The Legatum Institute, a London-based nonpartisan think tank, has released its annual list of the “happiest” countries in the world, and (according to Forbes Magazine) America came in 10th. You would think, from listening to crackpots like U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, that Americans are by far the most privileged and happiest people on earth and that they are in danger of losing their “exceptional” position because of President Obama’s “Socialism.”
Yet I am sure Bachmann would describe all the countries that beat out the U.S. as “Socialist.”
Norway topped the list, Denmark was number two and Finland was number three. Australia and New Zealand came in fourth and fifth, followed by Sweden and Canada, in sixth and seventh place. Switzerland and the Netherlands were next. The U.S. barely made the top 10 list.
I am sure that the Bachmanns of this world have no clue as to what might constitute “Socialism.” It’s just one of those words that conservatives use to frighten ignoramuses.
But you would think they might wonder why the countries they label “socialist” invariably end up at the top of every “world’s happiest” list.
And the criteria don’t just include material things. Forbes put it this way:
For most, being happy starts with having enough money to do what you want and buy what you want. A nice home, food, clothes, car, leisure. All within reason.
But happiness is much more than money. It’s being healthy, free from pain, being able to take care of yourself. It’s having good times with friends and family.
Furthermore, happiness means being able to speak what’s on your mind without fear, to worship the God of your choosing, and to feel safe and secure in your own home. Happiness means having opportunity–to get an education, to be an entrepreneur. What’s more satisfying than having a big idea and turning it into a thriving business, knowing all the way that the harder you work, the more reward you can expect?
Isn’t that how you would describe “happiness”?
Or would you prefer to be constantly at war, frightened of losing your job if you have one, in danger of being shot by some loon who is armed to the teeth, and obliged to listen to nincompoops like Michele Bachmann (see cartoon above) raving on your TV?