>  “What makes people happy?”
> Should the goal of economic policy be the reduction of unhappiness?

Nobody can make you happy other than yourself, but other people can make
you unhappy, mainly by interfering in what you would prefer to do.

So the goal of economic policy should be to maximize individual liberty by
minimizing arbitrary interventions into personal and business life.  The
less government interferes with people, the more they can individually
pursue their preferences.

Policy cannot make people happy, but it can decrease unhappiness.

> I've been to Helsinki, and I recall that almost everyone walks around
frowning all the time.  

I experienced that phenomenon in Latvia when I lived there for 8 months. 
The Latvians themselves called it the "Latvian face".  I figured it was due
to the past Soviet oppression and the low standard of living.  I did visit
Finland afterwards, and do not recall such frowning, but maybe that's
because I had just left the Baltics and Finland looked good by comparison. 
Maybe the Finns are happiest in the sauna, and become sad when they have to
get dressed and go to work.

Fred Foldvary 

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