The Future of Happiness

by Ramesh Ponnuru

My Bloomberg View column this week discusses Arthur Brooks’s work on happiness.

The head of the think tank where I work believes he has discovered the secret of happiness, and he wants to share it with everyone. Don’t worry: I’m not in a cult.

Arthur Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, where I am a visiting fellow, and also a social scientist who has written a book on happiness. His research has shed light on who’s happy, and why.

Some of the results are what you would expect: Genes have a lot to do with a happy disposition. Poverty reduces happiness, but past a certain point, higher income does not do much to raise it. . . .