Social Issues

Free, Happy People, Holding Hands


city journal

Free people are happy people, sayeth Arthur C. Brooks.

For example:

Pundits and politicians on the left often tell us that a free economy makes for an unhappy population: the disruptions of capitalism make us insecure, and we would prefer the security of generous welfare programs and national health care. But for most people, it turns out, that isn't true.

To begin with, those who favor less government intervention in our economic affairs are happier than those who favor more. When asked in 2004 whether it was the government's responsibility to improve the living standards of Americans, 26 percent of those who agreed called themselves very happy, versus 37 percent who disagreed. When asked in 1996 whether it should be "the government's responsibility to keep prices under control," those who said it "definitely should be" were a quarter less likely to say that they were very happy than those who said it "definitely should not be."

More interesting stuff from Brooks here.