Most of modern society is (still) based on economic gain.
Many (most) people nowadays will find this logic, because they don't know anything else and society has worked like that for generations. Thus they think this is unalterable. As in former eras people thought it was unalterable that society were mainly based on war or on religion or on some feudal system or that the earth was flat. The same way that these ancient convictions turned out not to be necessarily true, it could turn out that economics does not necessarily have to be the base of society.
If we don't screw up by destroying the planet or each other, most surely the day will come that the reference will be human happiness, in some way like Butan is trying to pursue currently (in spanish - original source: el País).
Of course this will need some profound change of vision and it definitely will take a long time before this will be accepted and felt (!) on a large scale. But what are some five or ten generations of men's life on a historic scale?
It's a long way to get to Butan's and many people's utopy. We will need to diminish egoism and greed and understand that it's better to do one step forward for example 5 together, instead of ME doing three steps forward, while other four go one step back. It's the sum of the whole that counts, not the gain of one individually.
And I definitely see some first signs. In fact democracy and the universal declaration of human rights are forces in that sense.
Now... there are still many (individuals, and thus, many companies and governments) that do not (always) obide by the corresponding philosophy, taking the path of corruption and obscure (non transparent actions) actions.
What if we compare the numbers of corruption and peoples perception of happiness per country?
Worlds most corrupt countries >>>
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Worlds most happy countries, several sources:
Veenhoven, R., World Database of Happiness, Distributional Findings in Nations,
Erasmus University Rotterdam. Available at: http://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl
By this study the 10 happiest countries in the world are:
In 2006 researchers at the University of Leicester in Great Britain used numerous sources of data, from the CIA to UNESCO and others, to determine the geographic locations in the world with the happiest populations. (found at http://www.traveleguides.com/happy-countries.php)
Their top ten were:
- The Bahamas
There is a small documentary on denmark at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTGKUwMegZ4
Another list from http://www.thehappinessshow.com/HappiestCountries.htm
1. Puerto Rico
7. N. Ireland
12. El Salvador
17. New Zealand
24. W. Germany
37. E. Germany
40. Czech Rep
41. S. Africa
47. S. Korea