Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Concept Of Gross National Happiness Marching On Concept Of Gross National Product

"You can fret about economic indicators if you want to. But Bhutan’s bureaucrats are zeroed in on happiness.

The Himalayan kingdom measures its progress not in Gross Domestic Product, but in Gross National Happiness. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck invented the concept in 1972 as a measurement of fair and sustainable economic development, promotion of cultural values, environmental conservation and good government.

Economic development projects boost the happiness index if they don’t widen the income gap between rich and poor, pollute rivers, sicken people or line a government official’s pocket.

“Gross National Happiness is not about happiness,” said journalist Kinley Dorji. “Gross National Happiness is a mandate of the state to create an environment where citizens can pursue happiness.”" ...

McClatchy-Tribune "National pursuit of happiness pays off" Boston Herald April 1, 2008


Nobel Memorial Laureate for Economics Amartya Sen, awarded in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.

Bhutanese voters stand in a queue outside a polling station to cast their ballot in [capital city] Thimpu on March 24, 2008.

Last week, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan became the world's newest democracy and it did not require the U.S. spending $3 trillion to do so.

Photo credit: (c) Desmond Boylan and Reuters via Boston.com. All rights reserved. 2008. With thanks.


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