Who on Earth is the happiest?
A recent survey attempted to find out which are the happiest nations on the planet, based among other things on life expectancy, degree of freedom, social support, general trust, and generosity. The top countries are Scandinavian. Finland, Norway, and Denmark, followed by Iceland and Switzerland, in that order. America was eighteenth on the list, the study citing obesity, wealth disparity, and business and governmental corruption as partial reasons.
Of the ten least happy countries, eight are in Africa, with badly overpopulated Burundi at the top of that list. Dense population and resultant poverty, poor health care, entrenched bloody tribalism clashes, lack of education, and endemic corruption all contribute. Some 600 million people on that troubled continent don’t even have electricity, much less electric toothbrushes.
What rank on which list will the United States earn in coming decades? That’s largely up to us.
But surely virulent partisan politics, continuing degradation and dumbing down of our educational system, rampant drug abuse, an ever-burgeoning deficit, increasing population numbers, and spreading distrust of all government levels are not going to help.