Le bonheur est une affaire d’égalité

LONDRES – Il se trouve que le roi du Bhoutan aspire à faire de nous tous des individus plus heureux. Les États, avance-t-il, devraient avoir pour objectif de maximiser le bonheur national brut de la population, bien avant leur produit national brut. Cette nouvelle tendance à se soucier du bien-être marque-t-elle le franchissement d’une étape, ou ne constitue-t-elle qu’une mode passagère ?

Il n’est pas difficile de comprendre pourquoi les gouvernements devraient relativiser les considérations de croissance économique, compte tenu du caractère insaisissable qu’elle revêt. Il est prévu que la zone euro ne connaisse aucune croissance cette année. L’économie britannique est en pleine contraction. Celle de la Grèce en déclin depuis plusieurs années. La Chine elle-même laisse présager un ralentissement de sa croissance. Pourquoi ne renoncerions-nous pas à cette exigence omniprésente de croissance, pour apprécier ce que nous avons ?

Il est probable que cet état d’esprit se dissipe lorsque la croissance aura repris, comme elle est inéluctablement destinée à le faire. Néanmoins, il s’est bel et bien produit un changement d’attitude plus profond à l’égard de la croissance, qui devrait à l’avenir la désacraliser – particulièrement dans les pays les plus riches.

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