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Anapeg
03-23-2017, 10:00 AM
WASHINGTON – If you want to go to your happy place, you need more than cash. A winter coat helps — and a sense of community.

A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy.

Norway vaulted to the top slot in the World Happiness Report despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is declining.

The United States was 14th in the latest ranking, down from No. 13 last year, and over the years Americans steadily have been rating themselves less happy.

“It’s the human things that matter. If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationship between people, is it worth it?” asked John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia in Canada (ranked No. 7). “The material can stand in the way of the human.”

Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have long been calling for more testing about people’s emotional well-being, especially in the United States. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report recommending that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, include a few extra questions on happiness because it would lead to better policy that affects people’s lives.

Norway moved from No. 4 to the top spot in the report’s rankings, which combine economic, health and polling data compiled by economists that are averaged over three years from 2014 to 2016. Norway edged past previous champ Denmark, which fell to second. Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top 5.

“Good for them. I don’t think Denmark has a monopoly on happiness,” said Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, who wasn’t part of the global scientific study that came out with the rankings.

“What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,” Wiking said.

Still, you have to have some money to be happy, which is why most of the bottom countries are in desperate poverty. But at a certain point extra money doesn’t buy extra happiness, Helliwell and others said.

Central African Republic fell to last on the happiness list, and is joined at the bottom by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

The report ranks 155 countries. The economists have been ranking countries since 2012, but the data used goes back farther so the economists can judge trends.

The rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.

While most countries were either getting happier or at least treading water, America’s happiness score dropped 5 per cent over the past decade. Venezuela and the Central African Republic slipped the most over the past decade. Nicaragua and Latvia increased the most.

Study co-author and economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said in a phone interview from Oslo that the sense of community, so strong in Norway, is deteriorating in the United States.

“We’re becoming more and more mean spirited. And our government is becoming more and more corrupt. And inequality is rising,” Sachs said, citing research and analysis he conducted on America’s declining happiness for the report. “It’s a long-term trend and conditions are getting worse.”

University of Maryland’s Carol Graham, who wasn’t a study author but did review some chapters, said the report mimics what she sees in the American rural areas, where her research shows poor whites have a deeper lack of hope, which she connects to rises in addictions to painkillers and suicide among that group.

“There is deep misery in the heartland,” Graham, author of the book “The Pursuit of Happiness,” wrote in an email.

Happiness — and doing what you love — is more important than politicians think, said study author Helliwell. He rated his personal happiness a 9 on a 1-to- 10 scale.


Our 7th to the U.S.s 14th surprises me. I thought They were the "best on the earth" at everything.

Barry Morris
03-23-2017, 01:28 PM
Our 7th to the U.S.s 14th surprises me. I thought They were the "best on the earth" at everything.

So did they.

Anapeg
03-23-2017, 06:20 PM
So did they.

All they need to do is drive through much of Flint, Detroit and many other such cities to be shaken by the reality.

Hans
03-23-2017, 08:23 PM
I think a lot of that has to do with individualism in North America.
It is the strongest difference I noticed when moving over from Europe: the "way of life" is far inferior, even in Canada.
Well, that and the taste of bread. Took me months to get used to that.

Canada will go the same way as the US if we do not change our society.

Bluesky
03-25-2017, 02:16 PM
the "way of life" is far inferior, even in Canada.

That is, of course, an entirely subjective opinion. I experienced quite the opposite in my move from Canada to Europe.

Hans
03-25-2017, 03:22 PM
You experienced more individualism in Europe?

Bluesky
03-26-2017, 08:38 AM
You experienced more individualism in Europe?

In some respects, absolutely. But in particular was responding to your broad sweeping statement that
the "way of life" is far inferior, even in Canada.

Unless you were ONLY referring to 'individualism'.
But of course, we should define our terms.
I am thinking of this.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualism

Hans
03-26-2017, 03:27 PM
It is inferior. If you look at healthcare, the balance of life and work, care for the elderly etc... you will notice how vastly different things are between North America and Europe.
I had never heard of a 7 to 7, or double shift until I got here.
Never went to a grocery store in the middle of the night until I got here.

And the list goes on.

Anapeg
03-26-2017, 11:27 PM
One is not obligated to participate should they choose not to. All this and more is voluntary on the part of the worker. They are fully aware of any jobs intricacies prior to hiring on.

Barry Morris
03-27-2017, 08:56 AM
It is inferior. If you look at healthcare, the balance of life and work, care for the elderly etc... you will notice how vastly different things are between North America and Europe.
I had never heard of a 7 to 7, or double shift until I got here.
Never went to a grocery store in the middle of the night until I got here.

And the list goes on.

Ever turn the lights on in the middle of the night in Europe?? Somebody was making sure that worked for you, by working at night.
Some businesses don't stop at night, or weekends, and though a grocery store might, it's a minor example. There are all kinds of services available 24/7. And I doubt that is all that different from Europe.

Hans
03-27-2017, 05:35 PM
It is very different Barry. Did you know for example that for an employer to employ females on night shift, they need a special permit to do so?
I have worked at several locations, in several fields. If it is a 24/7 operation it is 8 hour based, not 12 hours.
Do you know why? Because a night shift has to be paid at 1.5 times regular wage rate. So they save by using 8 hours versus 12 hour shifts.
It goes 6-2, 2-10, 10-6. Almost all 24/7 operations run like that.

I used to love working night shifts, because of the $$.

Barry Morris
03-28-2017, 03:54 AM
...It goes 6-2, 2-10, 10-6. Almost all 24/7 operations run like that....

AS they do here. I have never worked 12's. Some nurses do, my wife never did, and I don't know of any others off the top of my head. Work 3 12's get 4 days off?? I guess unions don't have it as good in Europe.

Different, sure,, but not very.

Hans
03-28-2017, 07:17 AM
The largest employers in this city use mainly 12 hour shifts.
Just saying.

Bluesky
03-28-2017, 01:27 PM
It is inferior. If you look at healthcare, the balance of life and work, care for the elderly etc... you will notice how vastly different things are between North America and Europe.
I had never heard of a 7 to 7, or double shift until I got here.
Never went to a grocery store in the middle of the night until I got here.

And the list goes on.

Like I said, from your perspective.

I remember working with people who do 12 hour shifts, and they loved it because they would frequently get 3-4 days off in a row.
And grocery stores would not be open all noght if consumers didn't want the convenience of it.

It's all a matter of perspective. Not inferior or superior.

Anapeg
03-28-2017, 01:57 PM
It is very different Barry. Did you know for example that for an employer to employ females on the night shift, they need a special permit to do so?
I have worked at several locations, in several fields. If it is a 24/7 operation it is 8 hours based, not 12 hours.
Do you know why? Because a night shift has to be paid at 1.5 times regular wage rate. So they save by using 8 hours versus 12-hour shifts.
It goes 6-2, 2-10, 10-6. Almost all 24/7 operations run like that.

I used to love working night shifts, because of the $$.

This is experienced throughout the whole of Europe? Most interesting. Everyone ought to be rich and one would be challenged to find a ghetto or a slum anywhere. Marvelous. Why in Gods name would you choose to leave a utopia such as that and come to Canada where you feel put upon and undervalued?

Anapeg
03-28-2017, 01:59 PM
The largest employers in this city use mainly 12 hour shifts.
Just saying.

ESSAR uses 12's?

Hans
03-28-2017, 05:58 PM
ESSAR uses 12's?

Plural. But yes, go ahead and see how many work 12 hours shifts versus 8.

Hans
03-28-2017, 06:00 PM
Like I said, from your perspective.

I remember working with people who do 12 hour shifts, and they loved it because they would frequently get 3-4 days off in a row.
And grocery stores would not be open all noght if consumers didn't want the convenience of it.

It's all a matter of perspective. Not inferior or superior.

Very few stores are open 24/7, because most local laws prohibit such.
Tell me how many times you see a business close here due to yearly holidays? I have never seen one yet. In Europe, that is very common during the summer months.

It is not my perspective, it is fact.

Hans
03-28-2017, 06:00 PM
This is experienced throughout the whole of Europe? Most interesting. Everyone ought to be rich and one would be challenged to find a ghetto or a slum anywhere. Marvelous. Why in Gods name would you choose to leave a utopia such as that and come to Canada where you feel put upon and undervalued?

Why would everyone be rich? Most companies avoid operating nigh shifts because of the cost...

Anapeg
03-28-2017, 08:40 PM
Why would everyone be rich? Most companies avoid operating nigh shifts because of the cost...

There ought not be any poor due to the high minimum wage. You negated mentioning your reason for choosing Canada when it was all skittles and beer at home. Were I you I would head back for the steady days and weekends off with stellar wages.

Anapeg
03-28-2017, 08:43 PM
Plural. But yes, go ahead and see how many work 12 hours shifts versus 8.

When employed by Gulf Canada I worked twelve hours a day, three days a week, every third week off. I loved it, I would still be there had they not sold out to Petro-Canada.

Hans
03-29-2017, 08:07 AM
There ought not be any poor due to the high minimum wage. You negated mentioning your reason for choosing Canada when it was all skittles and beer at home. Were I you I would head back for the steady days and weekends off with stellar wages.

But I work steady days with weekends off and stellar wage since 2006. So your argument does not fly.

Anapeg
03-29-2017, 02:20 PM
But I work steady days with weekends off and stellar wage since 2006. So your argument does not fly.

Few, very few, leave home without a reason. Unless I were very displeased with my lot in life I would never opt for leaving home and I hold near and dear.

Hans
03-29-2017, 07:54 PM
Reason has nothing to do with the way of life, hence the reason why I stated the way of life is inferior in North America on many fronts.

Bluesky
03-30-2017, 12:18 PM
Reason has nothing to do with the way of life, hence the reason why I stated the way of life is inferior in North America on many fronts.

tsk tsk... someone is avoiding giving an answer to the question. If the way of life is so superior in Belgium, then why did you move to Canada? Hmm?

Are you saying your decision to immigrate was irrational?

Hans
03-30-2017, 06:45 PM
No, I am saying that my reason to immigrate has nothing to do with the way of life. My decision was actually very rational.
I think you are both confusing the term "way of life" with "quality of life".
Those are 2 different things.

Anapeg
03-30-2017, 10:15 PM
No, I am saying that my reason to immigrate has nothing to do with the way of life. My decision was actually very rational.
I think you are both confusing the term "way of life" with "quality of life".
Those are 2 different things.

Nit pick much?

Hans
03-30-2017, 10:40 PM
It is not a nit pick.

Anapeg
04-01-2017, 12:22 AM
It is not a nit pick.

It sure is. This is your usual side step. Nothing to see here folks.

Barry Morris
04-01-2017, 08:36 AM
Yup.

Bluesky
04-01-2017, 10:17 AM
"way of life" with "quality of life"

http://1000awesomethings.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/we-can-learn-much-from-the-baby.jpg

Hans
04-01-2017, 02:08 PM
Looks like I will need to educate you guys, again:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/08/standard-of-living-quality-of-life.asp

It's ok, I don't expect everyone to be equally intellectual.

Official Cat of Soonet
04-01-2017, 02:50 PM
Yup.




It's ok, I don't expect everyone to be equally intellectual.

Got that right

Anapeg
04-01-2017, 07:24 PM
One more sidestep... It is wonderful watching a past master at work Hans. Your footwork never ceases to astound.

Hans
04-01-2017, 08:07 PM
So standard of living and quality of life is the same thing to you?

No wonder you think we are still better off than Americans.

Hans
04-01-2017, 08:08 PM
Got that right

The famous cat returns!

Barry Morris
04-01-2017, 08:52 PM
The famous cat returns!

Yup!! :) :) :)

Anapeg
04-02-2017, 03:58 PM
So standard of living and quality of life is the same thing to you?

No wonder you think we are still better off than Americans.

You are waffling Hans, they are intrinsically linked.

Hans
04-02-2017, 04:47 PM
I see. So a Buddhist monk, who by our standards has a low standard of living must also have a low quality of life?

Like I said, I think you are confusing these 2 terms.

Official Cat of Soonet
04-02-2017, 08:40 PM
I see. So a Buddhist monk, who by our standards has a low standard of living must also have a low quality of life?

Like I said, I think you are confusing these 2 terms.

Well played Hans. There is a difference although both are subjective.

Bluesky
04-02-2017, 10:20 PM
Well played Hans. There is a difference although both are subjective.

Bingo. What i said in the beginning.but i would also say by most standards a devout Buddhist monk has a low quality of life. But he has chosen that lifestyle. Nothing wrong with that.

Hans
04-03-2017, 06:13 AM
I never said there was anything wrong with that. I used it as an example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

Anapeg
04-03-2017, 10:50 AM
I never said there was anything wrong with that. I used it as an example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

Now with that solved and pushed aside, the reason the query still stands, dusty, alone, and forlorn?

Official Cat of Soonet
04-03-2017, 11:45 AM
Happiness cannot be measured. This whole thread was flawed from the start, semantics aside.

Hans
04-03-2017, 06:58 PM
And that was also part of my illustration.
See, it all starts to make sense once you really think about it.

Anapeg
04-04-2017, 04:31 PM
Happiness cannot be measured. This whole thread was flawed from the start, semantics aside.

It can when eliciting a response and struggling to nail Jello to a tree.