[Ok-sus] More on Bernanke & happiness indicators

Julie Gahn juliegahn at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 7 06:57:29 CDT 2012

Are you happy? Ben Bernanke wants to know
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/are-you-happy-ben-bernanke-wants-to-know/2012/08/06/03a83352-e00b-11e1-8d48-2b1243f34c85_story.html "The
 Federal Reserve chairman said Monday that gauging happiness can be as important 
for measuring economic progress as determining whether inflation is low or 
unemployment high. Economics isn’t just about money and material benefits, 
Bernanke said. It is also about understanding and promoting “the enhancement of 

Full text & video of speech here:

On measurement:
"In many spheres of human endeavor, from science to business to education to 
economic policy, good decisions depend on good measurement.  More subtly, what 
we decide to measure, or are able to measure, has important effects on the 
choices we make, since it is natural to focus on those objectives for which we 
can best estimate and document the effects of our decisions."

On the purpose of economics & appropriate measurement:
"Textbooks describe economics as the study of the allocation of scarce 
resources.  That definition may indeed be the "what," but it certainly is not 
the "why."  The ultimate purpose of economics, of course, is to understand and 
promote the enhancement of well-being.  Economic measurement accordingly must 
encompass measures of well-being and its determinants."

A resource: Gross National Happiness USA
"Take the New GNH Happiness Survey now!Take the new GNH Happiness Initiative 
Survey. This online survey takes about 12 minutes and provides you with an 
interesting snapshot of your level of well-being across 10 Domains and a 
comparison with a national average of all persons in the US who have taken the 
survey. "
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