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Submitted by Sharon N on
Joe, thank you for this blog entry. I agree with Naomi's sentiment that "less is more." As a student in international dispute resolution, the concept of "relative deprivation" comes to mind. This concept completely makes sense in regard to what I know about Bhutan-- if the nation, as a whole, is more concerned with its national identity and not wanting "as much as someone else," the pursuit of happiness can easily be fulfilled. And, building off of Naomi's statement, if a nation, as a whole is not obsessed with materialism, it seems far more likely that the citizens of the nation would consider themselves to be "happy." In nations like India and China, where having material seems to be what separates the "rich" from the "poor," the concept of relative deprivation would certainly play a role as to why citizens in both of these nations are not as "happy." Under the same logic, it makes complete sense that citizens of the United States are not "happy," due to the rampant materialism deriving from the relative deprivation that such individuals feel. Thanks again for the posting!