Friday, March 16, 2018
Are You Happy Yet?
I think I wrote about the annual World Happiness Report last year, and maybe the year before that as well. It tends to capture attention, especially for Canadians who are impatiently anticipating Spring, at least in some parts of the country. You might think we'd be a grumpy lot, but we are actually relatively happy using the measures of GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and corruption levels.
Last year Canada 7th on the list and this year we've soared to...7th. While we may be in a holding pattern, this ranking out of 156 countries is impressive. Maybe you need to be cold to be happy. Finland is numero uno, then Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. I find it interesting that relatively wealthy countries which "tax people to death" are high in the rankings. The piratical politicians of neighbours to the south just voted themselves a whopping tax cut but apparently they aren't all that happy. Last year the United States ranked 14th. This year they're 18th. Not quite "shithole country" to be sure, but heading in the wrong direction.
Nobody likes paying taxes -- I sure don't. I hate paying taxes for the mistakes of government -- are you listening Premier Wynne? Yet countries which provide for the well-being of all its citizens through social services, universal health care, and education seem to have a higher level of contentment and well-being. As a Christian I support all of these, although it's strange that most of the countries at the top of the list have drifted away from organized religion, including Canada. That saddens me, but I am glad that we have different values than the "every person for him/herself" attitude which seems to have infested the supposedly Christian USA.
A political party in Ontario just elected a leader who figures we'll all live happier ever after if we cut taxes, and there will be plenty of people who'll believe this come election time. It isure sn't gospel folks and, looking to the world around us, there is evidence to the contrary.