Economic prosperity can’t guarantee happiness

By | April 3, 2007

In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect, if you read into the findings of the Happy Planet Index. Compiled by an independent British “think and do” tank called nef (the new economics foundation), the index “addresses the relative success or failure of countries in supporting good life for their citizens, whilst respecting the environmental resource limits upon which our lives depend”.

For all our obsession with being number one, Singapore has been ranked 131st, significantly lower than our less prosperous neighbours like Philippines (17th), Indonesia (23rd), Thailand (32nd) and Malaysia (44th). Proof that money can’t buy happiness, unless you are a minister or top civil servant in Singapore who stands to benefit from another round of salary hike (I can see more unhappy faces already).

Incidentally, the top three on the Happy Planet Index are the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Colombia and Costa Rica.

Related story:
Singapore’s bleak future

Technorati Tags: Happy Planet Index nef Singapore Philippines Indonesia Thailand Malaysia ministerial pay

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Anonymous

Why I Would Like to Leave, by Kitana http://kitana.wordpress.com/2006/09/19/why-i-would-like-to-leave/ Before I went to Canada for a year, I had to go for a medical check-up. During that check-up, the doctor told me that I would love Canada. And he had said that most of the people he knew that went to Canada, either never came back; or when they did, they’d returned to Canada shortly after. Few ever stayed in Singapore. At the time, I wondered why. I don’t anymore. The government asks us why we leave. They calls us quitters and deserters, for leaving our country, our homeland, for… Read more »

Anonymous

From: Julie RogersTo: Singapore Review27 October 2004 Does Inequality Make You Sick? S’pore ministers salaries Hi, I pondered over Catherine Lim’s article “PAP and the people: A return ofdisaffection?”(see: http://www.singapore21.org.sg/art_disaffection.html#debate1) Until recently I knew next to nothing about Singapore so it is a revelationthat my first introduction to this little speck is through various discussionson the internet about Ministerial Salaries. Quite frankly I am rather appalled by the fact that ministers in your countrycan earn upwards of USD 1 million. Any officer of the state is apublic servant and this was a once noble and honourable calling. In thecivilised world,… Read more »

Elia Diodati

Mindblogging Stuff: Even so, stats like Happy Planet only indicate correlation, *not* causation. Just because you move to Vanuatu doesn’t automatically make you happy. (Although I’m sure the gorgeous scenery doesn’t hurt…)

Stephen

True, but one part of the index “addresses the relative success or failure of countries in supporting good life for their citizens”, so that’s already a pretty strong indictment of what the PAP government has not done for its people.