And this leads them down the thorny path of inventing policies to maximize happiness, such as (in Layard's case) preventing divorce, banning television, and handing out antidepressant drugs in even greater numbers than they are already.
It's good to know that there's a scientific basis to the truism that money can't buy happiness. But trying to legislate how people make themselves happy is an ethical and scientific dead end. All we can do is grant everyone the freedom to find fulfillment and enough money to bring them the happiness created by a relief from poverty. The rest is just subjective. SFBG
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd whose happiness is bigger than yours.