Reshaping the Public Policy: Well-being as a Driver to the Development Narrative

Date01 June 2022
AuthorM.H. Khan
Published date01 June 2022
Subject MatterNote
Reshaping the Public
Policy: Well-being
as a Driver to the
M.H. Khan1
Encouraged by the concurrent expansion of free-market economics in govern-
ment policies, the dominant mantra for living a successful and prosperous life has
become equated with consumerism. As opposed to such narratives, it is the asso-
ciations with our families, companions and social networks, along with our well-
being, that make a difference to individuals and our feeling of thriving. A signi-
cant misalignment between the objectives of our economic model and what is
important to individuals is by all accounts inuencing everything (Black et al.,
Society is swayed by individuals’ aspirations. As per an old saying ‘keeping up
with the Joneses’, there is a strong motivation to maintain a material lifestyle
comparable to those around us. A vicious cycle of aspirations-induced consump-
tion, peer-pressure issues (heightened by inequality) combined with ambitions
leading to working beyond one’s capacity, have eventually prompted psychologi-
cal and physical fatigue and stress (Roach et al., 2019). There is a saying that
‘necessity is the mother of invention’; however, the surge in consumerism juxta-
posed with the societal pressure has also been rephrased this saying into ‘inven-
tion is the mother of necessity’. Any product or service can be psycho-induced
into the society to make it indispensable and an addiction. The socio-economic
structures are deeply interrelated with the pattern of economic growth and con-
sumerism (Carlson, 1999). This highlights a need for a paradigm shift in the
assessment of the progress of society, from GDP basis to its wellbeing and happi-
ness, employing a well-crafted public policy.
The time has come to understand whether it is the sole counting of the dollars
that dene how much a country is prosperous, happy, satised, healthy, contended
Indian Journal of Public
68(2) 299–303, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221083797
1 Indian Navy, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
M.H. Khan, Integrated Financial Advisor, Indian Navy, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi 110011, India.

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