I think that Easterners think this concept came from Wangchuck. This man ruled Bhutan as a king for well over 30 years. He started at something like 19 years old. He coined the concept of GHI to counter accepted economic principles in order to get direct foreign investment flowing into Bhutan. Infrastructure and healthcare. Very interesting that if this is a true measure that Bhoutan works around the WTO and is a member of IMF since early '80's.
Really the idea comes from Socrates some 2,000 years earlier. Pleasure/pain concepts.
The bottom line is that it tries to actualize the notion of a Utopia and Locke failed to really carry the water here and Marx made it worse.
The long and the short of it is that Bhutan could not possibly carry on this idea without foreign technical influence and money. What have these hiippie dippie peace and love and only work 20 hours a week folks brought us to better our lives -- nope it is a one way street.