Here’s an interesting finding I read about yesterday: according to one global measure, happiness has increased in modern times. The researchers proposed a hypothesis that happiness expanded along with increasing democracy, equality and political freedom, based on greater increases in democratizing countries as opposed to stable figures in Western Europe and America.
The hypothesis is something that people across the current American political spectrum could agree on.
George Lakoff, whose recent work involves an analysis of the American political spectrum and the different meaning of “freedom” between the right and the left, would recognize that this hypothesis could be used to promote opposing policy suggestions… either in a neoliberal pro-business, anti-tax, anti-regulation direction or a personal equality and empowerment one.
The link to the Miller-McCune article is above, and here’s the link to the research paper: http://pps.sagepub.com/content/3/4/264.abstract My personal interest in the “freedom” field involve individuals’ ability to access and use information. I think the most important next layer of the struggle to expand freedom and equality is in the access to information. It would certainly make me happy to have access to the best available ideas and perspectives. It’s too bad I can’t budget $35 to pay for one day’s access to the actual study. Maybe if the authors of this study applied their theory to information access, they would have chosen to publish in an open-access journal instead of one with such an expensive paywall.