GOOD

Should We Measure Happiness Instead of GDP?


French president Nicolas Sarkozy (seen here enjoying an afternoon on the beach) thinks we should. And he enlisted the help of two world-class economists to help him figure out how:From now on, [France's] economic progress will be measured in terms of happiness-bonheur. And how does one measure bonheur? Well, through things like work-life balance, rates of recycling and traffic congestion. And DIY. The president is taking his lead from a report he commissioned last year from two Nobel Prize-winning economists, the American Joseph Stiglitz and India's Amartya Sen, who concluded that new indexes are needed to measure wellbeing and environmental sustainability.Most economists will tell you that GDP isn't meant to measure wellbeing anyway. But the fact is, many people-especially policymakers and economists-pay a lot of attention to GDP without even considering that there might be important satisfactions in life that aren't best measured by money.UPDATE: GOOD contributor Jaime Wolf writes in: "I know Sarko is claiming to take his cues from the economic report that he commissioned last year, but ‘Gross National Happiness' is an index that actually originated in Bhutan in the 1970s-it was introduced by King Jigme Singye Wanchuck, who is basically known as one of Bhutan's great modernizing forces." Jaime's right that developing new economic metrics that incorporate happiness isn't entirely new, but this is the first time a G8 country has officially adopted one.
Articles
via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities