Beware. The government is hatching new ways to intrude into our lives, this time, to measure our happiness. Beware! That is an open ended invitation to intrusive bureaucracy.
To warn my fellow citizens of the insidiousness of this seemingly benign initiative, I took to the Weekly Standard. From “Get Happy:”
Is there no end to the technocratic impulse? Just when you thought that our government overlords couldn’t find any new way to intrude into our lives, they hatch a plan to multiply bureaucrats. Now cooking on the Obama stove: criteria to measure our “happiness.” Happiness? What business is that of the government’s? None. But when has that stopped the Obama administration? The Washington Post reported that Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services is funding a gaggle of “experts” to “define reliable measures of ‘subjective well-being.’?” Not coincidentally, one of the leaders of this field is Obama’s chief economic adviser, Alan Krueger. Economic adviser today, but tomorrow? Happiness Czar!
Defining measures of subjective well-being is only the first step. The Post reports, “If successful, these could become official statistics.” Once the government decides what makes us happy and begins to collect data and publish statistics about how we are doing happiness-wise as a society, the inevitable next step will be to uncover a crisis, which new policies and bureaucracies will be required to cure.
Think of the opportunities for demagoguing. Some sectors of our society will undoubtedly be determined to have less happiness than other sectors. Let’s call it “happiness inequality.” That will require the government to pass laws and promulgate regulations to close the “happiness gap.” Once we head down that road, the buttinsky possibilities become endless. Think Independent Happiness Advisory Board.
The UK’s PM is into this “happiness” meme. So too, France and Canada. Bhutan, led the way. And the UN has passed a resolution guaranteeing the ”pursuit of happiness.” Oh, oh:
Sounds like the Declaration of Independence, except for a crucial difference. The declaration proclaims that we have an inalienable right as individuals to pursue happiness. It does not say we have a right to be happy. Nor does it presume that it is the government’s job to make us happy. Rather, the declaration affirms the right of people to establish a government that is sufficiently limited in power to leave us room for the pursuit according to our own unique circumstances and desires.
The U.N., however, is not about limited power. Indeed, as conceived by the technocratic community, the pursuit of happiness would take us in exactly the opposite direction from the American model. Rather than limiting government, the U.N. would use happiness as a justification for increasing the power of lawmakers and regulators to thwart prosperitythink global warmingand constrain personal freedom.
Thus, Resolution 65/309 claims that measuring “the gross domestic product .??.??. does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people in a country,” and the international community and national governments should be “conscious” of “the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and well-being of all peoples.” Yikes!
Forget your troubles Come on get happy/Government chase all you cares away,
Shout hallelujah Come on get happy/Get ready for the bureaucrat day.