Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bernanke and the Fed want to know if you are happy...

... and have noted that people are not happy. Hah!

Here. (and all over the interwebnettubes))

The average Joe in the street could put a simple reply (with expletives deleted) on the table and the pile of identical answers would grow rapidly. This all sounds like Ben is getting all touchy-feely and caring about what happens to people and their lives. Even David Cameron, the English Prime Minister, has also been touting the concept. A truly 'caring' politician or financier, or even Mr. Nice Guy. Heaven help us.

Relax though. Yet again, the 'HPI' concept has been misunderstood. HPI is about a sense of well-being, life-expectancy, and ecological factors. As far as I can see it has little to do with 'happiness' as some would perceive it. It is perhaps best to simply look at the relative position of countries in the latest chart here and to note that none of the 'civilised' or industrialised Western nations feature in the top 20. Only New Zealand and Norway make it into the top 30.

Sit back and think about this for a while. The HPI is a minor indicator of how the majority of inhabitants of a country feel about where they live and how they perceive their well-being. Look at the countries which are in the top 10. With the greatest respect to all of them and trying not to generalise too much, I would say that most of the places are not industrialised, have a significant number of people on low to zero incomes, and have populations where there is no "I must work hard to 'improve' my life" mentality. Plus the sun shines a lot.

It is somewhat disturbing that the best recommendation from the Federal Reserve is for people to adopt an approach to life where the relative success of a country is based upon their having a poor economy. Is he sending out the wrong message? Or perhaps he is admitting the economy is in the toilet and the best we can do is shrug our shoulders and go "Don't Worry, Be Happy". This mantra shows Bernanke is a child of the 60's... here.

The quote from Baba (who did not speak for 41 years... apparently):

"Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence."

The above is one of the reasons I am an atheist.

Mr. Bernanke, people are NOT unhappy. The REAL problem is they are as mad as hell that the 'deal' between people and society has been broken. A few people took it upon themselves to rob and steal from everyone else. The 'everyone else' who have worked hard to make their lives worthwhile and fulfilling. The same people who just want ot get on with their lives. Now? Now people are being told it is their fault and those with the power to act to correct this are failing to do anything about it. People want their money and jobs back... People who have contributed to a pension fund. People who were promised a cradle to grave health care system. Is it any wonder people have low HPI rankings. America, along with most wealthy nations, is not in the top 50. Iraq is. The top 50 countries are, in general, places where people are able to get on with their lives rather than being inculcated with false promises and ideas that people need to strive in order to be happy.

Presenting a vague 'voodoo' concept of 'I care if you are happy' approach to the real problem does nothing to solve it. People want a better 'New Deal' rather than the raw one being presented to them.

A viewing of this extract from a movie would be more informative:

What you are offering is this:

Bobby McFerrin does sing a good song. As a side note, there are two mistakes people make regarding this song:

1. The song is written and performed by Bobby McFerrin and NOT Bob Marley.

2. Bobby McFerrin is alive and well. He did not 'commit suicide. See here. It is an urban myth!

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