Friday, March 28, 2008

A metric we should adopt

From Physorg:

For years, the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan boasted that it was mostly concerned with Gross National Happiness -- and now it's really going to try to actually measure it.

The idea of focussing on Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than Gross National Product (GNP) was the brainchild of ex-king Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who sought to steer Bhutan into the modern world while preserving its unique identity.

Now with the pressures of globalisation and materialism mounting, and the tiny country set for its first-ever elections Monday, officials are looking at calculating just how happy the kingdom's 670,000 people are.

"We may call it the Bhutan Development Index, or GNH Index," said Karma Tshiteem, the head of Bhutan's planning commission -- which was earlier this year renamed the Gross National Happiness Commission.

Note that the Gross National Happiness idea has been around for a while; it's just now that Bhutan is working toward making it an actual measured and indexed factor in economic planning and policy making.

It's refreshing to know that a country on this planet would even think about using happiness as an economic indicator.

I guess we could somewhat equate this with gruntledness, but the subtle yet important distinction is that in America we would measure how not pissed off we are.

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