Americans value happiness but block required policies

JC Ott

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Abstract

Abstract. In his book ‘‘The Politics of Happiness’’ Derek Bok argues that happiness should be a goal in public policy. He presents an inventory of social problems in the US with negative effects on happiness, like inadequate education, chronic pain, sleep disorders, depressions, divorce, single-parent families, and financial hardship. He presents interesting options to deal with these problems. He also pays attention to some more general happiness-issues for US-policymakers, like the question of economic growth without happiness and the reputation of the US-government. Bok’s findings are consistent with available data about the high levels of negative feelings in the US: stress, depressions, sadness, anger and worry. His message is quite clear: policy-makers can use the findings of happiness-research to improve their decisions. Keywords Economic growth Education Financial Government
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2012

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