Is ‘Gross National Happiness’ Is a Better Measurement than GDP? – Andrew Billo – International – The Atlantic

8 Apr

Happiness, what a concept. Fracking doesn’t bring happiness, and war certainly doesn’t bring it.

On Monday, in Manhattan’s bustling midtown, senior level officials came together at the United Nations to discuss a new economic paradigm at the High Level Meeting on Well-Being and Happiness, an event organized by Bhutan, a country that knows a little bit about happiness.

Meanwhile in Phnom Penh, at the sleepy confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, heads of governments from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) deliberated on regional security and enhanced economic cooperation.

These two very different meetings actually have strong implications for one another. The ASEAN meeting was sidetracked by the South China Sea row, a conflict over resources. And leaders at the U.N. meeting recognized that the present rate of resource extraction is no longer viable.

The new economic paradigm laid out by Bhutan Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley uses “natural and social capital values to assess the true costs and gains of economic activity” and may hold the answer for avoiding conflict in the world’s fastest developing region. Wellbeing can only be achieved by avoiding resource depletion, which in turn improves overall regional security.

via Is ‘Gross National Happiness’ Is a Better Measurement than GDP? – Andrew Billo – International – The Atlantic.

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