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Thread: The World's Happiest Countries

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    The World's Happiest Countries

    Table: The World's Happiest Countries - Forbes.com

    Most of us have been spoon fed the glories of capitalism and the free market since we were old enough to eat at a table. But a few years ago, I saw a study much like this one, and thought, "What if we're not getting it? What if the aquisition of wealth isn't really the way to happiness?"

    In other words, if our system is so great, why are we only #14, and not not #1? Why are people in Denmark, Finland, Norway, etc. so much happier than we are?

    I'm no socialist/communist. But on the other hand, I can't help but wonder if our lives might be better if more of us had a security net that protected us from having to constantly worry about something terrible happening (like getting a life-threatening illness that would push us over the edge of financially succeeding).

    What if work was just work, and we could spend more hours in our day enjoying life, and fewer hours feeling like we have to claw our way to the top of the rat race?

    Just food for thought...what if earning money ISN'T the be all/end all of our existence? What if we could go to work, earn a paycheck, do our best work, and know that we'd be taken care of in comfort after retirement, without constantly scrimping and saving?

    Some of you are very well-off. I appreciate your hard work.

    However, as a single mom, I am nearly constantly worried about how I am going to pay for all of my children's college expenses, how much money I will need to retire after doing that, and the possibility that something could happen to me that would make it impossible to work, and would leave my kids hanging off of the edge of the cliff.

    I do fine professionally, I make good money and I have a great job with an excellent company. And yet, having said that, I still have to put myself in the "struggling" category. Every single month is a struggle to make ends meet and make sure my kids have the things that they need. A lot of that is because I receive very little help from my ex in taking care of the kids. I don't blame anyone for that situation except myself, and yet...it's hard.

    And I'm in the top 10% of wage earners here.

    I wonder...if it's that hard for me, what's it like for the other 90%? And, have these people in these other countries figured out something that we haven't about what life is really about?
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 08-06-10 at 11:18 AM.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Table: The World's Happiest Countries - Forbes.com

    Most of us have been spoon fed the glories of capitalism and the free market since we were old enough to eat at a table. But a few years ago, I saw a study much like this one, and thought, "What if we're not getting it? What if the aquisition of wealth isn't really the way to happiness?"

    In other words, if our system is so great, why are we only #14, and not not #1? Why are people in Denmark, Finland, Norway, etc. so much happier than we are?

    I'm no socialist/communist. But on the other hand, I can't help but wonder if our lives might be better if more of us had a security net that protected us from having to constantly worry about something terrible happening (like getting a life-threatening illness that would push us over the edge of financially succeeding).

    What if work was just work, and we could spend more hours in our day enjoying life, and fewer hours feeling like we have to claw our way to the top of the rat race?

    Just food for thought...what if earning money ISN'T the be all/end all of our existence? What if we could go to work, earn a paycheck, do our best work, and know that we'd be taken care of in comfort after retirement, without constantly scrimping and saving?

    Some of you are very well-off. I appreciate your hard work.

    However, as a single mom, I am nearly constantly worried about how I am going to pay for all of my children's college expenses, how much money I will need to retire after doing that, and the possibility that something could happen to me that would make it impossible to work, and would leave my kids hanging off of the edge of the cliff.

    I do fine professionally, I make good money and I have a great job with an excellent company. And yet, having said that, I still have to put myself in the "struggling" category. Every single month is a struggle to make ends meet and make sure my kids have the things that they need. A lot of that is because I receive very little help from my ex in taking care of the kids. I don't blame anyone for that situation except myself, and yet...it's hard.

    And I'm in the top 10% of wage earners here.

    I wonder...if it's that hard for me, what's it like for the other 90%? And, have these people in these other countries figured out something that we haven't about what life is really about?
    Happiness is subjective and hard/near impossible to measure.

    We could all be basically living the exact same lives as they are and yet we may respond as, not happy.

    Edit: Most quality financial advisers recommend you not worry about your children's college funds before you save for retirement.
    They can get loans for college, you can't for retirement.
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 08-06-10 at 11:26 AM.
    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 Catz Part Deux View Post
    "What if we're not getting it? What if the aquisition of wealth isn't really the way to happiness?"
    Well - certainly not. I read something a few years ago (details fuzzy) that claimed that happiness and wealth correlate up until you make about $30k or some relatively low figure. That is - once you've got your basics covered, money doesn't buy you happiness.

    That makes intuitive sense to me. So long as you've got money for a home, food, and cable - I can see lots of people "happier" working that 9-5 and spending the rest of their time watching tv, eating ice cream, and having sex than those that choose to work 60-70 hours a week in stressful jobs so that they can afford a nice car for their commute.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Happiness is subjective and hard/near impossible to measure.

    We could all be basically living the exact same lives as they are and yet we may respond as, not happy.
    That's very true. It's a cultural thing as well as an economic, and "unhappiness" is what often drives people to seek improvement for themselves or others. The right amount of unhappiness creates motivation, too much or too little creates disincentive or despair. I bet if more people in the countries in the middle-range were aware of the conditions of life in Togo they would suddenly score much higher in the survey too.

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    The Good Reverend is Happy, and he is #1, therefore this poll is invalid.
    Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    That's very true. It's a cultural thing as well as an economic, and "unhappiness" is what often drives people to seek improvement for themselves or others. The right amount of unhappiness creates motivation, too much or too little creates disincentive or despair. I bet if more people in the countries in the middle-range were aware of the conditions of life in Togo they would suddenly score much higher in the survey too.
    You put it better than I.
    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 Harry Guerrilla View Post
    You put it better than I.
    Are we less aware than the people in Denmark, though? OR do they have different priorities? Or is there some other factor in play?

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    up until brazil, the other countries ahead of america have comparatively tiny populations, canada's being the biggest at 34 million, socialised systems, strong economies and multi-party governments.
    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    I would think Molossia might be an overlooked contender:

    Republic of Molossia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Or perhaps the Other World Kingdom, I would imagine their residents are quite happy (especially the females, but I think the male residents would not be resident if they were also not happy with the gender arrangement of the nation.)

    Other World Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Re: The World's Happiest Countries

    The lowest class is the "Slave" class
    how can we, people of the free world, tolerate such an oppressive regime that has a firmly entrenched slave system, it must be bombed immediately.
    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

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