Whyte criticizes British PM David Cameron’s request that the Office of National Statistics construct a survey-based measure of the country’s general well-being. They will publish their first findings in the summer of 2012. If “happy” means only that you have satisfied your desires, then it is trivially true that people seek only happiness, notes Whyte. Cameron claims to reject governmental interference in favor of individual liberty. His taste for industrial policy, nationalized health care, compulsory charity, and population control make some doubt him. Whyte concludes that no one with a shred of liberal principle could think it the state’s proper job to specify the nature of “the good life” and then design policies that get people to live it.
Whyte is a management consultant and author of “Crimes Against Logic” (McGraw Hill, 2004).
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