gross national happiness

sea turtle / Flickr

The Seattle City Council has unanimously endorsed The Happiness Initiative, reports Sustainable Seattle, an organization that develops regional indicators of well-being and sustainability.

“Measuring the subjective happiness or well-being levels of Seattle residents is an important tool that can help our council make effective policy decisions and can engage our community in conversations about what we really want from life and from our economy,” City Council President Richard Conlin said in a press release.

Flickr/Chris Guillebeau

How should we measure societal progress and success?  What is the economy really for?  Is the measure of Gross National Happiness, championed by the tiny south Asian nation of Bhutan, superior to our Gross Domestic Product?  How has Seattle become one of the centers in the U. S. pursuing such alternative measures?