join

news

news rss feed rss logo

Putting happiness before growth

05 Nov 2011 | The Times

The letter below was published in The Times on Saturday 5th November 2011. The original letter can be read here (note: this requires subscription to the Times).

The Times Logo

Dear Sir

People are right to be indignant about the malfunctionings of our economic system. But this only helps if linked to some clear principle to guide our priorities. Action for Happiness believes the aim should be a society in which there is the most happiness and above all the least misery. Given this, the evidence points to two key conclusions for our economy.

First, the top priority should be economic stability and full employment which are crucial to happiness rather than long-term economic growth, which has a much more limited effect. In our present situation full employment does of course require short-term economic growth but this is better called "economic recovery" in order to distinguish it from higher long-term growth, which is of limited value. Our economy was landed in its present mess because it was claimed that deregulation of banks would produce higher long-term growth. That was not only a factual error but an argument based on the wrong priorities. We must not repeat the mistake.

Moreover, at the individual level, extra income beyond a certain level brings no more happiness. Our society could be much happier without the present extremes of income, high or low. Our patterns of pay and skill formation should reflect this basic truth.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Lord Richard Layard
Dr Anthony Seldon
Dr Mark Williamson

Action for Happiness

tags

Action for Happiness

160870 followers

  • Be compassionate. Just because someone carries it well doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy Image: https://t.co/FcZtYwwxHf https://t.co/9u2KV8IkCx

    yesterday 8:28am

  • Altruistic August - Day 20: When you buy one and get one free, give the extra item away https://t.co/n239hQ81zN #Altru…

    yesterday 2:19am

  • "Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray" ~ Rumi https://t.co/nQrWZcVMs5

    yesterday 1:55pm

  • If we can shift our perception and appreciate a different point of view, we can help make things better Image: @Heads…

    yesterday 1:55pm

  • Altruistic August - Day 20: When you buy one and get one free, give the extra item away https://t.co/n239hQ81zN… https://t.co/kU5Hs0y1vN

    yesterday 8:10am

  • If we can shift our perception and appreciate a different point of view, we can help make things better Image:… https://t.co/uc5rltt0Co

    monday 19 aug 9:05am

  • Spending time in nature each week does wonders for our wellbeing 🌿 This month’s Happiful magazine is encouraging u… https://t.co/6zkvw2G0vZ

    monday 19 aug 7:01am

  • Life is happier when we take time to smile, say hello & share friendly words with the people around us ☀️ https://t.c…

    monday 19 aug 4:26am

  • @HappyCafeDerby: Derby’s #HappyCafe is this Wednesday at @derbyquad. Due to its popularity the event is now ticketed and we have a waiti…

    monday 19 aug 4:25am

  • @BigLever_lrng: I organised a street party at the weekend for this very reason. I’m not expecting to be best friends wi…

    monday 19 aug 4:25am

follow us on twitter