#*%$^!: America not the happiest country

Civic engagement is the path to happiness. (AJC photo/JOHN SPINK)

Civic engagement is the path to happiness. (AJC photo/JOHN SPINK)

Australia, a large desert island with more giant, hopping rats than people, is the happiest country on Earth, according to a bunch of people who’ve probably never set foot in the U.S.

The former penal colony has been ranked No. 1 for three consecutive years, largely because it “was the only major developed nation to avoid the global recession in 2009,” says The BBC.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, an organization that can’t even spell “organisation” right, ranks America 6th in its “Better Life Index.”

The highly technical survey looks at “11 topics of well-being,” including ones that are actually quantifiable (income, housing, jobs) and some that so subjective they are meaningless (community, governance, life satisfaction and work-life balance). Data used in the survey is all over the map. For example, housing info for Canada (No. 3) was pulled in 1997 while data used for Australia is from 2011.

Results of the survey are displayed using flowers.

How did we get beat?

According to the length of the “civic engagement” petal on the U.S. flower, it looks like we’ve got a serious problem doing whatever that is. Australia’s “civic engagement” flower petal, meanwhile, is longer than a vintage surfboard.

The U.S. should also throw down some “community” fertilizer, because we need some of that too, if we want to win this thing.

I’m no florist, but don’t move to Turkey. Their happiness flower looks like it was gnawed on by an enraged survey goat. And Mexico? Their safety petal was kidnapped, beaten and sold by drug cartel minions.

Here’s the happiest countries on Earth list, according to the BBC, because I couldn’t figure out the exact height of some of the flowers.

  1. Australia
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. United States
  7. Denmark
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Iceland
  10. United Kingdom

33 comments Add your comment

Michael

May 28th, 2013
8:22 am

Very well written!

BobVK

May 28th, 2013
8:38 am

I’m surprised we’re so high on the list, considering the hateful comments that seem to follow every news story except this one. Americans seem to spend a lot of time at each other’s throats. I’m glad there is reason for hope.

cc4

May 28th, 2013
8:59 am

Hear hear BobVK. Well put.

MelKel

May 28th, 2013
9:16 am

I hope the writer of the article was being sarcastic by stating that the word ‘organisation’ is spelled incorrectly. That is the way that commonwealth countries spell the word.

Fritz

May 28th, 2013
9:28 am

MelKel – the Kommonwealth would be speaking German if not for the Amerikans. I guess Britons “organise” so often they feel they have the definitive right to the word.
Of course it was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch the balance of the article.

sp98

May 28th, 2013
9:38 am

just got back from australia and I loved it. it’s a paradise down there. it’s also surprisingly very socialist. universal healthcare, high minimum wage, strict gun control, very very high taxes, but it works. they also don’t have the immigration problems we have being they have no borders to control. if i could get a job down there i’d move in a second.

Pat

May 28th, 2013
10:22 am

Wow… next they might say that water is wet. I am also very surprised we are so high on the list.

CP

May 28th, 2013
10:32 am

>>Here’s the happiest countries on Earth,<<

"Here are" the happiest countries, not "here is."

ANT

May 28th, 2013
11:00 am

“Here’s the happiest countries on Earth list”

“Here is the list”, not “Here are the list”.

ziza

May 28th, 2013
11:12 am

the sarcastic tone of the article is precisely why we land where we do. surprised we’re even that high up. the “so subjective they’re meaningless” items are probably the most important to an individual’s wellbeing which then translates into family, community and country. since we don’t tend to put alot of value on those “subjective” items we are less satisfied on the whole.

Zon

May 28th, 2013
11:14 am

sp98 . . . . Socialist, Universal health care, high minimum wage, strict gun control, very high taxes . . . . but it works. So you think that is paradise? All provided by dishonest gun-backed force by the government. Individual liberty is the only paradise.

Criminal minds: “Others owe me a living. Thus, I can live by destroying, stealing, leeching, or usurping values earned by others.” Criminal minds lay the responsibility for competitive value production onto others. Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” describes the criminal mind.1) Unawareness or contempt for individual property rights. 2) The presumption that parasites, usurpers, enviers, value destroyers, and con artists have a right to live off the productive efforts of others. Survival depends on value destruction. Incompetence and happiness result.
Virtuous Minds: “I must earn my own living. Thus, I must live through my own productive efforts. I must competitively create and produce values needed by others and society.” Such virtuous minds are the opposite of criminal minds. For, virtuous minds, by nature, respect individual property rights. Virtuous minds never need to use ego “justice”, deception, fraud, or force to prosper. Survival depends on value production. Competence and happiness result.
It’s not really working, eventually it will collapse, eventually, they will destroy all the honest value producers. Criminal minds are afraid to compete for their own existence, so they try to get the Government to use gun-backed force to steal from honest producers and give it to them. Depending on others for your security is not happiness!

Zon

May 28th, 2013
11:18 am

What happened to my comment?

Zon

May 28th, 2013
11:19 am

Okay, on page 2, thanks.

Whatevs

May 28th, 2013
11:34 am

Somebody had better get those defib paddles to Zon… he’s about to blow. Dude, chillax before your heart explodes. I’m quite sure the Happiness Corporation does this as a tongue-in-cheek guide, not as a Bible. And the article was superbly written by Mr. Mathis…I spit out my fry and it stuck to my keyboard when I read survey goats DO exist.

iamnotresponsible

May 28th, 2013
11:47 am

isp98: if i could get a job down there i’d move in a second.,

Delta is ready when you are

Obama for Change

May 28th, 2013
12:02 pm

This story cannot be true. President Obama has restored peace and prosperity throughout this great land. Change has brought us fairness and equality and soon access to affordable healthcare.

The haters at Fox News or Sean Hannity is behind this negative story I’m most certain.

DawgNole

May 28th, 2013
12:15 pm

CP
May 28th, 2013
10:32 am
“Here’s the happiest countries on Earth,”
“Here are” the happiest countries, not “here is.”

ANT
May 28th, 2013
11:00 am
“Here’s the happiest countries on Earth list”
“Here is the list”, not “Here are the list”.
_______________________

You’re both wrong.

“Here’s the happiest-countries-on-Earth list.”

DawgNole

May 28th, 2013
12:18 pm

Given this country’s disgustingly weak, immoral, and hypocritical political and criminal-justice systems, the less-than-stellar ranking should come as no big surprise.

Z

May 28th, 2013
12:37 pm

If we didn’t have this problem with the hateful political goings on in this Country, I believe we would be higher on this list. Saying that, I would move to Europe in heart beat or at least for a long visit during the long hot Summer’s of the South.

Ozzie

May 28th, 2013
12:37 pm

would an inhabitant of a happy country write a spiteful, sad, paranoiac article like the one above …. enough said

Reality Check

May 28th, 2013
12:51 pm

I don’t sense an exodus of Americans leaving for Australia or the socialist utopias in Europe. For various reasons the USA is still the most desirable place for foreigners to relocate to. If more Americans would travel abroad to see how others live I think they’d have a different perspective on the good old USA and realize how good we really have it compared to others.

atlanta13

May 28th, 2013
1:15 pm

No wonder our educational system is not working when so called “writers” do not even know the difference from American and British English and deem it wrong. I am no writer or English major to know that and yes, America is not the only great country in the world, there are many others as well, we are the only ones that think we are the only one.

Spaceman

May 28th, 2013
1:59 pm

First off, they spell “organization” correctly, this article spells it incorrectly.
Second, I’m surprised that the U.S. came in 6th. I would have expected it to be much further down the list.
There are many reason’s for this, but the list would be too long. From working conditions and lack of jobs and holidays to health care, American’s lag far behind the other G20 nations.
The story raised an interesting point. It says that “according to a bunch of people who’ve probably never set foot in the U.S.”
I find that rather funny considering that less than 33% of American’s even have a passport. That goes for the politicians as well. And yet they feel they are qualified to make foreign policy.
From excessive crime, to poor or no health care, to rampant illiteracy the U.S. has no business being arrogant about what they think they have.
The U.S. was virtually responsible for the world economic collapse a few years ago with their mortgage meltdown by de-regulated banks.
American politicians scoff at the word “socialist” yet non of them really understand what it means, they seem to confuse it with Communism. The two are quite different. And I have news for them, some of the best and most stable economies in the world are in the Scandinavian countries, and they are all “socialist”.
The Republicans try to keep everyone scared of social health care, and yet as politicians, that’s exactly what they themselves enjoy.
Go and get passports and see how the rest of the world lives, you may be very surprised.

Obama for a 3rd Term

May 28th, 2013
2:02 pm

If everyone was taxed for 80% of their income like in Europe we could enjoy cradle to grave care from our government, free healthcare and 2-3 months of vacation per year.

peggy

May 28th, 2013
2:21 pm

Great story and I love the humorous tone:) For those who think your sarcasm = unhappiness, they should look at their own reaction. They are mad about it!

peggy

May 28th, 2013
2:23 pm

You liberals are the unhappiest people of all. Whine, gripe, protest, boycott, whine, gripe, protest, boycott…

mh

May 28th, 2013
3:04 pm

USA #1

May 28th, 2013
4:04 pm

George we a still the fattest people on Earth. USA USA!

KG

May 28th, 2013
4:33 pm

I’ve spent around six months in Australia and at one point had an opportunity to live in Adelaide, if not for family I’d leave the U.S. in a heartbeat!

Bumper

May 28th, 2013
4:41 pm

“And Mexico? Their safety petal was kidnapped, beaten and sold by drug cartel minions.”

Maybe we should provide the illegals who want to ooze across our southern border free transportation to Happy Australia. A win-win solution and probably cheaper for us in the long run.

Jack

May 28th, 2013
5:21 pm

I lived in Australia and I disagree about them having high taxes. The marginal income tax rates are higher, but they don’t have state income taxes. Nor does the employee pay a portion of the payroll taxes. Now the cost of living is quite high. Maybe not so much compared to NYC or California, but compared to Atlanta it was a shock. My apartment was 1/3 the size of my Atlanta house, but rent was just over 2 times my house payment. About the only thing cheaper were some Australian wines. But the quality of life was great.

Hand of Spades

May 28th, 2013
5:26 pm

Surprised that America is so high on this list…. Sorry America, I’m not going to be biased just because this is my Country, but there is too much of the “Rat Race” mentality in this Country… Sure, we have a strong military and government here, but it means nothing if people aren’t truly happy with the way it’s ran. True, the issue is similar in a lot of cases in other Countries, but at least places like Canada, Australia, Finland, and others aren’t running around being as scared of illegals, guns, etc. like it is here. It’s very easy to say that America is happier in comparison to third world Countries, but to say it’s as happy as the rest of the Countries that have similar resources as us is overstated….. And then even again, some Countries such Jamaica are happier due to the fact that they have less financial worries among other things in comparison to us despite the high crime rate and hurricane seasons… I’m sorry, but this is my opinion on the topic.

Nnyron

May 29th, 2013
11:50 pm

Wow, where did this person come from? Probably has not travelled much and lives behind closed doors with a gun in hand.Get out there mate and see a bit of the world before writing such rubbish.