Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Measuring a German's Happiness

The UN runs a happiness scale....with  several perceived factors (real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption).

It's run by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.  No one says much over the "network"....my guess is that it's twenty-odd PhD guys who collect statistical data, travel to exotic lands to mingle, and discuss perceptions with other PhD characters.

So the 2017 list came out and there's interesting thing to notice.....Germany is rated number sixteen, and the US is rated number fourteen.

There are several factors which Germany does very well on (better than the US), but there are several factors which Germany does much less on.

If you travel around....especially outside of urbanized areas (like Berlin or Frankfurt)....you tend to find a lot of happy Germans.  Over the years, I've come to notice this odd feature.  In Bavaria...it seems like fifty-percent of the folks you might bump into....are on some unnatural happiness "high" (it's not marijuana).  I could generally say the same about people from the Pfalz and even from Hessen.

This corruption factor?  Well....it helps to have a news media which points out corruption, but that usually convinces you that you have a corruption problem.  So the less you talk about corruption....the more convinced that you become that you don't have a problem.

If you sub-divided this into individual states?  I'm guessing that you'd be shocked to learn that Alaskans are happier than most everyone else during the summer-time.  You might also be shocked if Bavarians were happier than folks from the other fifteen German states.  Obviously, the UN PhD guys have yet to get around to this odd factor of individual states.  And you might be shocked to find out that folks from Stuttgart want Stuttgart-21 infrastructure construction listed as one of the measurements of happiness.

For me....I have this odd sense that Germans are an eternal group of highly critical and angst-handicapped individuals (worried or anxiety-filled), and that trying measure them on happiness is a waste of time.

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