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

152941 followers

  • Mindful March - Day 21: Notice when you’re tired and take a break as soon as possible https://t.co/9oQ9VxKnot #Mindful…

    today 5:06am

  • “If governments want to stay in power they should take the happiness of the people more seriously and focus on the… https://t.co/jMOboUiWni

    today 5:06am

  • Let’s make mental health a natural part of our daily conversations ☀️ We always enjoy reading Happiful, the magazi… https://t.co/FSz9oD1bH2

    today 5:01am

  • Children’s mental wellbeing is so important. Let’s help every child learn the skills for a happy life ☀️ Join leading…

    today 11:52am

  • Life is happier when we're together ☀️ Brilliant coverage of Action for Happiness community activities and Happy Cafe…

    today 10:39am

  • @JuliusBintu: "The World Happiness Report, released to mark the International Day of Happiness on 20th March, has found that happy peopl…

    today 10:38am

  • @HHSHaringey: A huge thank you to Sir @AnthonySeldon for coming to talk to teachers and students on #Happiness as part of #International…

    today 8:13am

  • @HospiceTO: #WednesdayWisdom #InternationalDayofHappiness - Life is happier when we feel part of something bigger than ourselves via @ac…

    today 8:13am

  • "We need to focus more on the things that really matter, so we can create a society where everyone has the chance t… https://t.co/vROWndZPNT

    today 8:10am

  • Mindful March - Day 21: Notice when you’re tired and take a break as soon as possible https://t.co/9oQ9VxKnot… https://t.co/CrrOEcGEo0

    today 7:47am

follow us on twitter