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Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product

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I learned this watching Michael Palin's Himalaya travel documentary. (More info here... I'm thinking of getting the book now, I really love his travel documentaries.)

In Bhutan they measure the country's progress based on "Gross National Happiness" not Gross National Product. The difference between Bhutan and the neighboring countries he visited is astounding. Admittedly Bhutan has a very small population, but the way they have controlled tourism, pollution, mass industrialisation, etc. is amazing. Maybe it's the environmentalist and Buddhist in me, but it really seems like an amazingly wonderful way to run a country.

While most developed nations fret over their gross national product (GNP), Bhutan is a place, perhaps the only place on earth, where the official government policy is Gross National Happiness (GNH)- where cultural, environmental, spiritual well being and happiness of the people comes ahead of monetary wealth.<-- (that's a link. i just realized it's so long it just looks like i've underlined it.)

There was a confrence on this a whole slew of papers produced. I wish I had time to read them.

Just imagine how much different things would be here if we put cultural, environmental and spirtual well being ahead of money.

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