In a speech at the Sorbonne on Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed that from now on, France would gauge the economy's health by considering well-being in addition to GDP. Who but a French president could make this proclamation?
The French have always seemed quite good at enjoying their lives - they even have a term to describe it: "Joie de Vivre", which literally means "the joy of living." President Sarkozy suggested that possible measures of general happiness (or maybe the "Joie de Vivre Index (JdV)", might include: employment levels, health care, vacation, household assets and income, consumption and education.
Considering that new data from the Census bureau indicate the incomes of young and middle-aged have plummeted since 2000, it may be time for the US to consider our own version of the French JdV index.
Here's my list - feel free to suggest your own variable to include in my not-so-scientific analysis:
•Time spent reading non-financial material
•Number of work-outs per week
•Meals prepared at home (delivery not included!)
•Number of 7-8 hour nights of sleep