En plan contrablogging :-)))
"According to the research, married, extroverted optimists are happier than single, pessimistic introverts, and Republicans are happier than Democrats. Nurses enjoy life more than bankers, and it helps to be religious, sexually active and a college graduate with a short commute to work. The wealthy experience more mirth than the poor, but not much. Most people say they are happy, but perhaps that is because they are expected to be.
Having long ignored the subject, psychologists, economists and social scientists are now tackling happiness with zeal, particularly in America. Mostly this involves examining why people are not as happy as they should be, given the unprecedented access to freedom, opportunities and riches. Because happiness is now considered more an entitlement than a pursuit among citizens of prosperous countries, unhappiness has become a sign of failure, of weakness, and a prime source of dread"
One criticism is that the pursuit is self-defeating. The more you pursue the illusion of happiness the more you sacrifice the real thing. The flip side of relentless mobility is turmoil and angst, broken marriages and unhappy children. Americans have less job security than ever before. They even report having fewer close friends than a couple of decades ago. And international studies of happiness suggest that people in certain poor countries, for instance Nigeria and Mexico, are apparently happier than people in America.
"Another criticism is that Americans have confused happiness with material possessions (it is notable that Thomas Jefferson's call echoes Adam Smith's phrase about “life, liberty and the pursuit of property”). Do all those pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes really make you happy? Or are they just a compensation for empty lives à la “Sex in the City”?"
"For some Europeans, the pursuit of happiness in the form of monster cars and mansions is objectionable on every possible ground, from aesthetic to ecological. You cannot pursue happiness with such conspicuous enthusiasm without making quite a lot of people around the world rather unhappy"