政府对幸福感的追求

发自剑桥——在这个预算紧缩和金融危机前后夹击的年代,政治家们纷纷将经济增长列为国内政策的重中之重,而GDP则成为反映国家幸福程度的首要指数。但展望2011年甚至更遥远的未来,我们理当自问:将增长摆在如此重要的位置,明智吗?

没错,许多研究都表明富国的国民要比穷国的幸福感更强,而富人则比其他收入较低的同胞们更有满足感。但针对几个相对富裕国家(比如韩国和美国)的研究也显示,即便这些国家的国民人均收入已经比50年前翻了两番或是三番,但人们却并未觉得更幸福。

另一份最近发表的加拿大国内研究成果也显示,那些幸福感最强的人们都居住在最贫穷的省份,比如纽芬兰和新斯科舍,而安大略和不列颠哥伦比亚这些最富裕省份的居民却自认最不幸福。由于幸福感其实是由人们的终极欲望所决定,而财富只是实现这些欲望的其中一种方式,因此当前这种将经济发展奉为圭皋的做法很可能会误入歧途。

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