What’s the secret to achieving happiness?
Ramesh Ponnuru, a Bloomberg View columnist and visiting fellow at AEI, notes that according to Brooks, work is one of the four components of happiness:
Once basic material needs are met…satisfying work matters more than money. What people want is not just success, but also “earned success” – the feeling that one’s efforts have paid off.
That’s great news for Americans since, according to Ponnuru, eighty-nine percent of us are satisfied with our jobs.
It also means that Americans can shape public policy to increase happiness. The secret? Allow more people to earn their success:
That is…the ultimate reason for a focus on promoting economic growth and reducing dependency on the government. Policies that discourage work – aid programs that phase out steeply as poor people move ahead in their jobs, for example – do reduce happiness, not just economic efficiency.