California Forms a Happiness Committee


California Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, a Democrat, wants to make happiness more central in policymaking now that he’s leaving after the longest reign as Assemblyman in California history.

He created a first-in-the-nation group to study the issue, called the Select Committee on Happiness and Public Policy Outcomes, which held its first public hearing this week.

The idea of the government making people happy should focus on fewer regulations and lower taxes. Anything else is probably not their business.

Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon

Rendon said it would be “silly” for lawmakers not to study how they can make people happier.

“Because if we have everybody clothed, everybody housed, everybody has a job and they’re miserable, then we’ve failed at what we’re trying to do,” he said, adding that lawmakers should think about happiness as a priority in policymaking.

He thinks the government is Big Daddy. He takes everyone’s money via taxation, pools it, and gives everyone a job, housing, and food. Now, he also wants to make them happy. Sounds expensive. A Lamborghini would make me happy.

Their survey is hard to believe. In California, three-quarters of adults say they are “very happy” or “pretty happy,” while 26% say they are “not too happy,” according to a September 2023 survey from the Public Policy Institute of California. Adults aged 18 to 34, people who are renters, those without a post-high school degree, and Californians with an annual household income of $40,000 or lower tend to be less happy than others.

To me, getting the government out of people’s lives and eliminating punitive taxation and regulations would lead to happiness. Maybe Californians have been in the sun too long.

Maybe they could paint Happy Faces on the manhole covers.

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