Do relationships and happiness suffer when we focus too much on growth?

Do relationships and happiness suffer when we focus too much on growth?

Relationships take a back seat in the mad dash for growth

September 26, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald

Political leaders focus on economics and the bottom line and underplay the social costs of their policies, writes Paul Shepanski.

With the federal poll almost upon us, here’s a challenge for John Howard and Kevin Rudd: describe a clear vision of Australia in 2017, a picture of the nation you will be working towards if elected. A vision of our community, of our natural environment and of our material wellbeing. And then explain how your party’s policies will help lead us towards achieving it.

Is this suggesting the obvious? That a party should articulate how it intends to serve the interests of those it represents; and that the government’s role should embrace interests that stretch beyond the fiscal to concerns for the wellbeing of relationships at home and in the community, to protecting the beauty of our natural surrounds, to providing quality education and healthcare for our children and theirs?

Since 1983, when Bob Hawke captured the middle ground of Australian politics, the leaders of the major parties have been economic conservatives. The abandonment of traditional left v right politics has created a form of economic fundamentalism. Public policy is now spoken of, almost exclusively, in the language of productivity, growth in gross domestic product and labour mobility.

Relationships are vitally important to happiness so to read more of this happiness related story – click here.