America's founders reckoned "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to be inalienable human rights.
It seems Thomas Jefferson had in mind a less selfish idea of happiness than the winner-take-all pursuit we've seen in the last few decades.
In his book Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, journalist and historian Gary Willis wrote: "When Jefferson spoke of pursuing happiness, he had nothing vague or private in mind. He meant a public happiness which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government."
Here is a direct quote from Thomas Jefferson:
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
Unless she has experienced some sort of sea-change in thinking Tapu Misa would never aspire to the type of "wise and frugal" government Jefferson envisaged. Can you imagine the day when she writes a column calling for the abolition of income tax?
(And there is something scatterbrained about a column on the subject of public happiness that berates the "winner-take-all pursuit we've seen in the last few decades" but uncomplainingly accepts that happiness is currently hinging on whether NZ triumphs in the Rugby World Cup.)