Many people may doubt whether personal happiness is a matter governments should or could get involved in. Just how would governments go about increasing national happiness?
Well, one good way is to reduce egregious instances of unhappiness. And I'm pleased to see that the Productivity Commission, which you might have thought of as a leading advocate of economic growth as the cure to all ills, agrees with me - at least in relation to one great source of unhappiness: gambling.
According to the commission's draft report, Australians spend - that's to say, lose - about $18 billion a year on gambling. This is about as much as we spend on alcohol and represents about 3 per cent of consumer spending.
Yep; the suggestion is to reduce gambling. Excellent idea!