Monday, December 16, 2013

AEI Wooing Dalai Lama for Happiness Campaign

Roll Call recently had a very interesting piece about American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks.  One of the more intriguing tidbits from the article is the fact that the think tank head traveled to India this year to try to convince the Dalai Lama to participate in the think tank's upcoming happiness campaign.  Here is an excerpt:
In August, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint was traveling through GOP-friendly districts, urging Congress to defund Obamacare. In April, DeMint’s counterpart at a rival conservative think tank was visiting the Dalai Lama.
“I went to set up the collaboration in his monastery in Dharamsala, India,” Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, said in a recent interview with CQ Roll Call. “I meditated for half a day in his monastery and met with him in the afternoon.”
In his downtown Washington, D.C., office, wearing a black blazer with a checkered pocket square, slim-fit jeans and argyle socks, Brooks paused and smiled, as if relishing the audacity of it all: a conservative figurehead traversing a continent to convince the Buddhist spiritual leader to participate in an upcoming AEI campaign about “human flourishing and happiness.”
Over the weekend, The New York Times carried an op-ed by Brooks titled "A Formula for Happiness.Here is a video of Brooks speaking about happiness.

In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Brooks said that happiness and giving are strongly correlated.  Here is a 2012 piece from Brooks titled "Does a Country's Economic Prosperity Lead to Happiness?Here is a 2011 piece by Brooks titled "The Debt Ceiling and the Pursuit of Happiness.Here is a 2010 piece from Brooks titled "The Secret to Human Happiness is Earned Success."

Here is Brooks speaking about "The Secret of Happiness" at The Murphy Institute at Tulane University.

Here is reaction to Brooks' weekend op-ed from David Callahan at Demos.

Sen. Mike Lee recently spoke at AEI at an event titled "Tax reform, the family, and the pursuit of happiness."

AEI's W.H. Brady Scholar Charles Murray wrote a book in 1988 titled "In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government," which was released this year in a new edition by the Liberty Fund.

Arthur Brooks is the author of the book "Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America - and How We Can Get More of It."