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

158088 followers

  • Take time to do what makes your soul happy https://t.co/EV5awcX9eB

    today 8:05am

  • Meditation can help us to master our minds, develop compassion and find lasting fulfilment 🙏 Find out how with "The M…

    today 8:04am

  • Joyful June - Day 18: Make time to do something playful today, just for the fun of it 🤸‍♀️ https://t.co/DADXZTXj1X #Jo…

    today 8:04am

  • @TheKindnessBook: The power of good relationships - what the longest study on happiness found about social interactions. @actionhappines…

    today 12:27pm

  • @SLT_saltfiona: Session 5 of the #exploringwhatmatters course & tonight we were exploring 'relationships' with lively &…

    today 12:26pm

  • @fabiand: Great talk by @MGawdat & Anahita Moghaddam for Their advice on #happiness : constantly question your brain’s…

    today 12:26pm

  • @MindfulEveryday: "Take time to do what makes your soul happy." ~ #mindfulness https://t.co/vzbNxwWohp

    today 12:26pm

  • Meditation can help us to master our minds, develop compassion and find lasting fulfilment 🙏 Find out how with "Th… https://t.co/2wBJPA8bhO

    today 12:03pm

  • People who spend time in nature each week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological…

    today 12:00pm

  • Ways to be unhappier (worth avoiding!) 🤳 Ditch friends 💰 Chase money 👎 Criticise others 📉 Dislike your job 💥 Avoid rel…

    today 12:00pm

follow us on twitter