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The World's Happiest Countries

Catz Part Deux

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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?
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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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.
 
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Taylor

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"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.
 

other

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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.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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The Good Reverend is Happy, and he is #1, therefore this poll is invalid. ;)
 

Harry Guerrilla

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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. :)
 

spud_meister

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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.
 

marduc

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marduc

don't panic
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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.
It is enslavement of the willing though, they accept their role and even enjoy it, and I would dare say generally rather happy with their position(s?).
 

spud_meister

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It is enslavement of the willing though, they accept their role and even enjoy it, and I would dare say generally rather happy with their position(s?).
slavery is an abuse of human rights, willing or not, i shall be petitioning the UN to take action immediately.
 

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Different priorities, culture, even racial make up can have an effect.
Hell, we have people here that have made an entire industry out of stirring up feelings of perpetual unhappiness and oppression where none would exist otherwise.
 

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slavery is an abuse of human rights, willing or not, i shall be petitioning the UN to take action immediately.
The "civilized" world should start with sanctions. We must cut off all pleather exports to this rogue nation immediately.
 

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Anyone who tries to sell you something has a vested interest in making you feel unsatisfied with some aspect of your life. Generally, I see nothing at all wrong with this--like I said, it promotes improvement. But then there are those who constantly rehash and push things like class and racial division; this has become a problem, IMO. Most of these are politicians, in fact, but others as well.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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Anyone who tries to sell you something has a vested interest in making you feel unsatisfied with some aspect of your life. Generally, I see nothing at all wrong with this--like I said, it promotes improvement. But then there are those who constantly rehash and push things like class and racial division; this has become a problem, IMO.
Definitely understand now.
 

Gipper

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Rated nations higher than the U.S. with miserable per-capita income rates is synonymous with Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

In other words - who's going to want candy more: the kid who's never eaten candy before, or the kid who just had candy yesterday?

Ignorance is bliss.
 

American

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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.
1 through 12 are happy because of #14.
 

Hoplite

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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.
And Canada still outranks us by a fair piece
 
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