Monday, November 13, 2006


Almost every economics textbook takes students on a tour of the well-known shortcomings of GDP as a measure of well-offness. Along the way, they learn about stocks and flows and pick up other useful tidbits.

There is also a mountain of books and tomes on happiness -- and how and why it has little to do with economic prosperity. Google "Gross National Happiness" and 127,000 entries come up, many of them taking us to Bhutan. Does GNH refer to a stock or a flow? Is it a proposed metric or should it be an optimand?

This morning's LA Times includes Eric Weiner's "Be like Bhutan." No, thank you.

But I have found something that makes me very happy. It is reading Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness. The author is very wise about a very difficult and important topic.