Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It

Gross National Happiness Why Happiness Matters for America and How We Can Get More of It Who are the happiest Americans Surveys show that religious people think they are happier than secularists and secularists think they are happier than religious people Liberals believe they are happie

  • Title: Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It
  • Author: Arthur C. Brooks
  • ISBN: 9780465002788
  • Page: 230
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Who are the happiest Americans Surveys show that religious people think they are happier than secularists, and secularists think they are happier than religious people Liberals believe they are happier than conservatives, and conservatives disagree In fact, almost every group thinks it is happier than everyone else In this provocative new book, Arthur C Brooks explodeWho are the happiest Americans Surveys show that religious people think they are happier than secularists, and secularists think they are happier than religious people Liberals believe they are happier than conservatives, and conservatives disagree In fact, almost every group thinks it is happier than everyone else In this provocative new book, Arthur C Brooks explodes the myths about happiness in America As he did in the controversial Who Really Cares The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Brooks examines vast amounts of evidence and empirical research to uncover the truth about who is happy in America, who is not, and most important why He finds that there is a real happiness gap in America today, and it lies disconcertingly close to America s cultural and political fault lines The great divide between the happy and the unhappy in America, Brooks shows, is largely due to differences in social and cultural values The values that bring happiness are faith, charity, hard work, optimism, and individual liberty Secularism, excessive reliance on the state to solve problems, and an addiction to security all promote unhappiness What can be done to maximize America s happiness Replete with the unconventional wisdom for which Brooks has come to be known, Gross National Happiness offers surprising and illuminating conclusions about how our government can best facilitate Americans in their pursuit of happiness.

    One thought on “Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America--and How We Can Get More of It”

    1. I enjoyed this book until 2/3 of the way through. Brooks' opinion that political conservatism will increase national happiness is based on a flawed characterization of a liberal worldview. He describes liberalism as pro-welfare state, and suggests an approach in which the government support programs that allow for economic mobility and increase the opportunity for individuals for succeed. But it is the Democrats who are about creating and funding these programs, and Republicans who want abandon [...]

    2. A somewhat-disappointing book about an important topic. First about the topic: empirical research (and psychology and neuroscience, which play second fiddle in this book) is beginning to reveal what makes us more or less happy. And many of the correlations and causes are surprising; meaning that most of us are to some degree ignorant about what will make us happy. Brooks, an empirical researcher -- or number cruncher, as he puts it -- has contributed to combating this ignorance by using regressi [...]

    3. What can advance the pursuit of happiness in our country as a whole? Scientific studies show that those who are conservative, religious, generous towards others, successful in their careers, and having good marriages have the advantage in life satisfaction.

    4. This book offers a comprehensive, statistically-derived (if slightly dated) look at what makes individuals and our country as a whole happy. The narrative is very readable, and I found myself switching back and forth from the text to the notes so I could get the background for the data.Most of the narrative seemed quite rational, even if it didn't feel intuitively correct. The statistical analysis is fascinating, and I liked his way of explaining the concepts. It's not all that long of a book, b [...]

    5. Nicely developed exposition on what constitutes (major features of) happiness and general strategies for increasing happiness. A close approximation to behavioral prescriptions we and our country could implement to make our lives more pleasant and "happy."

    6. Mixed feelings about this - enjoyed the stats and supposed info behind each idea but was less in favour of his policy suggestions. Interesting read!

    7. Highly recommended. I heard Brooks speak about his later book, Who Really Cares, about charitable giving. I was impressed and decided to look up more of his work. The conclusions here about what, statistically, causes true happiness, were sometimes expected and sometimes surprising. I especially recommend the chapter on work. (It turns out that 89% of Americans are happy with their jobs, despite the ubiquitous grumbling). While applicable individually, I like that this book is more about happine [...]

    8. I gave this book 5 stars but I'd like to place an asterisk next to it with the admonition that books about public policy are not for everybody. However, I do think everyone could benefit from reading this book.Arthur Brooks idea of maximizing happiness rather than consumption (GDP) is so simple and profound that it's bound to be revolutionary. Gross National Happiness is filled with insights into what really makes us happy and how we can get more of it. Traditional economics is based on the flaw [...]

    9. I like the way that Brooks approaches his subject for this book. While I understand that all research is imperfect, a large body of research that finds similar results suggests patterns that deserve some attention. At the beginning of the appendix, he writes, "In this book, I reach virtually all of my conclusions on the basis of statistics - those generated by my own analysis as well as those compiled through the empirical work of other scholars. A huge number of studies, and literally gigabytes [...]

    10. What makes us happy? Arthur C Brooks believes he knows.In his book "Gross National Happiness", Brooks makes the case for what he believes makes for a happier nation. Throughout his book, his research indicates what makes people happy: work, charity, marriage, and above all- freedom! He shows that people are happiest in countries where they feel the most free. And he shows through data what America needs if we are to be a happier nation. A couple years ago, I was at a Sarah Palin rally here in Fl [...]

    11. Very interesting book written by an erstwhile liberal. Despite coming down somewhat strongly on the conservative side of many issues, Brooks goes to great lengths to justify the conclusions he reaches while being careful to not read too much into the data. For instance, he points out that the extreme left is most apt to *hate* those with opposing viewpoints but that the extreme right *also* has this same tendency (just not as high a percentage of that population).Generally, he makes a strong cas [...]

    12. I found this book in the clearance section of Big Lots and almost put it down without buying it until I noticed that the fist review on the back was from PJ O'Rourke, and I figured if he likes it it's got to be good. And it is. It's an interesting look at the studies of what produces happiness, mostly from a political/sociological perspective. While there are some areas I would have been curious for him to touch on (do pets make people happier?), it's interesting to see the relationship between [...]

    13. This was an interesting book based on the idea in Bhutan to measure the country's Gross National Happiness. In America, the "pursuit of happiness" is actually a part of our Declaration of Independence, so how are we doing as a country to pursue happiness? This book studies how happy Americans are and what ultimately makes them happy. It's very interesting to see that what those things are: conservative, smaller government; family; freedom; economic mobility, not necessarily economic equality; wo [...]

    14. Aurthur Brooks follows his previous book "Who Really Cares" with another very interesting and important read. He starts where the Declaration of Independance famously declares "pursuit of Happiness" as being self-evident and endowed by our Creator.Is this true? Brooks rigorous analysis of the data takes you through this thought, discovering what makes Americans happy. More importantly he discuses it’s critical role in making us the most prosperous nation and how we can further enrich our natio [...]

    15. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it tends to get bogged down a little in citing study after study. Still, a very thought-provoking book on the nature of happiness. Are liberals more happy, or conservatives? Does religion make us happier? Do families? Money?He answers the questions using data every step of the way and finds some surprising answers. Much of what he concludes confirms what we already intuitively know, but he supplies a fresh and interesting perspective to the an [...]

    16. This was written by a (former) liberal, a tenured professor who, like Barack Obama, believed Conservatives were bitter and clung to their guns and religion. During his research of many studies made on happiness in America he discovered that the level of happiness in Conservatives is much higher than in Liberals. He learned he had always been incorrect in thinking that Liberals were happy and Conservatives were unhappy. He goes into great detail on why. Also compares happiness with that in other [...]

    17. A lot of people don't understand why I would be republican considering my views about social inequality. This book gives empirical evidence supporting many of my beliefs about limited government and redistribution of income as well as the need for strong families and the promotion of good values. Using survey data from the United States and abroad and numerous other economic, psychology, and other social science studies the author gets at the root of happiness and politics. I highly suggest read [...]

    18. I initially had a hard time w/this book in that the first chapter kind of irritated me. I felt that the author came across as quite judgmental. However, I'm glad I decided to read it from beginning to end because it really was an interesting book to read, whether or not I agreed w/it. Some things I read surprised me, while others didn't.

    19. This was recommended by a friend of my wife and despite the cheesy title and the difficulty of trying to capture what is meant by happiness, I really enjoyed this book. Some parts were common sense but other parts were fascinating (particularly the part about how children effect happiness). Made for good conversation with my wife which makes for a good read in my book.

    20. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters of this, as far an content goes. The format was a little boring. I couldn't make it through any more and had already renewed it three times at the library. So I just gave up.

    21. At some point, exponential economic growth expectations coupled with a finite resource base may become a major source of national dissatisfaction. GNH may provide a different "yard stick" to measure soverign success as well as individual success.

    22. Brooks attempts to display a set of statistics that matched with the "right" policies will encourage and increase American happiness. I personally disagree with some of the opinions, and question the lens Brooks uses with his statistics, but overall, the read is worth it.

    23. Interesting data on the link between charity and happiness. Giving empowers everyone in profound ways and positively effects individuals, families, communities, country and beyond. Perhaps the best platform for 'Hope and Change'.

    24. I loved this book! It rang true with me, was inspiring, entertaining and reaffirmed those things I already believe--so how could I not love it?

    25. Another well researched book. I enjoy Arthur Brooks and his calm thoughtful style. He always makes me think and challenges me to do a little better.

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