Bhutan and Gdp

In: Social Issues

Submitted By urcal
Words 2293
Pages 10
Taylor Moskalyk – 500296291
Professor Maurer
CGEO 108, Sec. November 27, 2011
“Giving Happiness a Number: A look at Gross National Happiness as an overall strategy”
It seems nowadays that the world is moving in one direction, with the west taking the driver’s seat, Europe riding shotgun, and the rest of the world sitting in the back with Africa, the crying infant in need of a diaper change. But there is one Country that seems to be going against the grain; putting greater significance on things humanity seems to forget from time to time, like human well-being and the environment. Sandwiched in between China and India is a small country called Bhutan, a country that takes a different approach when looking at the well-being of its citizens. In 1972, 17 year-old Jigme Singye Wangchuck became the 4th Dragon Emperor of Bhutan, and implemented a new system that structures an economy around the happiness of its population. Gross National Happiness (GNH) is the sadly unorthodox alternative to GDP, based on Buddhist beliefs; it puts value in the happiness, not money when valuing a country. It is the only country in the world that uses this system of measurement. Although this system has the best intentions for the people and its surrounding environment, it is not the best overall strategy because it doesn’t adequately incorporate economic growth, which is very important to a country’s well-being. At first glance it seems like a truly distinct, altruistic approach to GDP but it would not be applicable to the entire world because of its ambiguity in the basic measurement of happiness. Right now Bhutan seems to be moving upstream, but because of the powerful influence of western society, Bhutan’s values may stray and ultimately lead their utopian society into the same direction as the rest of the world.
Happiness is a key ingredient to well-being. How do you…...

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