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A new study on the connection between money and happiness proves what we already instinctively knew; namely that beyond the basic needs of shelter and sustinance and maybe a little to spare we aren't happier when we possess more. The happiest people have strong human connections and a sense of community as giving them the greatest source of satisfaction.

Not surprisingly, Nordic countries once again prove this metric is correct by being in the top 10 (Canada is number 7). All of them have strong social safety nets and put priority on people and not just economic wealth for the few. In other words, the idea of I get mine and I am not my brother's keeper is not part of the basic DNA of these nations.

Which country is number one on the list? Finland.

The US has a problem in that a 1% layer of mega millionaires controls everything but then half the population makes under $30,000 which is a staggering statistic. With these kinds of numbers there are many families who fall under the minimum level that is required to be happy and yet those frustrated billionaires (like the Koch brothers) stew in their own frustrations and seem no happier for their riches. The US is 18th on the list which is not bad but could be better if that lower half was better looked after.

"Those are the main conclusions of the World Happiness Report 2018, released Wednesday. Finland is the happiest country in the world, it found, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. Though in a different order, this is the same top 10 as last year, when Norway was No. 1 and Finland was fifth.

As for the United States, it is 18th out of 156 countries surveyed — down four spots from last year’s report and five from 2016’s, and substantially below most comparably wealthy nations. Though the economy is generally strong and per capita income is high, it ranks poorly on social measures: Life expectancy has declined, suicide rates have risen, the opioid crisis has worsened, inequality has grown and confidence in government has fallen."


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/world/europe/worlds-happiest-countries.html
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