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  1. #1
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    Default What is the most successful country/culture, and how do they do it?

    Overall, looking at health, % unemployment, working hours/conditions, % below poverty line, happiness, crime.

    What do you think? I imagine there's been a study...

    Here's something from a quick google search: the Happy Planet Index.
    The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in July 2006. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which are seen as not taking sustainability into account. In particular, GDP is seen as inappropriate, as the usual ultimate aim of most people is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  2. #2
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    Default

    Probably somewhere in Europe though I can't really imagine that there is a place where everything is peachy keen for people who live there year-round.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
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  3. #3
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    Using the parameters you presented... health/crime/poverty etc, then the Scandanavians would probably be miles ahead of the rest.
    However, they are also some of the most boring people in the world, and pretty homogeneous. So are they a successful country/culture? Dunno, lot to admire, but I imagine few of us are rushing to move/live there.

    For all it's drawbacks and faults, US as a country and American culture is one incredible achievement, from Miles Davis, to Hollywood, to Wall Street, to Cadillacs, to Cajun food, to Hank Williams, to the Hoover Dam, to Fat Tire beer, to the Golden Gate bridge, to Bar-b-q..... give's most places a run for it's money.
    And I say that as a non-American.
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  4. #4
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    I remember in 2009 Norway was the best place to live http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/1..._n_309698.html

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  5. #5
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    What's interesting about that article is the following quote:
    Norway's consistently high rating for desirable living standards, is, in large part, the result of the discovery of offshore oil and gas deposits in the late 1960s.
    The basic theory of economics is that there are limited resources. Our planet has limited resources, and the "happiest" countries have done well exploiting, the poorest countries have nothing until they discover oil, or bulldoze their rainforests. (Yes, simplistic view here.)

    The Happy Planet Index I linked to above, takes into account the environmental footprint as well.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  6. #6
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    At one time Denmark was reportedly one of the happiest countries.



  7. #7
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    Check the link: Lots of Central American countries are way up there. US is somewhere in the middle, behind most of Western Europe.

    Do you guys think this has something to do with little disparity in wealth among people there rather than lots of it?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  8. #8
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    I think it might have something to do with less disparity in wealth.

    I also think it might have something to do with the climate. I lived in a basically 3rd world Caribbean country and there were a lot of poor there. Many lived in corregated-metal shacks with no electricity or running water. Lots of families would live with aunts/uncles/grandparents/cousins under one roof. Many were able to grow some fruit and vegetables in the back yard, keep some chickens or goats, and they did.

    It is warm enough that you don't have to worry about heating your house for the winter, and if you're poor, you don't get air conditioning. (We didn't have air conditioning either, but at least had fans and electricity to run them.)

    I have no idea what the real job market/economy was like, as I was too young to appreciate it. However, the education system was over-burdened, and many children at the ages of 11-13 dropped out of the school system because there was a lack of places for them.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  9. #9
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    Denmark has incredibly draconian laws about immigrants.


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  10. #10
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    You would have to define what you view as success.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    You would have to define what you view as success.
    Well this is a discussion - what do you think?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  12. #12
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    My first cousin and her husband lived in Denmark for three years while he worked for a charity that specializes in the rehabilitation of victims of torture. They loved it, but had to leave after three years because of the huge tax penalties that they would have faced if they had stayed--if Denmark would have let them stay. They came home in 2011.

    My cousin, a dedicated liberal, says that Denmark was the most civilized place that she has ever been or lived, and she's been everywhere and lived in many different places.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  13. #13
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    The strict immigration laws in Denmark are recent. The huge influx of poor welfare seeking and rioting, as well as sharia law demanding Muslims play a huge factor in it. That from my (very liberal) friend who I went to high school with who currently lives there. This popped up first when I Googled but I am sure there is plenty more. It mainly discusses the economic success-

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-759716.html
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


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  14. #14
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    Scandanavian countries have to be up there pretty high. I compete in the sport of Orienteering, which started in Scandanavia and is very popular and common there. I know several people from the US who live in Sweden and Norway currently because they want the training and competition opportunities. Everything I have heard makes it sound like a pretty enjoyable place to live. I just laughed a little at the thought that no one wants to move there because many of the people I know either have or would like to!



  15. #15
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    I visited Sweden in 2008 and it was very similar (climate/plants) to BC, Canada. From what I could tell, the people, culture and politics were pretty much on par too. Except they have their own royal family

    Sweden has 9 million people. Canada has about 34 million. The US has about 314 million. I bet it would be tough to extrapolate.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesper Sparrow View Post
    Denmark has incredibly draconian laws about immigrants.
    And an agricultural system that has kicked big butt for 200 years. They got some great stuff done because of a long and deep tradition of co-op companies that meshed well with governmental support.
    The armchair saddler
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  17. #17
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    Norway.
    Sweden has a program where they pay their long term unemployed to go to Norway to find jobs.
    They seem to be pretty critical of the US, or maybe that's just my experience


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  18. #18
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    Switzerland is a prosperous country with a high standard of living. Interestingly they are not in the European Union and quite happy to be fully independent of that bunch. I guess their main industries would be tourism, banking, and some manufactured goods, chocolate, etc...

    They still have a mostly local food system...in other words a lot of their food is produced by their neighbors, and they are willing to walk from point A to point B...even in the city. They have an amazing commuter train system that runs from the villages to the city so you don't have to drive that much. All young men serve in their military so they have a citizens militia in case of any invasion or need and once a year the men citizens get together and practice.

    I visited there in 2010 and was very impressed overall with the nation and the people. The Swiss are a fun bunch...very independent and proud.



  19. #19
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    I seem to remember hearing an NPR report about this, and they raised the (to me) fascinating point about expectations. The Norwegians have lower expectations about what it takes to be happy, and are therefore happier, or something to that effect. Americans seem to be told constantly that we should want more, strive for more, and we are sort of culturally dissatisfied.

    Of course, I think we have a lot of things to be dissatisfied with, but I don't think those are the things Americans are actually unhappy about.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    Switzerland is a prosperous country with a high standard of living. Interestingly they are not in the European Union and quite happy to be fully independent of that bunch. I guess their main industries would be tourism, banking, and some manufactured goods, chocolate, etc...

    They still have a mostly local food system...in other words a lot of their food is produced by their neighbors, and they are willing to walk from point A to point B...even in the city. They have an amazing commuter train system that runs from the villages to the city so you don't have to drive that much. All young men serve in their military so they have a citizens militia in case of any invasion or need and once a year the men citizens get together and practice.

    I visited there in 2010 and was very impressed overall with the nation and the people. The Swiss are a fun bunch...very independent and proud.
    Visiting is not living there.

    We can't compare across countries, especially first world ones, because the countries are so different from each other to be meaningless to do so.
    What is happiness to some is not enough for others or not in important ways.
    Switzerland is it's own little special case, as some others are, without natural resources any other country lust after and very small in area and population, compared with other countries.
    About the difference between keeping your 2000 square feet house clean for a small family to live in and trying to manage all it takes to keep a large University clean and functioning well for all that goes on there.

    I know some from Sweden that came to the USA to live, work and eventually started business here because there was a good chance of improving their standard of life here, something that is "good enough" in Sweden, but stagnant.
    I am sure if you ask those swedes that didn't emigrate if they are happy where they are, many/most would say sure, they are happy there.

    The reason some like to find one country better than another is generally driven by some agenda, like finding a country with nationalized health care and higher in whatever measure of happy citizens and assume that is because of the nationalized health care.
    That happened with Denmark some years ago, their nationalized health care made an example of wonderful bringer of happiness to all.
    A few years later, practically broke from that government largesse of the few to the many, the government had to start changing again to private insurance companies picking up the slack of health care cost as a way to try to keep government costs down.

    These are the kind of questions that a true answer would be "it depends".



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