14 Apr '11, 9am
Well-being policy isn't about "making" people happy. It's about creating the right conditions for flourishing.
There is, it is true, an ongoing academic debate about the exact nature of the link between economic growth and well-being over time as countries get richer. But this an argument about diminishing returns of happiness to wealth in developed nations. No-one who has studied the data concludes anything other than that poverty is very bad indeed for well-being. To suggest otherwise is crass, not to mention counterproductive to the wider objective of getting well-being taken seriously as a goal for Western societies like ours. I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of anyone at Action for Happiness to promote a hair-shirt view, but it’s an area where careful message management is important.