Happiness and institutions

The dinner party conversation recently of Wall Street types and technologists, surprisingly for me, was largely about happiness — everyone’s, as a global society.

It’s interesting how a well functioning society can get happier and stronger through crisis, according to this week’s Jeffrey Sachs-authored report:

“A crisis imposed on a weak institutional structure can actually further damage the quality of the supporting social fabric if the crisis triggers blame and strife rather than cooperation and repair,” the economists wrote. “On the other hand, economic crises and natural disasters can, if the underlying institutions are of sufficient quality, lead to improvements rather than damage to the social fabric.”

Which connects well to the excellent argument about successful economies and societies made in this book: