How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know

In this article, a town in Somerville, Massachusetts was given a unrealistic survey allowing their residents to rate their “happiness” in a census. 

Wanting to be the first city in the United States, the Officials thought that tracking the happiness in a town with the population of 76,000 was a good idea.  Knowing that each person has an different outlook on what it is to be happy,  I don’t see the sense in this pointless survey at all.  Being stated that “more than 7,500 people have mailed back the survey” lets me know, and any reader with common sense, that could be more or less 10 percent of the residents. 

Wow, that’s a lot!  Next time I pay rent, I’ll pay 10 percent so I can see what difference it makes on my landlord. 

For this town to be between two well known universities, I assumed even the person delivering their daily newspaper would have had a better proposal on finding how to make their town better.  “We need to change our mind-set in how we serve people,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, I agree.  Finding different ways to help the people in our cities live better is something to be optimistic about but doing a survey that only received about 10 percent of feedback is not going to do the job.  If the citizens’ opinions really mean anything, greater measures should be taken to achieve the goals set to improve the happiness and well-being of the towns’ people.

Overall, I thought the article was “sweet” but thoughtless at the same time.  I felt that the responses that were mentioned from some of the residents really weren’t honest.  I even believe that the survey was honestly not taken seriously by most of the people that responded.  To actually measure the happiness of even a small group of people, you would have to get to know each person individually.  That takes too much time and actually having to get a …. care. 

 [Revision for 9/12]

The article “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know” written by John Tierney is about a census that was sent out to residents of Somerville, Massachusetts rating their happiness.  The Officials of Boston want to track the happiness of their residents to see if by doing so it can help to better aide in the well-being of their towns people.  The author gives a brief mentioning of the responses and reactions from some of the residents.  Also, psychologist and economists are helping in figuring out how the rating can actually help and which routes to take to further understand whether happiness is something useful for politicians endurance.


The change that I made was I didn’t include my own personal opinions.  When writing a summary, you are to be to just rewrite in your own words the main idea of the assigned reading.

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