Feelings, nothing more than feelings: Expert panel urges feds to measure Americans' happiness

  • Article by: SETH BORENSTEIN , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 6, 2013 - 5:45 PM

WASHINGTON — Happy or sad? Content or bored? And how many times did you smile yesterday? A panel of experts thinks Uncle Sam should be more in touch with our feelings.

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sek2undrstndDec. 6, 13 4:28 PM

After watching Zach Sobiech's "Clouds" Youtube video ten times, I'm feeling extremely happy. I don't know how much of an effect that has on the GNH (Gross National Happiness) but it has had an effect on my life. Thank You Zach, family, and friends. May God Bless All of You. Both in this life and the next.

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gemie1Dec. 6, 13 4:55 PM

This is not the role of government! They cannot measure happiness for an entire society, and should never be in the business to do it. It is up to individuals to know what it is that makes them happy or unhappy. It is called individual choice and basic human freedoms!

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elind56Dec. 6, 13 5:10 PM

"In terms of collecting happiness data, the United States government "is a bit of a laggard" behind other industrial nations..."----------------------I would think the feds could fairly accurately gauge everyone's happiness by sifting through all the other data they collect. Want to make me happier? LEAVE ME ALONE!

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redeye12Dec. 6, 13 5:17 PM

Wrong. The gov't should be less involved than they already are. We need them to know less, leave us alone more and spy less. We can be happy and the gov't doesn't need to know about it. What a joke.

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nicesiglegDec. 6, 13 5:34 PM

Glad to see team Obama and big brother will soon be able to tell us how we are supposed to feel. Priorities! I would be happy is Obama cut the "unpatriotic" deficit in half like he promised, and I would be happier if I could keep my health plan. I would also be happier if the democrats weren't "urging" Obama to allow those ILLEGAL immigrants to remain here ILLEGALLY just so they can buy votes. I would also be happier if team Obama hadn't "saved" GM to the tune of a 10 billion dollar loss of our tax dollars. I would be happier if the government didn't concern themselves with how much sugary drinks we consume, and focus more on why we have record numbers of people receiving entitlements. I would also be a little more chipper if the labor participation figures weren't at Carter levels, but they know whats best, right? This entire presidency feels like a horrible community activist making decisions that fit their own personal agenda rather than actually representing us on issues that the majority is concerned with.

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clnorthDec. 6, 13 5:59 PM

One man's happiness is another's misery. How can you measure that? Happiness is a choice.

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dirletonDec. 6, 13 6:01 PM

"This is not the role of government!" Half of what government does is not "the role of government!"

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gemie1Dec. 6, 13 6:01 PM

Reminds me of Michael Foucault, a French philosopher and his ideas on the relationship between power and knowledge and how they are used as a form of social control. Just saying.

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flusher75Dec. 6, 13 6:02 PM

I would argue that government does have a role in providing the conditions that result in happiness. Instead of cutting funding for city parks and diverting that money to billionaires for a sports stadium they should factor in "quality of life". Studies have shown that green space nearby raises the quality of life for nearby residents so instead of bulldozing every last tree in sight to generate more tax revenue the government should consider what will be lost.

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WaterBunkerDec. 6, 13 6:20 PM

Flusher: Be patient if you are waiting for the government to make you happy.

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