In this article from The New York Times , How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know by John Tierney the government of Somerville Massachusetts is putting a number on its citizens happiness. As the yearly census go out a few questions on their environment and life style have also been attached. The government of Somerville what’s to know on a scale from 1-10 how happy are you right now ? They feel the need to know how their 76,000 residents lives are affected by policies that can be changed to make their lives happier.
Although some residents think this is a good idea and even feel flattered by the city’s attention, I don’t believe that happiness should be measured and promoted by the government. But it is, throughout our daily lives we are constantly being told how to be happy and all the material things you need in order to do so. Although this experiment is meant to improve living conditions not everyone takes it serious and the results may be affected by the people who are unhappy by petty materialistic factors such as their looks and superficial needs. Things such as efforts by the city to improve should be taken into account and an overall services.
In regards to the communities well being I believe we need to focus on the public school systems, mass transit and health issues. Although Somerville seems like the “..perfect test tube for such an experiment” a more ideal place for such an experiment should be a larger city with a variety of incomes and needs. Although not everyone may agree on one specific solution or policy to community issues it is worth a try.