"Real economists don't ask questions about happiness. The economy pumps out goods and services, all of which create jobs and incomes. There is no value judgment in such a statement, no view of what constitutes the good life."
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"There is a quest for meaning, aided and abetted by the knowledge and information revolutions, that is not answered by traditionally scale-produced goods and services. Economist Tomas Sedlacek, who has won an international following for his book Economics of Good and Evil, insists that contemporary societies have become slaves to a defunct economistic view of the world.
"When western societies were poorer, it was reasonable for economics to focus on how to produce more stuff – that was what societies wanted. Now, the question is Aristotelian: how to live a happy life – or 'humanomics', as Sedlacek calls it. Aristotle was clear: happiness results from deploying our human intelligence to act creatively on nature. To inquire and successfully to quest for understanding is the root of happiness.
"Yet most people today, says Sedlacek, work in jobs they do not much like, to buy goods they do not much value – the opposite of any idea of the good life, Aristotelian or otherwise. What we want is purpose and a sense of continual self-betterment, which is not served by buying another iPhone, wardrobe or a kitchen."