How much are we willing to pay for the pursuit of happiness?

Never mind the conventional speculation about whether the resolution of some political standoff in Washington favors Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, “entitlement” fans or skeptics. The more fundamental question, says Benjamin Radcliff, is this: Does it make people happier or not?

Radcliff is a political scientist at Notre Dame whose work places him in the forefront of what might be labeled happiness studies. … Radcliff’s research suggests that higher levels of social programs produce a happier population and that public policies such as social insurance and strong labor market protections are among the most important factors. CONT.

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times