I've been reading a lot about Happiness Economics lately. Generally speaking, having more money doesn't make people any happier once their basic needs are met. Things that do have a correlation with happiness include a successful marriage, having lots of friends, donating time/money to people in need, being religious, not having kids who are still living at home, having a job, and having leisure time.
The King of Bhutan measures his nation's progress in terms of "Gross National Happiness"...a measure of his citizens' subjective well-being by polling them on how happy they are. Today, Bhutan is one of the happiest places on earth despite having a relatively low GDP per capita.
I was wondering if maybe we wouldn't be better off adopting a similar metric. If money doesn't make people any happier once their basic needs are met, why are nearly all of our economic policies geared toward optimizing our production or distribution of wealth? Would we be better off to focus more on improving our happiness rather than our wealth?