Britain's Happiness is to be Measured in a Survey 英国人将调查他们的快乐指数
What makes you happy?
That's a question British Prime Minister David Cameron is asking the nation in a survey this year, as part of a drive to improve Britons' lives beyond pure financial gain.
As the global recession continues, Mr Cameron says he is seeking a better measure of progress than GDP alone. He claims economic studies often focus too much on standard of life rather than quality of life.
The problem is that assessing happiness is a slippery subject. It is easier to measure something concrete like a person's income than a subjective, less tangible factor like wellbeing.
Critics say the £2m (20m yuan) scheme will not produce any meaningful results. Others suggest it is unwise to carry out a survey into the nation's happiness just as the government launches the biggest public spending cuts in decades.
Mr Cameron himself admits that it is easy to brand his scheme "woolly" and "impractical", but it is not without precedent.
Canada has an Index of Wellbeing which looks at how things like money and education affect health and the sense of community. And the Kingdom of Bhutan has used its index of Gross National Happiness (GNH) since the early 1970s as a tool to help policy-making.
So what kind of answers is he likely to get? While the full survey begins later this year, respondents to an initial consultation have already listed their top priorities.
Job security, good health and relationships with family members are what matter most to people in the UK, according to the findings. In fact, having a job was listed as more important than being paid a high salary.
So perhaps there is truth in the old adage that 'money can't buy happiness'. An idea David Cameron may find solace in as he tries to find a way out of the recession.
Glossary 词汇表 (收听发音, 请单击英语单词)
- financial gain钱财增加
- global recession全球经济衰退
- measure of progress衡量进步的尺度
- slippery subject棘手的课题
- public spending cuts削减公共开支
- brand给 … 加以罪名