Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's the inputs

Perhaps it's not so weird that heads of state in China, France, the UK and elsewhere have jumped on the happiness bandwagon. GDP has lately become a little hard to manage (and is easy to criticize, anyway). So why not switch sports?

Besides, if the GDP idea is complex and controversial, why not tackle something much more difficult?

Today's WSJ includes a nice summary by Carl Bialik, "Happy? Statisticians Aren't Buying It." The piece is self-recommending.

Jefferson wanted a state that made it possible for each of us to pursue happiness. Period. This is one area where measuring the inputs rather that the outputs is the way to go. Are leaders here there and everywhere making our pursuits possible? If so, very good. All the rest is way beyond them.

I know, that never stops them.


Here are reports that exercising self-control can be aggravating. Happiness will always be fun to talk about, but self-management is no picnic.