Wellbeing Economics

Wellbeing Economics?! Yeah, that was my reaction too, but then I remembered all the new performance indices that Tony Blair's government tried to come up with to turn Sad Britain into Happy Britain. In some senses it's a welcome change in focus. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a pretty useless measure of anything unless you're a virus intent on consuming anything and everything before it. Clearly something better is needed but "well-being" is probably not it. Although it's aims are noble I'm not sure any government should be the slightest bit interested in my well-being. Create a level playing field for all and ensure everybody follows the rules by all means but worrying whether I am happy or sad or having unwelcome thoughts ought not to be on that list in case it invites some kind of intervention. Instead a focus on efficiency might be time and money better spent. How fast can we build hospitals, how well equipped are they and do they actually help the sick. How fast can we shut the food banks and how many pensioners are living in comfort and not having to made the decision of eating or paying for the medicine that keeps them alive so their grandchildren can still visit seem more attractive metrics than "well-being".