Open Democracy are running a debate on 'happiness' as a statistical, economic and policy concern. I've kicked it off with an article about the potential for this new body of socio-economic knowledge to shift political attention to production, and away from consumption, as the arena in which valuable economic activity takes place. Here is a chunk:
For the first time since the collapse of socialism, the importance of production to society and individual dignity is about to receive an objective economic rationale. For beyond the confines of the doctor’s surgery and the family, work - its quality, quantity, whether we have it at all - is the single biggest influence over measured happiness levels. This potentially enables a shift in our dominant economic discourse, which any canny politician should be looking to exploit. It’s worth standing back and considering the historical context in which this new national performance indicator (and the burgeoning associated evidence) will arrive. A particular epoch of both values and valuation techniques may be drawing to a close.
There is already a debate developing in the comments underneath the article itself (including from a mysterious 'MP'), so if you'd like to contribute, please do so at the link above.