September 23, 2014
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What should be our basic purpose in life? What kind of society should we live in? Prof. Layard argues that the objective for our society should not be to become richer and richer. Wealth, he claims, is related to happiness only up to a point – and where the two diverge, we should not forget that the promised happiness was the only reason we attempted to become richer in the first place. RICHARD LAYARD is best known for his contributions to happiness economics. You are likely to know him as the author of “Happiness: Lessons from a New Science” (2005) – a book which redefined the simplistic economic link between income and happiness. He is also the co-founder of the Action for Happiness movement, now counting over 30,000 members. In both 2012 and 2013 Professor Layard co-edited the World Happiness Reports. Professor Layard’s studies have over the years considered unemployment and inequality. Moreover his recent work on the importance of non-income variables contributing to aggregate happiness has focused on mental health.
8:58 Do you think that most other people can be trusted?
Britain, USA: 30%
higher: Scandinavian countries (more emphasis on cooperation and mutual respect)
used to be 60%
Zero sum game
18:40 To an important extent, virtue is its own reward