Being pushed as a replacement to Keynesian economics that has dominated the post-WWII world. The Stern Report promised that Sustainable Development would not compromise livings standards in the Western World (ref), obviously it will result in a massive decrease in real living standards. at least as they are measured currently.
But if economics can be redefined, away from GDP and into GNH (Gross National Happiness), people can be told that their living standards have not decreased, even that they have increased. The Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University is the academic home of this objective.
"Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so." - Bertrand Russell
Partial history of the current system Edit
In 1930, as the Great Depression was beginning, John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren. In it he looked 100 years ahead, to a future in which learning to live well had replaced the struggle for subsistence as the basic problem facing humanity.
In 1948 McGraw Hill, which operates out of 1221 Avenue of the Americas, Rockefeller Plaza, published Paul Samuelson's 'Economics: An Introductory Analysis' textbook, the book brought Keynesian economics to America and became the standard higher education economics textbook virtually replacing all others.
Samuelsons doctoral advisor was Wassily Leontief, who learned his economics in the Soviet Union, graduating Leningrad university 1924. From 1927 he worked at the 'Institute for the World Economy' and during WW2 he was a consultant for the OSS. He organized the Harvard Economic Research Project in 1948.
The textbook has recently been edited by William Nordhaus, a member of Skull and Bones. He has also written several books on global warming and climate change, one of his primary areas of research, including Managing the Global Commons: The Economics of Climate Change and Warming the World: Economic Models of Global Warming (with Joseph Boyer). In 1972 Nordhaus, along with fellow Yale economics professor James Tobin, of Tobin tax fame, published Is Growth Obsolete?, an article that introduced the Measure of Economic Welfare as the first model for economic sustainability assessment.
James Tobin has served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale. He developed the ideas of Keynesian economics, and advocated government intervention to stabilize output and avoid recessions. Outside of academia, Tobin was widely known for his suggestion of a tax on foreign exchange transactions, now known as the "Tobin tax". He suggested that the proceeds of the tax could be used to fund the United Nations,
Globalists run the Leontief Prize, in memory of Wassily Leontief, 'designed to recognize outstanding contributions to economic theory that address contemporary realities and support just and sustainable societies.' The Global Development And Environment Institute established the Leontief Prize in memory of Wassily Leontief, our friend and, from 1993 until his much regretted death in 1999, a member of our external advisory board.
Winners include - Amartya Sen, John Kenneth Galbraith, Ha-Joon Chang, Robert Wade, Nicholas Stern
Key concepts Edit
Here are some key concepts of this new Happiness economics:
1. Lack of correlation between GDP growth and increasing happiness:
- Relative income is important to human happiness
- Studies show (conveniently) that beyond a certain income, meeting basic needs, happiness does not increase with greater income
- Known to the happiness economists as the Easterlin paradox after Richard Easterlin who did the research
- The implication for government policy is that once basic needs are met, policy should focus not on economic growth or GDP, but rather on increasing life satisfaction or Gross National Happiness
2. Countries are happy if there are generous welfare benefits.
3. Herd Behaviour
- Pressure for conformity is strong
- Humans are subconsciously scared of falling behind
- Herd behaviour usually makes sense for the individual, but its dangerous because it can lead to the entire group 'falling off a cliff'
4. Ban advertising below a certain age, for certain products. Ban pictorial advertising, advertising that makes people feel poor, disadvantaged.
5. Taxes are good for us, make us happier, rich people make poorer people feel bad.
6. You can teach people to be happy. you can teach people a style of thought that 'protects' people from depression.
Important Happiness economists and institutions Edit
- Lord Richard Layard - founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance, at the LSE
- Ed Mayo - ex director of the New Economics Foundation
- Andrew Oswald - professor of economics, Warwick
- Bruno Frey - a Swiss economist and a professor at the University of Zurich. He is one of the world's leading welfare economists
- New Economics Foundation NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) with the aim of working for a "new model of wealth creation, based on equality, diversity and economic stability". NEF uses the slogan "economics as if people and the planet mattered" NEF recently listed Costa Rica as the worlds happiest country and therefore the worlds' wealthiest
- New Economics Foundation: Wellbeing Programme at the LSE Centre for Economic Performance
- They worship someone called E. F. Schumacher
Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress Edit
NGO Advocacy Film Edit
The Economics of Happiness (film)
The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote systemic solutions to today’s social and environmental crises. Our in-depth educational work seeks to reveal the root causes of those crises—from unemployment to climate change, from ethnic conflict to loss of biodiversity— while promoting grassroots and policy-level strategies for ecological and community renewal.
New Economics Institute and Cybernetics Edit
Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. He is a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a founding principal of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute (NEI) link
The Institutes goals are: 1. Launching a new economic model of an economy that works and thrives despite dwindling resources (Gus Speth). 2. Developing the Happy Planet Index as a better measure of success (Stewart Wallis). 3. Developing new economic teaching materials that break the stranglehold of the old economics (Neva Goodwin).
Who is Neva R. Goodwin? - Neva Rockefeller Goodwin received a Masters' degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government ('82) and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University ('87). She is active in a variety of attempts to synthesize and institutionalize an economic theory - "contextual economics" - that will have more relevance to real world concerns than does the dominant economic paradigm. She is also involved with efforts to motivate business to recognize social and ecological health as significant, long-term corporate goals. As Co-Director of the Global Development And Environment Institute, she has supervised the six-volume project, Frontier Issues in Economic Thought, and is editing a Michigan Press series, Evolving Values for a Capitalist World. Dr. Goodwin is lead author of the introductory college-level textbook, Microeconomics in Context, whose Transitional Economies Edition was translated into Russian and Vietnamese, and was published in those countries in 2002. The U.S. version and its companion, Macroeconomics in Context are published by M.E.Sharpe. She has directed the creation of an electronic "Social Science Library" that is being distributed widely in 137 countries.
Neva Goodwin is a promoter of co-production, which the New Economics Foundation describes as 'the biggest revolution in social policy since William Beveridge introduced the welfare state.'
"My overall goal is to affect what people are taught when they take economics courses, and to change the kind of economics that's subsequently in people's heads when they make policy, or vote as citizens.
"To give just one example: standard economics textbooks all repeat that there are essentially three kinds of economic activity: production, exchange (or distribution), and consumption. In the textbooks on which I'm the lead author, we make the point that this leaves out an essential fourth activity: resource maintenance. How can you produce bicycles, cars, or anything if you don't maintain your production tools and machinery?
"For teachers who are not ready to adopt a text that is not virtually identical to all the others that have evolved from Paul Samuelson's Economics, I oversee the writing of teaching modules, downloadable for free from our website, which can be used to structure a class, or a week's worth of classes, around such topics as climate change or tax policy
"Reaching out to researchers and other readers, in academia and elsewhere, I have edited two book series. One, "Evolving Values for a Capitalist World," deals with questions like how to steer different elements in a society toward a more long-run vision of what matters;
"The other book series, "Frontier Issues in Economic Thought," is designed to lure researchers, through irresistibly convenient summaries of fascinating articles, into areas such as ecological economics; the consumer society; the difference between economic goals and normal human conceptions of well-being; the changing nature of work; inequality; and the social and environmental sustainability of economic development.
"I had an idea that I called "robbing Peter to pay Paula" (sexist, I admit, but based on reality), which was about levying a tax on all income; the money raised would go to pay for the work people do in their own homes to create the basic environment for healthy, happy children and adults.
"I'm nowhere near living a sustainable lifestyle -- too many plane trips, too many electricity-sucking gadgets. (But I am planning to put solar panels on my roof next year)" link
Alperovitz's articles include 'Another World is Possible' published in Mother Jones, 'A Top Ten List of Bold New Ideas' published in The Nation and 'You Say You Want a Revolution?' in WorldWatch.
He is one of the founding principals of The Democracy Collaborative. He is also one of the founders of the Committee for the Political Economy of the Good Society (PEGS).
Excerpts from America Beyond Capitalism 'The seemingly radical idea of the workers and community owning and running a giant steel mill was hardly radical at all at the grass-roots level. Indeed, the vast majority of the community, the local congressional delegation, both senators, and the conservative governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, supported it.' (p. v) 'Way back when–in my early days in Wisconsin–Senator Joseph McCarthy of our state dominated politics, both nationally and locally. “They shot anything that moved politically,” people used to say. Fear dominated every suggestion that progressive ideas might be put forward. Anyone who thought otherwise was obviously foolish. But of course, what came next was the 1960s.'(p. vii)
He set a radical think tank called the Cambridge Institute, with Charles Hampden-Turner and Christopher Jencks.
Charles Hampden-Turner (29 September 1934 London, England) is a British management philosopher, and Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 1990. He is the creator of Dilemma Theory, and co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group, in Amsterdam.
After coming down from university to London, Hampden-Turner spent a brief period working with an advertising agency, before applying to study for an MBA at the Harvard Business School. In his second (and final) year of the MBA he discovered a talent for Organisational Behaviour (gaining several distinctions in related subjects), starting a lifelong interest, and providing an intellectual background to make sense of his time in Cambridge politics. He joined the Harvard faculty as a research associate in the Department of Organisational Behaviour, which he decided to combine with reading for a Doctorate (a DBA, there being no PhD available at the time). A part of his thesis won the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award (1966) and a prize from the Columbia University Centre for the Study of the Corporation (1967). He published his Doctoral Thesis as ‘Radical Man’ in 1969, which sold in paperback with Doubleday, some 70,000 copies in 3 languages.
Following Harvard, Hampden-Turner joined a radical think tank, The Cambridge Institute, founded by historian Gar Alperowitz and sociologist Christopher Jencks, staffed largely with Harvard and MIT members.
This was an “alternative” cross-disciplinary graduate school originally a spin-out of Stanford University but now adjoining the Berkeley campus. It was founded and presided over by Nevitt Sanford, the political scientist and author of The Authoritarian Personality. Hampden-Turner worked here for five years, until the death of the founder. During this time he was elected President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (1974) and completed Maps of the Mind
As the Seventies drew to an end, Hampden-Turner was becoming increasingly concerned about his own country. He won a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1979 and took it to the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in London where he was Visiting Scientist and wrote Gentlemen and Tradesmen, a cultural analysis of the nation’s slow economic growth. He had consulted often to the Values and Lifestyles section at SRI International in Menlo Park. When Shell Planning in London offered several members of the team roles in creating Alternative Scenarios of the Future, Hampden-Turner decided to join them and moved his family to London. He used dilemma theory with great success and in 1986 his employers sponsored the Royal Dutch Shell Senior Research Fellowship for him at the London Business School. While at Shell he met his partner of thirty years Fons Trompenaars. Together they founded Trompanaars Hampden-Turner, an Amsterdam based, cross-cultural consultancy organisation, which is still prospering. Its clients have included companies such as Motorola, Royal Dutch Shell, Advanced Micro Devices, British Telecom, Applied Materials, General Motors, British Airways, TRW, McKinsey, A.T. Kearney, Unilever, IBM, Linde and Rockwell Automation. In 1987, Hampden-Turner became a Global Business Network “Remarkable Person”, joining the resources of one of the world’s most important think-tanks.
Hampden-Turner arrived back in Cambridge to work as a Senior Research associate with the Judge Institute of Management Studies, in the autumn term of 1991. Since then, he has supervised 14 PhD’s at Judge and several MPhils. Two of his three MBA thesis supervisions, won the Best Thesis of the Year Prize at Judge. He was a visiting scholar at MIT (1992-5) and in 2001 was included in the Financial Times World Business Thinkers list. In 2003 he toured nine Chinese universities, as the Hutchinson Cambridge University Visiting Scholar
Hampden-Turner was a Fellow of the Cybernetics Society in the USA and is currently a Fellow Royal Society for the Arts, as well as an Honorary Fellow of Arts and Business.
He won a Guggenheim Fellowship to write up his experiences in The War on Poverty, which he published as Strategy for Poor Americans. He won the Rockefeller Fellowship a few years later and used it to become a Visiting Scientist at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in 1979.
Christopher Sandy Jencks (b October 22, 1936) is an American social scientist.
Jencks is currently the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During the year 1960-1961 he studied sociology at the London School of Economics. He has previously held positions at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
His interests are in the study of education, social stratification, social mobility, poverty and the poor. His recent research concerns changes in family structure over the past generation, the costs and benefits of economic inequality, the extent to which economic advantages are inherited and the effects of welfare reform.
Prior to his university career, he was an editor at The New Republic from 1961 to 1967 and a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC from 1963 to 1967. He is currently an editor of the American Prospect.
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1968 and 1982 Member, Institute for Advanced Study, 1985–86 Visiting scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1991–92 Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, 1997–98 and 2001–02
Criticisms of Happiness Economics Edit
In 2003 Ruut Veenhoven and Michael Hagerty published a new analysis based on including various sources of data, and their conclusion was that there is no paradox and countries get indeed happier with increasing income. In his reply Easterlin maintained his position, pointing that the critics were using inadequate data (ref)
In 2008, economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson, both of the University of Pennsylvania, published a paper where they reassessed the Easterlin paradox using new time-series data. They conclude like Veenhoven et al. that, contrary to Easterlin's claim, increases in absolute income are clearly linked to increased self-reported happiness, for both individual people and whole countries (ref)
Happiness index to steer UK government policy Edit
The UK government is poised to start measuring people's psychological and environmental wellbeing, bidding to be among the first countries to officially monitor happiness.
Countries such as France and Canada are looking at similar initiatives as governments around the world come under pressure to put less store on conventional economic measures of prosperity such as gross domestic product.
British officials say there is still hesitation in some parts of Whitehall over going ahead with the programme during such difficult economic times, but Cameron is said to want to place the eventual results at the heart of future government policy-making. link
As David Cameron's £2m plan to measure the nation's happiness gets under way this month, the American psychologist whose work inspired it has said he has changed his mind about the importance of being happy.
One of the pioneers of positive psychology, Professor Martin Seligman insists he is not recanting the doctrine which has made him a bestselling author and world-renowned expert on optimism but just that we should be focusing less on people's happiness and more on their ability to "flourish". He said he was naive in the past to think wellbeing was based only on mood.
"The word 'happiness' always bothered me, partly because it was scientifically unwieldy and meant a lot of different things to different people, and also because it's subjective," said Seligman, the director of the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania. 
Action for Happiness Edit
Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier society. We want to see a fundamentally different way of life where people care less about what they can get for themselves and more about the happiness of others.
Lord Richard Layard: Professor of Economics at LSE. Previously founder director of Centre for Economic Performance and head of Programme on Well-Being. Wrote highly influential book "Happiness: Lessons from a New Science" in 2005.
Geoff Mulgan: Chief Executive of the Young Foundation, a centre for social innovation with 50 year track record of successful social ventures. Previously director of Government's Strategy Unit, Head of Policy in Prime Minister's office and founder of think-tank Demos.
Dr Anthony Seldon: Master of Wellington College, where he has introduced happiness/well-being classes into the school curriculum. Political historian and commentator; author and editor of over 25 books on contemporary history, politics and education.
Nic Marks: Recognised expert in the field of well-being research. Founder the Centre for Well-being at the New Economics Foundation and has led the well-being programme since 2001.
Mark Williamson: Joined as Director of Action for Happiness in September 2010. Experienced leader with wide range of expertise across both commercial and non-profit sectors. Read more.
The co-founder of the new Action for Happiness movement explains why it's better to be happy than wealthy link
Links and References Edit
- &news=1&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1&asb=1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_4810000/newsid_4813200?redirect=4813200.stm&news=1&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1&asb=1
[Fake left wing promoter http://www.neweconomics.org/]
[Fake right wing promoter http://www.li.com/]
Economist debate -- http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/698
The Makeup of the Happiness Index -- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/07/happiness-index-measure-wellbeing-health-education
OECD: But the continued misuse of GDP as a measure of well-being neces- sitates an immediate, aggressive, and ongoing campaign to change the indicators that decision makers are using to guide policies and evaluate progress.We need indicators that promote truly sustainable development -- http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/29/6/42613423.pdf