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lORD lUCAN
20th July 2006, 13:18
The good life fails to make Britain happy

WE may never have had it so good, but the British remain a glum lot. Researchers have found that when it comes to happiness, Britain is ranked below 20 other nations, including far poorer countries such as Uruguay, Mexico, Ghana and Colombia.
The research confirms that money alone cannot buy happiness. Despite an 80% increase in income per head in the past 30 years, levels of happiness in Britain have remained virtually static.



In the meantime, Latin American countries such as Colombia — which is riven by civil war — and Uruguay are nearly 10% happier despite their relative poverty, higher levels of crime and stark inequalities. Experts believe the strength of family ties outweighs the elements of misery.

Professor Ruut Veenhoven, author of the “life satisfaction index” and a leading academic expert on happiness, said: “I was surprised to see countries like Mexico ranking so highly. But Latin America is known for its warm family ties, the way of life and enjoyment of festivals and the particular brand of Catholicism, all of which contribute to people’s happiness.”

By contrast, experts believe a combination of the “rat race” of rising working hours and the decline of traditional families and communities has resulted in happiness levels reaching a plateau in Britain.

The new index uses data from 100,000 people in 90 countries who were asked, on a scale of 1-10, how happy they were.

The average was then modified according to “equality of happiness” — nations with wide differences between the happiest and saddest citizens were thus pushed down the ranking.

In Britain the research, published this month in the Journal of Happiness Studies, finds that levels of happiness have virtually levelled out since 1973, rising by just 1.36%.

“Happiness has a ceiling,” said Veenhoven, a sociologist at Erasmus University Rotterdam. “The relation between money and happiness is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Once you earn more than $10,000 [£5,600] per head in a country it levels off.”

But happiness in other European nations has increased at a far greater rate than in Britain. In France it has risen more than twice as much, in Denmark by 5.12% and in Italy by 10.57%.

The government is starting to take note. In 2003 the Downing Street strategy unit hosted a seminar where concerns were raised that Britain was falling behind its European neighbours in terms of life satisfaction.

Lord Layard, a former Labour adviser on unemployment and emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics, argues that while wealth in Britain has increased, family relationships and sense of community have deteriorated.

Divorce rates have more than quadrupled since 1970 while every year 40,000 children and adolescents in Britain are prescribed antidepressants.

“Economic growth is important but we shouldn’t sacrifice other things which are equally important, for example human relationships,” he said. “It is a logical absurdity to be continually urging people to get ahead.”

The idea that money does not create happiness is supported by a growing body of evidence. Research by Andrew Oswald, an economics professor at Warwick University, has found that marriage has a bigger impact on how long someone lives than income.

BlasterBates
20th July 2006, 13:53
Sh*t... isn't the prevailing opinion here on the board that the UK is the best location to work and live.

djfoot
20th July 2006, 13:58
It's coz we're doomed... and 9 years of New Lie misrule... :mad:

To quote Max and Paddy..."Thatcher's Britain". At least Blair knows he's lieing...the tories didn't even know there was an @arse or an elbow, let alone know what each other was doing (or is that just the PM on my current project).

Francko
20th July 2006, 13:58
The research confirms that money alone cannot buy happiness.

Who's going to tell this to Milan now? He's working his @ss off every weekend and not spending a penny on anything to save money.

hyperD
20th July 2006, 14:00
I think it's relative: if you move to the UK (well, it seems a fairly popular options at the moment) and someone doesn't stab your daughter for buying a piece of bread, then you must think "hey, this is great!".

On the other hand, if you've seen your hard earned wealth stolen in the last decade to support an idealistic, unaccountable regime, then you would obviously be forgiven for thinking you lived in a 3rd World country...

lORD lUCAN
20th July 2006, 14:00
Sh*t... isn't the prevailing opinion here on the board that the UK is the best location to work and live.

As the hamster spins another turn of the wheel. Work, work ,work, is the
ethic in this Country. I'm here for a good time not a long time, my ski's are waxed, my plane is booked, Norway here I come..... :wave:

Francko
20th July 2006, 14:04
Sh*t... isn't the prevailing opinion here on the board that the UK is the best location to work and live.

It's a board of contractors. The only motivation is money. ;) That's why.

AlfredJPruffock
20th July 2006, 14:36
The notion that more money does not bring more happiness is a dangerous concept pedalled by communist terroriists and the other never*do*wells in a calculated attempt to destroy our Freedom, Liberty and the values that we cherish, namley the pleasure of pure profit.

Im simple terms the more money I have the happier I become.

To prove this I would challenge the authors of this shoddy propaganda to transfer their surplus income to myself.

And may I remind you that you owe me a fiver.

Yes, all of you.

There you have it.

Francko
20th July 2006, 14:51
Im simple terms the more money I have the happier I become.


Hiya Alfie. I totally agree with you. Plus nowadays is even easier. You don't have to worry about economic cycles, macrofinance and so on. All you have to do is to invade some country with a mad dictator (all of them have at least one) with plenty of natural resources (oil is a plus) and national wealth is up again. I say.... let's choose the next.

hyperD
20th July 2006, 15:03
On the other hand, if you've seen your hard earned wealth stolen in the last decade to support an idealistic, unaccountable regime, then you would obviously be forgiven for thinking you lived in a 3rd World country...
I'd like to rewrite that for clarity:

On the other hand, if you've seen your hard earned wealth stolen in the last decade to support an idealistic, unaccountable regime, then you would obviously be forgiven for thinking you lived in the UK...

AlfredJPruffock
20th July 2006, 15:04
Hiya Alfie. I totally agree with you. Plus nowadays is even easier. You don't have to worry about economic cycles, macrofinance and so on. All you have to do is to invade some country with a mad dictator (all of them have at least one) with plenty of natural resources (oil is a plus) and national wealth is up again. I say.... let's choose the next.

Excellent suggestion ,you might be interested in leading the tank regiments for my forthcoming Operation Finnish Freedom Campaign?

On my desk are disturbing documents which contain irrefutable evidence that demonstrate beyond doubt that Finland have been developing Weapons of Mass Destruction and thus pose a clear and present danger to Western Democracy.

Being an intelligent reader you will appreciate that for security reasons I am not at liberty at this point in time to disclose the precise details of this information.

But trust me on this one.

Helsinki must now know that the good men of CUK will no longer sit with their arms folded in the midst of this threat to our very way of life.


In Central Europe Men are Marching
Marching on now , Marching on now ...

DaveB
20th July 2006, 15:22
Helsinki must now know that the good men of CUK will no longer sit with their arms folded in the midst of this threat to our very way of life.



So whats the day rate for the job?

mcquiggd
20th July 2006, 17:24
Cant we invade Sweden first?

I want to give Victoria Silvestedt a throrough interrogation.

http://www.castlerock.it/dbimg/medium/gallery2918.jpg


I think she has something to hide....