Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yesterday the New Economics Foundation released their latest Happy Planet Index. Happiness and consumption appear to be mutually exclusive! That is an extreme interpretation of the results, but with Vanuatu as the happiest place on earth and the USA at 150th, it's not miles away from the truth.

One audience comment at last nights Hunter Lovins forum lamented the fact that we are told by political party after political party that only they can increase our "standard of living". And we buy in to it. Press and politicians spout that we are "ranked bla bla in the OECD for bla bla". Where are Vanuatu? Not in the OECD is where they are, and are they any the worse for it? Not according to the NEF. So how important is the ability to consume in making people happy?

In reporting on the NEF study the BBC stated that "retail therapy will not bring happiness". I read somewhere that the feeling of euphoria associated with shopping is most often very short. A clear indication that going shopping for recreation is indeed bonkers. Don't panic - ShoppingFix is on its way...

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