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Social Welfare - Essay Example

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The researcher of this essay discusses the definition of happiness, that is one of the greatest philosophical quandaries. This essay focuses on the analysys of the study conducted by the German inventor Frederick Koenig on the subject of the perception of happiness…
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Social Welfare
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Social Welfare

Download file to see previous pages... The researcher of this essay aims to find an answer to question: What is ‘happiness’? Clearly, it is stated that “Happiness, pleasure or joy is the emotional state of being happy,” according to Wikipedia. However, this essay mentiones that the definition of happiness is one of the greatest and controversial philosophical quandaries in history. Proposed definitions include freedom from want and distress, consciousness of the good order of things, assurance of one's place in the universe or society, inner peace, and so forth. Using a country’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, as a measure of happiness would presume the German inventor Frederick Koenig’s quote to imply we are doing the exact opposite. The formula for deriving a region’s GDP is consumption + investment + government spending + (exports – imports). It is the consumption part of this equation that would assume to measure a region’s happiness; after all, if people are buying, or consuming, goods, then they must be happy—expressing freedom from want and distress—right? The perception that living standards are associated with GDP is evident in how many countries use it to measure a population’s ‘happiness.’ Many people believe that when output increases, more goods are available for consumption. In conclusion, the researcher of this essay aims to understand whereas the increase in consumption is equated to happiness or is consumption one of the important factors in the formula that determines GDP and, therefore, people's happiness as well....
The increase in government spending that would accompany an increase in consumption--the result of more tax revenue for expenditures on health, education and environmental programs--is also generally associated with happiness. That is, if governments truly appropriate increases in revenue to those types of programs, and not to defense or parliamentary salaries. In the event that occurs, GDP cannot be an accurate measurement of a nation's happiness. Social programs designed to improve the quality of life for a population suffers, as do the people.

However, some governments are working on that.

A BBC News article discussed Conservative leader David Cameron's involvement in "The Happiness Formula" program, which attempted to break away from governments' tendencies to measure happiness by GDP.


"We should be thinking not just what is good for putting money in people's pockets but what is good for putting joy in people's hearts," Cameron said.

The Labour government, in 1998, introduced a series of 13 new indicators of performance, which took into account not only economic factors but also the environment and social welfare.


These categories were:

Economic growth, as the main indicator of a successful economy
Social investment
Employment
Health and life expectancy
Education and training
Housing quality
Climate change
Air pollution
Transport
Water quality
Wildlife
Land use
Waste

This may sound great coming from a country ranked 5th on the list of world economies, but notice the echo resonating from the 36th country on the list-Thailand.

Researcher Noppadon Kannikar founded the Well-Being Index Networks to measure his country's "Gross Domestic Happiness", using ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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