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Thread: The World's Happiest Countries

  1. #31
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    The U.S. is number 14. Not bad at all.
    That's the thing, isn't it? People get completely freaked whenever the U.S. is not #1, even though 14 out of almost 200 would in most cases be a cause for celebration. I mean, look at France, for goodness sake... it's number 44. Poor Japan is listed as number 81, behind so many third-world nations. Hell, even the UK ranked behind us, at #17. These are all prosperous, industrial, Western countries that the U.S. ranks above. I'm suspicious of the ranking itself (really? Brazil and Panama tied at 12?), but before we panic about the U.S. being so much behind everyone else, maybe we should look at where we actually are... and who "everyone else" actually is.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    could've been, but that dependence goes both ways, so it's not really that valid.
    Not really. Proportional to population, Europe is way more dependent on the U.S. than the U.S. is on Europe.
    I mean, where's the British "McDonald's"? The French "Wal-Mart"? The German "Microsoft"? The Spanish "Hollywood"? I'm sure there's some relatable stuff, but it just doesn't come as close. Even Japan, I'd say, comes closer to U.S. dependency.
    I mean, I guess we're dependent in that we have a market abroad. But we could shrink our market if we really needed to; in Europe's case, a lot of their stuff would just disappear/stop being made.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    That's the thing, isn't it? People get completely freaked whenever the U.S. is not #1, even though 14 out of almost 200 would in most cases be a cause for celebration. I mean, look at France, for goodness sake... it's number 44. Poor Japan is listed as number 81, behind so many third-world nations. Hell, even the UK ranked behind us, at #17. These are all prosperous, industrial, Western countries that the U.S. ranks above. I'm suspicious of the ranking itself (really? Brazil and Panama tied at 12?), but before we panic about the U.S. being so much behind everyone else, maybe we should look at where we actually are... and who "everyone else" actually is.
    My comments go to addressing the rhetoric that comes from American exceptionalism. Even around here, there is constantly talk of America being the best, the brightest, and dominant when it very clearly is not. When reality and rhetoric conflict, it's only natural to turn to the source of the rhetoric and ask them to justify their talk. More often than not, the justification comes as a slew of reasons why "it doesnt really matter" or "the listing is skewed"

    America and American is touted as being the best but we see that that is not always the case
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  4. #34
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    My comments go to addressing the rhetoric that comes from American exceptionalism. Even around here, there is constantly talk of America being the best, the brightest, and dominant when it very clearly is not. When reality and rhetoric conflict, it's only natural to turn to the source of the rhetoric and ask them to justify their talk. More often than not, the justification comes as a slew of reasons why "it doesnt really matter" or "the listing is skewed"

    America and American is touted as being the best but we see that that is not always the case
    Actually, I believe in American exceptionalism. I also think that this list probably doesn't really matter, as "happiness" is subjective, and it probably is at least somewhat skewed, just by looking at a lot of odd placements there.

    The thing I found odd were the people who clearly do not believe in American exceptionalism, who say that the happier countries are happier than the U.S. because they are less free-market, and so to be #1 the U.S. must be less free-market... just like everyone else. Including the vast majority of countries beneath us in the rank, which themselves make up the majority of countries on the list. Or if not less free-market, something else that America does "wrong" that the nations above us do "right". It doesn't make any sense at all.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    It's kind of funny to me that all the answers to the question are about why America isn't number 1. The bigger point to be made here is that the top rated countries, for the most part, have democratically elected socialist leaders. The question is: maybe democratic socialism works if it's kept in check with more conservative parties.

    In other words, everything conservatives say about socialism is untrue. After all, there are very few countries in the world that don't have a socialist power in constant contention for the top political positions. Even Australia and Spain have socialist leaders at the top right now. That's what I take from this poll. If Americans had a more open mind about what direction to head from here, we'd move up a few slots in that rating.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    It isnt something I'd base policy off of, but it still raises an interesting point: if we are the best, then why do we not reflect that?
    Perception, some people feel different about different things.
    For the record, I don't think we have to be the best in order to be good enough.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    1 through 12 are happy because of #14.
    Austria? Really?
    "The crisis will end when fear changes sides" - Pablo Iglesias Turrión

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Not really. Proportional to population, Europe is way more dependent on the U.S. than the U.S. is on Europe.
    I mean, where's the British "McDonald's"? The French "Wal-Mart"? The German "Microsoft"? The Spanish "Hollywood"? I'm sure there's some relatable stuff, but it just doesn't come as close.
    You think that MacDonalds, Wal-mart (no presence in continental Europe as far as I'm aware), Microsoft (say aaargh!) and Hollywood contribute to a person's essential happiness? You think the World wouldn't get along just fine without them? You seem to confuse willingness to purchase popular products with dependency, that's not logical.
    "The crisis will end when fear changes sides" - Pablo Iglesias Turrión

    "Austerity is used as a cover to reconfigure society and increase inequality and injustice." - Jeremy Corbyn

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    What an excellent post. I'm going to sleep/think on it before responding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    According to the article, money does play a role in one's happiness. But there is more to it:

    But there's more to happiness than riches. The Gallup study showed that while income undoubtedly influenced happiness, it did so for a particular kind of well-being--the kind one feels when reflecting on his or her own successes and prospects for the future. Day-to-day happiness is more likely to be associated with how well one's psychological and social needs are being met, and that's harder to achieve with a paycheck.

    Take Costa Rica. The sixth-happiest country in the world, and the happiest country in the Americas, it beat out richer countries like the United States. That's because social networks in Costa Rica are tight, allowing individuals to feel happy with their lot, regardless of financial success.

    "Costa Rica ranks really high on social and psychological prosperity," says Harter. "It's probably things systemic to the society that make people over time develop better relationships, and put more value on relationships. Daily positive feelings rank really high there.
    Not having to worry about being taken care of when things change (i.e. health) is important, too.
    “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” Trump said... “‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

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