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Thread: The World's Happiest Countries

  1. #71
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by bub View Post
    As for happiness, I think there are several factors explaining it, even if I believe there is no way to measure it precizely and make rankings of happy countries.

    First, there are basic needs: people need to have food, water, and they must be healthy. That's why all of the third world is at the bottom of the list.

    Then, you need security. That's why all the countries at war are also at the bottom of the list.

    Then, you need some freedom. You can remove all the dictatorships from the top of the list, even if people are in security and if they are not starving, like in Saudi Arabia.

    Then, when you have food, security and freedom, you have to find the good mix between wealth (work: everyone must be able to find a job and that job must bring a reasonable income, and there musn't be too much social disparities) and leisure (with a good quality of life and environment).

    I think the Scandinavian countries score so high because unemployment is very low, there aren't a lot of social disparities (that's easier when you have an homogeneous society), and they live in a healthy environment.

    I think the USA score less because, even if Americans are richer on average, there are huge disparities (there are some extremely rich Americans, but there are also extremely poor Americans, while in most Europeans societies, richs are only moderately rich and poors are moderately poor, thanks to our social security system). That may be explained because there are many minorities in the USA, and when there are big minorities it is more difficult to establish wealth redistribution (Danish are generous with their unemployed people because everyone there is Danish; they would be less generous if half of their jobless people were Africans).

    Another difference IMO is that people in Europe feel quite secure, while in the USA there seems to be a paranoia about terrorist attacks since 2001.
    Pretty much this.

    I may disagree slightly on the racial reasoning but yea.
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  2. #72
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    The Population density of Denmark is 90 per square mile and in the USA it's 83 per square mille. They could be a fair comparison in this regard.
    No, the population density of Denmark is 332 per square mile.

    List of countries and dependencies by population density - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    No, the population density of Denmark is 332 per square mile.

    List of countries and dependencies by population density - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Oh oops, I took the population density for an island owned by Denmark.

    Ok, but Denmark has a much higher population density. I think that negates claims that America has too many people to be as happy as those small countries, unless the basis of that claim is something that hasn't crossed my mind.
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    Oh oops, I took the population density for an island owned by Denmark.

    Ok, but Denmark has a much higher population density. I think that negates claims that America has too many people to be as happy as those small countries, unless the basis of that claim is something that hasn't crossed my mind.
    It's not that America has to many people, it's the statistical sampling size between two nations.

    A group with a higher population will, generally, have a lower score than a smaller more homogeneous group.
    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.
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    The Population density of Denmark is 90 per square mile and in the USA it's 83 per square mille. They could be a fair comparison in this regard.
    The point is that with a population that is 50 times larger, you can expect more diversity. In the USA, there are areas (around Detroit maybe) as big and as populated as Denmark, where people have a very low income and where unemployment is 20 or even 30%. But there are also areas (maybe around Washington) which are also as big and as populated as Denmark where people are twice richer and extremely happy.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    Oh oops, I took the population density for an island owned by Denmark.

    Ok, but Denmark has a much higher population density. I think that negates claims that America has too many people to be as happy as those small countries, unless the basis of that claim is something that hasn't crossed my mind.
    It wasn't about population density. The point is that the smaller the population, the greater potential there is for homogeny. It's easy to gather a few million happy people in one country, but once it gets to the hundreds of millions, situations are going to be a lot more diverse, meaning a lot more situations are going to be unhappy ones.

    EDIT: Okay, apparently I got beaten to it twice already.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Pretty much this.

    I may disagree slightly on the racial reasoning but yea.
    This reasoning sounds convincing when you know that these formerly very homogeneous areas (Netherlands, Denmark...) which were very generous with unemployed people, are getting less and less generous as the percentage of foreigners increase. I'm not sure it's a correlation, but it could also explain why there isn't such a system of redistribution in the USA.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by bub View Post
    This reasoning sounds convincing when you know that these formerly very homogeneous areas (Netherlands, Denmark...) which were very generous with unemployed people, are getting less and less generous as the percentage of foreigners increase. I'm not sure it's a correlation, but it could also explain why there isn't such a system of redistribution in the USA.
    Well I think any minority will in a lot of cases be less happy, just because they are a minority.

    Homogeneous groups have one less thing to worry about.
    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 spud_meister View Post
    is it impossible for a topic about world ratings to not turn to "duuur, ameica saved ur butts in WW2"
    Sure, we're still doing it....quietly.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Understand though, that I'm not trying to make excuses.
    There are plenty of things we could do to make our population happier but depending on what the expense would be, it kinda worthless for me.
    Each person has the right to pursue happiness, it's not up to we.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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