Life satisfaction, state intervention go hand in hand, Baylor researcher finds

May 06, 2011

People living in countries with governments that have a greater number of social services report being more satisfied with life, according to a study by a Baylor University researcher.

Dr. Patrick Flavin, assistant professor of at Baylor, said the effect of state intervention into the equaled or exceeded when it came to satisfaction. The study is published in the spring issue of the journal Politics & Policy.

Free market capitalism has been championed by leaders such as the late President Ronald Reagan and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, while left-leaning political parties and labor movements argue for more government intervention into the market. But scholars have paid little empirical attention to the debate in terms of which leads to more satisfaction among citizens, Flavin said.

Flavin and two other researchers used data from the World Values Survey's 2005 study. Their research included 10,405 people from 15 advanced industrialized countries who were asked, "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?" On a scale of 1 to 10 — with 10 the highest level of satisfaction — the average rating for all respondents was 7.39, with respondents from the United States reporting an average of 7.26.

The study measured government intervention into the economy in four ways: government tax revenue as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), government consumption of GDP, generosity of unemployment benefits and a country's welfare expenditures as a percentage of GDP.

"In many cases, less government intervention can allow for a more efficient economy, but greater economic efficiency doesn't necessarily translate into greater contentment with one's life," Flavin said. "If you get sick and can't work or lose your job and there are few social protections in place, you're more likely to be anxious and less satisfied."

The findings were consistent regardless of whether respondents were rich or poor and regardless of their political views, Flavin said. The findings rule out alternative explanations including individual characteristics — such as personal health, level of education and marital status — and such national factors as gross domestic product and unemployment rate.

The findings of the study contrast with the views of economists who are critical of government intervention and the welfare state in particular, arguing it can lead to inefficiency and wastefulness that will hurt employment, wages and economic growth.

Flavin said the research is focused only on the link between and life and not whether it achieves economic growth or such goals as reducing poverty or violent crime. But "to the extent that it is a primary task of democratic governments to secure the well-being of their citizens, studying what government activities make citizens happier helps inform the 'politics vs. markets' debate,'" he said.

The United States had one of the lowest levels of state intervention among the countries in the study, but "we still certainly have a more expansive safety net than most developing countries," Flavin said.

The 15 countries included in the study are Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the .

Explore further: New 'Surveyman' software promises to revolutionize survey design and accuracy

Provided by Baylor University

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sstritt
1.7 / 5 (17) May 06, 2011
Statist propaganda.
Doug_Huffman
2.3 / 5 (16) May 06, 2011
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
ereneon
2.6 / 5 (5) May 06, 2011
Maybe US satisfaction is worse than usual because of the economy?
badgersdaughter
3.4 / 5 (10) May 06, 2011
Heh, libertarians (like I used to be, and still mostly am) such as the first two posters, who think quality of life for other people is not something that directly impacts their own quality of life, amuse me so much these days. Look, childish grabby whiners, suppose you propose an alternate agency of distributing voluntary contributions from people who care? Eh, what am I beating my head against the wall for. They don't care about anyone's quality of life, not even their own; they just care about what's "theirs". Even selfish people who aren't libertarians often see the value in helping everyone live a life of freedom, something that takes things like safe shelter, food, and water, and the health to enjoy it.
vdoomer
5 / 5 (3) May 06, 2011
What's more anti-American than saying "no" to your fellow compatriots?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (16) May 06, 2011
How satisfied are the Greeks?
Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.

Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Each one of these countries has an equivalent US state or states. Most have a homogeneous culture. All are under the protection of the USA military whether Sweden or Switzerland care to admit.
But "to the extent that it is a primary task of democratic governments to secure the well-being of their citizens

How can this be accomplished without making some citizens un-well?
That is the fallacy. This is NOT the primary task of a government. Bastiat stated it quite well 150 years ago in The Law.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (12) May 06, 2011
This article shows why Popper developed falsifiability.
Socialists would keep attempting to use science to justify their desire for power.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) May 06, 2011
"Sources told SPIEGEL ONLINE that Schäuble intends to seek to prevent Greece from leaving the euro zone if at all possible. He will take with him to the meeting in Luxembourg an internal paper prepared by the experts at his ministry warning of the possible dire consequences if Athens were to drop the euro. "
http://www.spiege...,00.html
Greece wants to control its currency. Will the EU attack Greece to prevent them? They do intend to use some type of force.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.9 / 5 (10) May 06, 2011
People living in countries with governments that have a greater number of social services report being more satisfied with life, according to a study by a Baylor University researcher.


Probably because their lives are more fair.

The more capitalistic a country is, the more likely there are millionaires and billionaires exploiting everyone else.

One of the biggest myths in the modern world is that which says, "Capitalism actually works". It doesn't, and never has.

First there were plantations, then people admitted that was wrong and they passed the 13th through 15th ammendment.

Then there were monopolies, and so they had to pass laws to keep them in check, since they murdered anyone who asked for a raise.

Today, it is the corporate world, and while "Slavery" by name is illegal, "slavery" by proxy continues, and applies to all races. If you are not a business owner, an actor, or an athelete, then you are nothing more than a bargain-bin commodity.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.1 / 5 (8) May 06, 2011
To the allegedly Christian conservative Republican who supports modern capitalism, and certainly to those who support axing medicare and social security "entitlements" (nevermind the people pay for them through years of said taxes, which the wealthy ignore...)

To those allegedly Christian capitalists, especially libertarians, republicans, anyone who works for FOX News, etc, I would suggest they bother reading their Bibles just one time. You can start with Jesus' encounter with the Rich Young Ruler, and then move on to Acts 4,32, where we find that the early church directly under the Apostles was strictly communistic. Then, for consistency, you can go back to the old testament and find that the wealthy were required to not pick the corners of their fields nor to glean a second harvest, but rather to give all of that to the poor. This is in every sense a law of "social justice" and, in reality, communism. It looks nothing like Russian or Chinese communism, but it's communism.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.3 / 5 (8) May 06, 2011
But to here a "conservative Christian," such as anyone on FOX News, speak about "class warfare" or communism, it is as if none of these alleged "Christians" has ever bothered to read their Bible the first time. I mean, Glenn Beck told his own children he wasn't giving them an inheritance. I was watching live when he said that. Too bad he hasn't read his Bible either, else he would know the passages that says, "A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children and his childrends children."

He would also know, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."

In reality, most of these people don't care anything about God or right or wrong. They just hope they can sucker enough of their audience to go along with them. Republicans and even most libertarians simply do not care about normal people. I have reached the point where I believe if your household makes less than $250,000 per year, you have no reason to ever vote for a Republican or "Tea Party" candidate.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) May 06, 2011
Republicans and even most libertarians simply do not care about normal people.

How do you define 'normal'?
How do you define 'care'?
Conservatives/libertarians RESPECT people and their inherent individual rights.
Respecting others is the epitome of caring.
How does using state coercion to redistribute wealth show how much you care QC?
Conservatives SHOW how much they care by GIVING their money and their time to 'normal' people. 'Progressives' show how much they care by TAKING money and time from others.
"The members of a society who in all respects are made to do the good thing have no title to praise.
If every action which is good or evil in a man of ripe years were under pittance and prescription and compulsion, what were virtue but a name, what praise should then be due to well-doing, what gramercy to be sober, just or continent? Milton."
Road to Serfdom, Hayek, p. 216.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.4 / 5 (5) May 06, 2011
Matthew 21:28But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

The point I make in citing this is that doing good is always good, unless it's done as some sort of viel for evil.

We live in a warped civilization where CEOs make 100 to 1000 times their employees, a fake police officer on a television series makes 10, 50, even 100 times more money than a real police officer, and atheletes make more money than doctors, engineers, or let's face it, 99.9% of anyone else.

There is nothing "moral" or "ethical" about this system
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 06, 2011
But state socialism, legalized plunder (theft) is moral and ethical?
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (4) May 07, 2011
But state socialism, legalized plunder (theft) is moral and ethical?
It's more moral and ethical than anarchic Feudalism.
How can this be accomplished without making some citizens un-well?
Those citizens would be the ones taxed the most -- i.e. the WEALTHIEST, right? Only a complete moron such as yourself, would characterize the most WELL-OFF as "un-well".

Do you really think anyone is fooled by such tawdry displays of crocodile tears?
MarkyMark
3.7 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
But state socialism, legalized plunder (theft) is moral and ethical?

Take a look at the UK. It seems to wrk farely well there.
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) May 07, 2011
Study after study after study will continue to confirm this and conservatards will scream "propaganda".
wwqq
3.7 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
Maybe US satisfaction is worse than usual because of the economy?


The US economy isn't worse than usual. The losses were made when you made the bad decisions. It felt great when the housing bubble was still rising, but that's when all the bad decisions were made. It felt good when the internet bubble was inflating, but that's when all the bad decisions were made.

The US spent the last 4 decades expanding total systemic debt far faster than GDP; pretending you had all this economic growth when it really just was credit-driven consumption.

It started even earlier than that, but it really took off under Reagan. Reagan's great achievement was that he managed to bamboozle the cretins into believing he was a small government, free market guy; while his actual policies were tough love and small government for the common man and big government socialism for the rich.

The last real small government president was Warren G. Harding. Who cut government clean in half during a depression
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (10) May 07, 2011
Study after study after study will continue to confirm this and conservatards will scream "propaganda".

Study after study shows that socialism is great until you run out of other people' money.
Ask the Greeks or Californians.
Reality bites.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 07, 2011
But state socialism, legalized plunder (theft) is moral and ethical?

Take a look at the UK. It seems to wrk farely well there.

What works fairly well?
UK tried nationalizing industry (socialism) after WWII. That failed.
"Deep Cuts to Health Care Services in the UK"
http://www.emaxhe...vices-uk
There seems to be quite a fews Brits who are trying to become expats.
"More than 3 million British expatriates now live abroad and the trend towards expatriation seems to be accelerating"
http://www.justla...re-there
Apparently at least 3 million Brits, and counting, are not satisfied with life UK.
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) May 07, 2011
Those citizens would be the ones taxed the most -- i.e. the WEALTHIEST,

Look at what the 'progressives' promised regarding the US income tax in 1912. ONLY the truly wealthy would be taxed and at a low rate.
Now, 50+% of the US must now be considered 'wealthy' as and the rates are 30+%.
That is what the 'progressives' call progress, tax and spend and spend and ....
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (4) May 07, 2011
Those citizens would be the ones taxed the most -- i.e. the WEALTHIEST,
Look at what the 'progressives' promised regarding the US income tax in 1912. ONLY the truly wealthy would be taxed and at a low rate.
Now, 50+% of the US must now be considered 'wealthy' as and the rates are 30+%.
That is what the 'progressives' call progress, tax and spend and spend and ....
Oh, cry me a river; we only have the highest per-capita incomes in the whole wide world. What are we poor, impoverished, downtrodden, overtaxed, over-regulated Americans to do? Immigrate to Somalia in search of true freedom, I suppose...
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (10) May 07, 2011
What are we poor, impoverished, downtrodden, overtaxed, over-regulated Americans to do?

Vote out all socialists, in both parties, every chance we can.
2010 was a good start. 2012 will be even better.
EWH
3.7 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
There are hardly any countries with a tax % of GDP less than 20% who aren't very poor. The exceptions are either oil-rich (Persian Gulf countries) or are trading hubs (Hong Kong, Taiwan), which is not a niche open to most countries. Below 10-15% tax/GDP it's mostly hellholes. The highest quality of life seems to be in Denmark, which has a tax/GDP of around 50%, one of the highest in the world.

For those seeking out low tax burdens, some of the more livable spots are:
(Country, % tax/GDP, PPP GDP/capita)
Chile 18.9 16675
Taiwan 12.4 39318
Costa Rica 14.0 12149
Ecuador 13.2 8211
Nepal 10.9 1384
Peru 15.1 10548
Philippines 14.4 4061
Qatar 2.2 107840
UAE 1.4 50549
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (14) May 07, 2011
The highest quality of life seems to be in Denmark, which has a tax/GDP of around 50%, one of the highest in the world.

Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.
Studies have also shown the this type of socialism has not descend into totalitarianism, yet, because the population is relatively small, homogenous and has a strong moral character which limits corruption.
MA has a similar sized population but has significant corruption, very diverse ethnic groups and a large city power base, Boston.
MN, with its large Scandinavian population has comparatively high taxes, but it has a similar moral character as their Scandinavian cousins.
Even Sweden has bumped into 'running out of OPM' and has eliminated its wealth tax encouraging businesses and the wealthy to return. They even support school vouchers.
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.
Which only confirms the old adage, that all things are best in moderation. Any other earth-shattering insights, microbrain?
Noumenal
1.5 / 5 (4) May 07, 2011
"Conservatives SHOW how much they care by GIVING their money and their time to 'normal' people. "

You mean, they show they care by GIVING their money to their family? That's the problem with the system, the giver has attachments to a particular group or race depending on their bias. The others lose, i.e., the ones they don't care about. Thee are a surprisingly large amount of people that the rest of the people don't care about. It is those people that suffer, not because they are any less people, but because of subjective aspects of society. I.e., where and to whom they were born.

Libertarian's are in essence, just the party for the family. Many don't even know it, so little insight to they have into their subjectivity. It would be so wonderful if the true libertarian life was one in which money could only be given to you by complete strangers. A violation of liberty, but maybe more in line with the 'principle' of the matter?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (12) May 07, 2011
"The Swedish people saw big government creating misery, and they were able to reduce spending and regulation. They also saw high taxes were killing capital investment.

Sweden led the world in creating the first fully democratic semi-socialist welfare state that many countries have tried to emulate. Now, it is showing the world a way to unwind a disastrous economic experiment in a democratic and relatively painless way."
http://puffwealth...naround/

"People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes."
"Conservatives not only donate more money to charity than liberals do, conservatives volunteer more time as well. More conservatives than liberals also donate blood. "
http://www.realcl...res.html
Charity and blood donations do not just go to family members.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (9) May 07, 2011
Libertarian's are in essence, just the party for the family.

Do you mean the Libertarian Party or libertarians in general. Their is quite a difference.
What's wrong with a party the promotes family?
It would be so wonderful if the true libertarian life was one in which money could only be given to you by complete strangers.

Why is this wonderful? This is what we have now with many welfare programs.
People who donate to Salvation Army or Catholic or other charities are giving their money to strangers.
Noumenal
1.3 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
"Do you mean the Libertarian Party or libertarians in general. Their is quite a difference."

Political parties with a libertarian ideology. I.e., the parties we vote for so as to enforce that ideology on the group as a whole.

"Why is this wonderful?" It's wonderful because the reason for the giving isn't biased. I.e., a stranger is seen as having equal worth as that of your own family or peer group.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (10) May 07, 2011
It's wonderful because the reason for the giving isn't biased. I.e., a stranger is seen as having equal worth as that of your own family or peer group.

Then your characterization of libertarians is incorrect as I pointed out. They donate to strangers more than the 'liberals'.
Noumenal
2 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
It's wonderful because the reason for the giving isn't biased. I.e., a stranger is seen as having equal worth as that of your own family or peer group.

Then your characterization of libertarians is incorrect as I pointed out. They donate to strangers more than the 'liberals'.


Conservatives are not necessarily libertarians. 'Conservatives' are often religious, and therefore have a different bases for their donating.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 08, 2011
Why don't you back up your claims about libertarians?
rwinners
4 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
If one substituted the word 'social' for the word 'state', the premise would be equally valid.
The word 'state' is a hot one and bound to prompt reaction.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (8) May 08, 2011
If one substituted the word 'social' for the word 'state', the premise would be equally valid.
The word 'state' is a hot one and bound to prompt reaction.

It is not the same. 'State' has the monopoly on force. The 'state' can put you in jail.
'Society' cannot.
jjoensuu
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
We live in a warped civilization where...a fake police officer on a television series makes 10, 50, even 100 times more money than a real police officer, and athletes make more money than doctors, engineers, or let's face it, 99.9% of anyone else.


yea QC, in principle I agree with you. But I think the reason the fake police and athletes make more than people who provide actually useful service to society is because the scale of their audience.

I mean there are essentially only following ways to make a lot of money:
A. income from only a few people: requires a large amount from each
B. income from many people: requires a small amount from each

Category A includes income that comes as result of donations or wills or marriages (marrying some wealthy person), besides selling something that has a huge profit margin. Category B (made easier because of Internet and 6 billion people) includes revenue from advertising and this is the reason why entertainers can have a huge income.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) May 08, 2011
What makes capitalism great is that those with talent have the potential to be be rewarded for their talent
Look at Manny Pacquiao's life and how and what he has achieved.
In QC's world, Manny would never have the motivation or the opportunity.
rwinners
4 / 5 (4) May 08, 2011
I don't mind the "warped" capitalism as much as what it leads to: money, that is those with it, have very out sized effects on how things are run. Add to that the fact that the more money one has, the easier it is to make lots more and the fact that family dynasties continue to grow makes for a Plutocracy rather than a democracy.
JoeJones254
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
It is possible to be a leftist-libertarian, and anyone who disagrees
1) should learn about the political spectrum
2) should understand that there's a difference between socialism, leftism, Trotskyism, communism, stalinism, etc
3) needs to take the test at political compass to see where they lie
4) probably shouldn't think of the political spectrum as (from right to left) Neo-conservative, Conservative, Central, Communist
5)Should understand that someones economic beliefs aren't the same as their political beliefs
6)Shouldn't assume that everyone who tries to correct their facts is automatically on the left
And I have no particular place on the spectrum since my opinions trend towards whatever seems most logical, it's completely stupid to say "If you're a right-winger you are..." or "If you're a left-winger you are..." It's just untrue, and ridiculous
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (8) May 09, 2011
Joe, the key question is what role should the state play in your life?
What does 'left' mean to you? If it means the govt should control the economy then you are not a libertarian.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 09, 2011
I don't mind the "warped" capitalism as much as what it leads to: money, that is those with it, have very out sized effects on how things are run. Add to that the fact that the more money one has, the easier it is to make lots more and the fact that family dynasties continue to grow makes for a Plutocracy rather than a democracy.

What is your alternative to money and provide examples of its success?
rwinners
3.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2011
What is money, ryg?
Oh, and an alternative to the current system is to allow 'capitalists' to accumulate as much as they can during their lifespan, but give it all up to society when they die.
Why should their heirs benefit when they have not done anything to produce the wealth in the first place?
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 09, 2011
What is money, ryg?

You claimed it is bad so what is your alternative to money?

Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Gates, and hundreds of other wealthy people create foundations that GIVE their money away to society, to those who are in need.
But 'winner' seems to think the government should take it all as the govt must know best.
Ever hear of Howard Hughes Medical Institute? They were and are funded from the wealth created by Howard Hughes.
GSwift7
1.3 / 5 (4) May 10, 2011
I don't have a strong opinion either way on the issue of conservative versus liberal policy, as I think the best solution for the majority must be a compromise. Since the country (voters) is split about 50-50 on the issues it's likely that our policies will continue to be some combination of both views. It's dysfunctional in some ways but it's the one of the best dysfunctions in the world.

I wonder if the above study controlled for other possible influences though. For example, did they check to see if the apparent satisfaction levels correlate more strongly with ownership of kittens than with political policy? Kittens tend to increase life satisfaction a lot you know. I think there should be more kittens.

If you didn't laugh then you need to get help.

Seriously, there could be some factors they didn't look at besides kittens that just might influence life satisfaction. Could these people be trying to hijack science to support their political beliefs?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (10) May 10, 2011
'Life satisfaction'? Does that equate to 'pursuit of happiness'?
I suggest that people who are most satisfied with their lives are those that had high goals, struggled, and achieved those goals, without govt 'help'.
frajo
4 / 5 (1) May 10, 2011
Seriously, there could be some factors they didn't look at besides kittens that just might influence life satisfaction.
Possibly. But as you don't make any serious proposals which factors could influence the outcome I reckon it's not easy to find them.
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) May 10, 2011
Actually there are so many that I didn't bother to start listing them.

How about home ownership, children, car/boat ownership, learning to play a sport or achieving proficiency in any hobby or professional skill, learning how to cook, achieving a body weight goal, having your political party in the majority, having your favorite sports team win, having a greener yard than the neighbors, getting a diploma, a fresh haircut, working out, having a good love life, etc, etc...

by the way, I actually have seen studies about whether owning a pet increases life satisfaction, and whether a cat or dog is better for that purpose. I can't find one now, but I know I remember reading about it sometime.

Why do you have to argue with anything I say, no matter what it is?
GSwift7
3.3 / 5 (7) May 10, 2011
I say this every time they do one of these, but I'll repeat myself again.

Polls and surveys can be extremely misleading, and their results should always be viewed with a maximum amount of critical analysis. Never accept a summary of results without seeing the EXACT wording of the questions, is a good general policy. It's been proven many times that a very small change in wording can lead to a massive shift in results, and it's also been shown that it is very difficult to completely remove what they call poll-taker bias.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
Danes must be growing even more satisfied now:

"Denmark will reintroduce border controls at its intra-EU borders with Germany and Sweden, Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Wednesday following an agreement between the government and the far-right."
http://www.eubusi...tion.9wf
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 11, 2011
If one substituted the word 'social' for the word 'state', the premise would be equally valid.
The word 'state' is a hot one and bound to prompt reaction.

It is not the same. 'State' has the monopoly on force. The 'state' can put you in jail.
'Society' cannot.

Ever heard of exile?
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 11, 2011
If one substituted the word 'social' for the word 'state', the premise would be equally valid.
The word 'state' is a hot one and bound to prompt reaction.

It is not the same. 'State' has the monopoly on force. The 'state' can put you in jail.
'Society' cannot.

Ever heard of exile?

That requires force.
Shunning does not.
Of course only those who have moral standards and principles are shunned by today's society.
that_guy
2 / 5 (4) May 11, 2011
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."


This is misplaced. paying a little extra tax for healthcare, a safety net, etc doesn't constitute giving up liberty. It constitutes the government's right to levy taxes for the greater good - and according to this survey, everyone is happier for it. Tell me, which freedom are you giving up for this security. Ignorant.
that_guy
2 / 5 (4) May 11, 2011
The highest quality of life seems to be in Denmark, which has a tax/GDP of around 50%, one of the highest in the world.

Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.
Studies have also shown the this type of socialism has not descend into totalitarianism, yet, because the population is relatively small, homogenous and has a strong moral character which limits corruption.
MA has a similar sized population but has significant corruption, very diverse ethnic groups and a large city power base, Boston.
MN, with its large Scandinavian population has comparatively high taxes, but it has a similar moral character as their Scandinavian cousins.


As far as 'other people's money' is concerned, you do realize that denmark practices something called 'fiscal responsibility'. It does not have a deficit, and a net debt of 0. It has a balance of 600B in credit and debt.

So denmark is not running out any time soon. also, i sense a twinge of racism...
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
a little extra tax for healthcare

A 'little' extra tax? The current US govt health care entitlement will soon take ALL the income of the USA to pay what it promises.

Denmark is about twice the size of MA with a similar size population of WI.
"Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit during 2009-10."
"GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
-4.7% (2009 est.)
-0.9% (2008 est.) "
They have the same 12% below the poverty line as the US.

I wonder why Denmark re instituted border controls?
"Denmark will reintroduce controls at its intra-EU borders with Germany and Sweden, Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Wednesday following an agreement between the government and the far-right."
http://www.eubusi...tion.9wf
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 11, 2011
What a surprise, not::

"Danes buy moonlighting hours for up to 50 billion kroner a year, and according to the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit more than every other Dane used moonlighting services last year.

This gigantic secret untaxed economy should be considered when discussing happiness and paying taxes. Quite honestly, unlike what Oprah concluded in her show lastI dont think that living in a high tax, socialist system (and enjoying the perks that it buys) is the answer to finding and keeping happiness."
"The Danes have a dirty little secret. Look at the all the hype about happy Denmark perfect social welfare community, tight knit and socially conscious.

But the social welfare community has roots with a pattern of group behaviour within Scandinavian communities, which negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate."
http://blogs.denm.../sharmi/
frajo
3 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
Why do you have to argue with anything I say, no matter what it is?

I didn't notice that. I already had comment directories for more than 50 users on my PC but none for you. Until now :)

I simply thought your idea that "there could be some factors they didn't look at besides kittens that just might influence life satisfaction" was interesting but could not make out any factor myself. Thanks for your list; I agree your items can cause life satisfaction (and also grief). These are individual factors (not everybody can own a house), while I was thinking of common factors (any needy can use social services).
But the goal of the study was not to detect such factors. Instead they wanted to learn whether there is any correlation between this specific factor, the number of social services, and life satisfaction.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
unlike what Oprah concluded in her show lastI dont think that living in a high tax, socialist system (and enjoying the perks that it buys) is the answer to finding and keeping happiness
Unlike some anti-socialist people think, Denmark's government is a coalition consisting of Venstre (a center-right liberal party) and the Conservative People's Party; furthermore the former (right-wing) prime minister is now Secretary General of NATO.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
Ever heard of exile?

That requires force.
Shunning does not.
Of course only those who have moral standards and principles are shunned by today's society.
Yep, you and the sychophants like yourself seem to enjoy shunning anyone who thinks we should contribute a pittance of our income to support those who cannot take care of themselves. For shame.
A 'little' extra tax? The current US govt health care entitlement will soon take ALL the income of the USA to pay what it promises.
No, that's what it would cost if you continue down the path of small sized risk pools under private insurance. If we simply extend medicare and medicaid to everyone, the cost would be $750 per year per person.

That's be a reduction of $4000 yearly for insurance for the average single person in the US, closer to 20,000 per person savings for small and medium businesses.

Why do you hate individuals as well as small and medium business so much?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) May 12, 2011
If we simply extend medicare and medicaid to everyone, the cost would be $750 per year per person.

It is working quite well in MA. Forced medical insurance is driving doctors out of state.
Rationing would be the norm unless the state turned doctors into slaves.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
]It is working quite well in MA. Forced medical insurance is driving doctors out of state.
Rationing would be the norm unless the state turned doctors into slaves.
No it isn't. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Why would doctors leave the state when instead of potentially not getting paid they have a guarantee of payment for services?
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 12, 2011
"The average wait time in Massachusetts to see an internal medicine physician is now 48 days double the national average. Over half of primary care practices are no longer accepting new patients."
"Dr. Lorraine Schratz, a Massachusetts pediatric cardiologist, noted that half of physicians trained in the state are leaving due to the poor practice environment and poor reimbursements."
http://pajamasmed...amacare/
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
The average wait time in Massachusetts to see an internal medicine physician is now 48 days double the national average. Over half of primary care practices are no longer accepting new patients.
That's because we got 35% of the state, most of which had never been to a doctor outside of the ER, into an insurance program. There are not fewer doctors, there are more patients.
Dr. Lorraine Schratz, a Massachusetts pediatric cardiologist, noted that half of physicians trained in the state are leaving due to the poor practice environment and poor reimbursements.
And she's wrong, half the physicians trained in the state are going back to their country of origin and being paid by socialized medicine. Beyond that, the majority of physicians country-wide are trained in Massachusetts. It is whole cloth ignorance to assume they would all stay here as opposed to opening practices in their home states.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (4) May 12, 2011
And she's wrong, half the physicians trained in the state are going back to their country of origin and being paid by socialized medicine. Beyond that, the majority of physicians country-wide are trained in Massachusetts


My fiance and her father both got their doctorate in Mass. He went to Venezuela to practice and she obviously is here in SC. She's here because that's where the Army wants her though, not due to any political reasons. I'm sure she'd make more money up there.

I lived in NJ (where the cost of living is high and there is lots of government aid/intervention) and I've lived in other places where things are simpler. I think people in both places are prety much equally unhappy.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (8) May 12, 2011
"Why Primary Care Doctors Are Leaving

One problem, she says, is money. Insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare pay less for primary care than for specialist visits. And no one pays for the time it takes to fill out paperwork, take surveys for the insurance company or write sick notes to employers."
"In a national study released this fall by the Physicians' Foundation, 80 percent of primary care doctors called the job unrewarding; half of them plan to scale back or stop practicing within three years. At the same time, most medical students are choosing specialty tracks, like surgery. "
"Massachusetts recently passed legislation to make primary care more attractive through loan forgiveness, home buying help and better reimbursements. State Sen. Jon Scibak says the viability of health reform is at stake. "
http://www.npr.or...97620520
So the govt forces people to buy insurance that doesn't pay enough to doctors so the state has to subsidize doctors.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
One problem, she says, is money. Insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare pay less for primary care than for specialist visits. And no one pays for the time it takes to fill out paperwork, take surveys for the insurance company or write sick notes to employers
As I said before, she's a liar... however, at least she got this part correct. The majority of the costs in medical today are administrative and they are not reimbursed.

One would think that she'd support Obama care as it would reduce the need for administrative personnel.

Self defeating arguments are always hilarious, and you're a perfect source of them.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 12, 2011
If SH says its true then it must be true.
But he has been proven to lie so many times why should anyone believe him?
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2011
If SH says its true then it must be true.
But he has been proven to lie so many times why should anyone believe him?

First, the word is 'proved', you ignoramus. Second, never happened. I was incorrect in an assertion to you once regarding a job posting for plant managers in WI, which I recanted subsequently on another thread.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2011
First, the word is 'proved', you ignoramus.

Prove it.
which I recanted subsequently on another thread.

Prove it.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
"But he has been proven to lie so many times why should anyone believe him?"

SH lies. Is this grammatically correct?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2011
"But he has been proven to lie so many times why should anyone believe him?"

SH lies. Is this grammatically correct?
The correct grammatical usage is "has been proved".
Proven is an adjective, and is used colloquially and incorrectly as "has been proven". It is not correct in terms of grammar and makes you appear ignorant to educated anglophones.

Then again, the majority of what you say makes yoou appear ignorant to other anglophones.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
The correct grammatical usage is "has been proved".
Proven is an adjective, and is used colloquially and incorrectly as "has been proven". It is not correct in terms of grammar and makes you appear ignorant to educated anglophones.

So you say.
If this clarifies the intent for you, SH has been proved to lie.
Better?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2011
If this clarifies the intent for you, SH has been proved to lie.
Better?
No, it's still a falsehood, regardless of its grammatical correctness.
GSwift7
2.6 / 5 (5) May 16, 2011
The correct grammatical usage is "has been proved".
Proven is an adjective, and is used colloquially


You guys are getting way off topic, but language is a very interesting topic. Language is transient. You can't just dismiss contemporary word use as wrong. If I had to referee between you guys on this one, I would have to say that in the context of a web blog, the contemporary grammar is acceptable. Or do I get points off for spelling and punctuation too?

SH has been proved to lie


I would be surprised if you can find anyone who hasn't posted something in error. SH is not deliberately deceptive. He believes what he posts. There are things he believes which I know to be wrong, but he truely believes them. He's correct most of the time though. :)
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) May 16, 2011
SH is not deliberately deceptive.

Yes, he was, and is.
GSwift7
2 / 5 (4) May 16, 2011
SH is not deliberately deceptive.

Yes, he was, and is.


Not any more than I am when I play Devil's advocate for the purpose of carrying on a good debate.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 16, 2011
SH is not deliberately deceptive.

Yes, he was, and is.


Not any more than I am when I play Devil's advocate for the purpose of carrying on a good debate.

No, he flat out lies.
After his numerous personal attacks, I know his motivation. It is the same for all 'progressives'.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 16, 2011
No, he flat out lies.
After his numerous personal attacks, I know his motivation. It is the same for all 'progressives'.
What I've said to you is only a personal attack if you find fault with yourself. Perhaps the issue lies not with what I say, but more with your self image.