Saturday, 27 November 2010

The pursuit of happiness

A good post from Daniel Hannan:

The argument isn’t about what makes us happy; it’s about what governments can do about it. And here, a certain modesty is called for. As Dr Johnson put it:

How small of all that human hearts endure
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure

What can governments do to make us more content? They can create a climate where we are unlikely to be victims of crime. They can prevent us from being invaded, or defeated in war. They can guarantee that property rights are secure, contracts fairly enforced, disputes impartially arbitrated, the law open to all seeking redress. They can ensure that children receive a decent education, whatever their parents’ means. They can do these things without confiscating any more of our assets through taxation than absolutely necessary.

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