Sunday, 28 November 2010
An Airy-Fairy Measure
Having been enthusiastic about David Cameron's proposal to measure Gross National Wellbeing, it is rather disappointing to find that he is proposing to do it in such an airy-fairy manner. Both he and the statistician in charge at the ONS talk vaguely about asking people how happy they feel. While as a social scientist I cannot decry the value of trying to measure subjunctive feelings it is disappointing that solid facts such as hours worked, a measure of equality, suicide rates, the stability of marriages and partnerships, etc (see earlier post) are not to be taken into account. Perhaps Cameron is frightened of what objective data might reveal.