About the Project

What is ThePursuitofHappiness.com?

The Declaration of Independence states that our unalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Life and liberty may be easy to understand, but that last phrase is less intuitive. How can people have a right to strive for happiness?

That question is vitally important to the history and the future of America.

In 1776, John Adams wrote that just as “the happiness of the individual is the end of man,” so “the happiness of society is the end of government.” From the beginning, America has aimed at something far more valuable than material riches or military power. We aim at human flourishing itself.

This new project continues that journey. How can each of us best pursue happiness for ourselves and our communities? How can public policy help, and when does government get in the way? We tackle these questions and more by drawing together inspirational talks and bold ideas wherever we can find them — from economics and policy to philosophy and history.

Our goal? Convene a new conversation.

Explore what the moral promise of pursuing happiness means in America today.

And start a social movement to fulfill that promise.

Are you in?

The Pursuit of Happiness is a project of the American Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research organization in Washington, D.C.