Public Square

There’s Even a Formula for Happiness?

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Photo courtesy of SeRVe Photography

What’s the secret to achieving happiness?

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) thinks that he’s found it.

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.

So what else do you need to be happy? Read Ponnuru’s entire article here and leave your comments here.

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