June 30, 2006
But Are You Happy?
"Count no man happy until he is dead," warned the Athenian lawmaker Solon. Economists at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor are now cheerfully disregarding that advice: Last summer they created what might become the first large-scale, long-term index of American happiness.
Since the 1940s the university's monthly 500-person survey of consumer optimism has asked such questions as, "Do you think now is a good or bad time to buy major household items?" Beginning last August, that