To our nation’s founders, happiness was a right of man. So would they be pleased to learn that modern day Americans are indeed happy? In fact, the majority of U.S. adults today describe themselves as “very happy.” Happiness appears to be an equal opportunity emotion, striking men, women, whites, nonwhites, young, and old in similar degrees. Marriage is associated with higher rates of happiness, but more money doesn’t necessarily buy greater happiness. The rate of happiness is depressed [ha!] among low-income Americans, but it levels off at a higher rate in households earning $30,000 or more.
In response to the Bitemaster’s rants about happiness (e.g., are women any happier now that they have the vote?), Correspondent Jeffrey Wilheim has provided a link to an actual study of people’s happiness: A Nation of Happy People
I think you mean that the Founding Fathers considered the pursuit of happiness an inalienable right. I doubt anyone believes that any person has an absolute right to be happy as what will make a person happy depends on the person’s attitude as much as anything else.