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_JS

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The Happiest People on Earth
« on: August 22, 2008, 03:13:56 PM »
IT'S SOMETHING ABOUT DENMARK
Why Danes Are the World's Happiest People
By Matt Mabe[/b]

Two recent studies found Danes to be the world's happiest people. The new reputation and media attention have led to a national discussion.


A windmill rises over farmland on the Danish island of Samso.

Three years ago, if you had asked a person from Denmark the secret to happiness, you probably would have gotten back a blank stare. The same question today, however, likely would be answered with knowing laughter and any one of several explanations.

Being recognized as the world's happiest people simply takes some getting used to.

Since 2006, Denmark, a largely homogeneous country of 5 million people on Europe's stormy northern coast, has been anointed the happiest place on earth by two very different surveys. The studies' findings have upended dated international perceptions of Denmark as a quaint but chilly dairy exporter with a high suicide rate, recasting the country instead as a model of social harmony that is thriving in an era of globalization.

The country's improbable new standing -- and the significant media attention it has engendered -- may have had an even more profound effect on the Danes themselves by prompting a national conversation about how they live their lives. "It has given us a chance to reflect on how well-balanced a country we really are," says Dorte Kiilerich, the managing director of VisitDenmark, Denmark's official tourism organization.

In early 2006, Denmark was what it had been for ages: a quiet, stable country, better known as the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Tivoli Gardens, and the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet than for being an epicenter of bliss. Tourism had been in decline for a decade, and an international controversy was raging over a series of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, which months before had been printed in a Danish newspaper.

Social Safety Net

Then in July of that year, a researcher at England's University of Leicester released a ranking of the world's happiest countries after analyzing data from various sources. The report concluded that economic factors related to health care, standards of living, and access to basic education were determining characteristics of a nation's overall attitude. Denmark, with its free universal health care, one of the highest per-capita GDPs in the world, and first-rate schools, came in first.

The news spread quickly. Niels Martiny, a 26-year-old social anthropology student at the University of Aarhus in Denmark's second-largest city, spent last year in Peru doing research. Even there, word about the survey had gotten around to locals. "They were quite surprised," Martiny says with a laugh. "They had this idea about Nordic people being very reserved and very serious."

Foreigners weren't the only ones scratching their heads at the results. Danes were equally confounded. "A lot of my friends were surprised," says Martiny, who considers himself quite happy in his own life but thought that the study must have made some mistake. Danes, he says, tend not to express their emotions outwardly the way people in some other cultures do.

Achieving the Right Balance

But the results were no fluke. Earlier this summer, the Stockholm-based World Values Survey, which uses a very different methodology, reported that it also found Danish people to be the world's most contented. That study concluded that the surest measures of a country's well-being are the freedom to choose how to live one's life, encouragement of gender equality, and tolerance for minorities. Once again, on every count, Denmark took top prize.

What is it about Denmark that the rest of us have failed to grasp?

Achieving the right balance is probably what most sets the country apart, suggests VisitDenmark's Kiilerich. Happiness in most Nordic societies, all of which ranked high on both studies' lists of happiest countries, hinges on an ineffable combination of economic strength and social programs. Denmark's approach relies on high taxes and aggressive redistribution of wealth --anathema to many free-market Americans -- which results in a broad range of social services like health care, retirement pensions, and quality public schools. Yet remarkably, the country has managed to make this model work without crushing economic growth or incentives to succeed. "Denmark has a head and a heart," Kiilerich says.

The strong social safety nets that cradle Danish citizens from birth until death are welcoming to foreigners, too. Kate Vial, a 55-year-old American expat who has lived and worked in Denmark for more than 30 years, passed up opportunities over the years to return to the U.S., choosing instead to raise her three children in Denmark. Vial knows she will never be rich, but says that she valued family, the ability to travel, and simple economic security above all else. "I just chose a simpler lifestyle, one where I could ride my bike all over and where I don't have to make a great living to survive," she says.

Some people attribute the prevailing attitude among Danes to something less tangible, called hygge (pronounced "hooga"). Danes say the word is difficult to translate -- and to comprehend -- but that it describes a cozy, convivial sentiment that involves strong family bonds. "The gist of it is that you don't have to do anything except let go," says Vial. "It's a combination of relaxing, eating, drinking, partying, spending time with family."

Whatever the reasons for Denmark's apparent happiness, the two studies clearly indicate it must be doing something right. Economic strength and social support aside, Kiilerich says that there is just something in the blood of the country that other Scandinavian countries are missing. "Our neighbors love us for it, but they just can't get it," she says.


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I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

BT

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 03:23:39 PM »
Wonder why the Danes have such a high suicide rate?


Christians4LessGvt

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 03:29:22 PM »
Denmark Sucks!! happiest nation..? my ass!

------------------------------------------------------------

 
Ok seriously I have been reading all over the Internet about how wonderful Denmark is and the comments are usually written by americans.. So I just felt obligated to write this rant, not to burst your bubble but to give you people a little hardcore dose of reality.

Seriously what the hell is wrong with you people? You have all the freedom you can ever have in the US and you sit here talking about how wonderful Denmark is? Let me tell you I live in this place and it is nowhere NEAR the fairytale that you people are describing.. It?s basically a socialist hellhole, you get up, go to work and do the same sh.it day in day out.. you know there?s a reason why they call the danes one of the happiest nations on earth.. Basically people have no expectations whatsoever.. Everything is already mediocre today so why should it be any different tomorrow? the prozac popping citizens of this country makes everything seem happy and all hunky dory to the outside world but did you know that over 450,000 people in this country are registered as "patients" in the system? When I say patients I mean people who either sees a psychiatrist or sees a psychiatrist and recieves goverment funded medication... this is out of a population of 5,5 million people! 1 out of every 11!! That does not even count half of the people who smoke weed and drink their their brains out every week.

As a wise man once said..
?you would have to be cortically challenged to want to live in Denmark, unless you are a spineless and unproductive welfare leech?

Yes you can make a fair lump of money on paper but have any of you people ever tried seeing 50-60% of your monthly salary cut away while some useless socialist politician tells you ?Those high taxes are for the common good, you now have access to free healthcare blah blah blah?

Let me tell you free healthcare is BULL and you will basically die waiting for treatment? Hell I almost did, but luckily I got treatment at a private hospital and It was worth it! I would much rather pay a private insurance company to get in and out of the hospital alive! and you know what? I already do just as hundreds of thousands of citizens in this socialist country, Guess what Americans! Wakeup call! People who can afford it here have an expensive private health insurance just as you do! Because ending up at a hospital with a serious illness is not good when the hospital is run upon a socialist system! Many of us basically die on the waiting list and the media just coveres it up!, It's just like death row!

Anyways.. Enough about that.. What more is there to rant about? Oohh Of course.. The worlds highest income taxation! Yes that's right.. We are the highest tax paying country ever! woohoo! I'm such a happy dane... NOT! Well let my tell you the average tax payed by a dane this year is 57.5% That means that we basically work for FREE 201 days of the year.. The rest goes into our own (very small) pockets.. ohh and the general sales tax is 25%!! for you american that means that the same friggin ipod that you buy for $200 or whatever will cost you Atleast 250 in Denmark.. And that usually isn't the case! The goverment will add hundreds of different made up bull**** eco and whatnot taxes onto that product so it would probably cost over $350...! Let me give you a real life example..

A few month ago I really wanted one of those nice Apple Cinema displays right? So I looked at apples website and it cost about 9000 DKK that means in America it would cost me about $1800.. but here in Denmark it would cost me a wooping 2900!!!! is it OK to say that we are being RAPED?

OHHH!! Guess what! The general sales tax does NOT apply to vehicles.. Cars, motorcycles etc. Ohh nononono there are completely different rules for this can you guess what tax percentage on a car will be? Let me burst your bubble.. 210%.. FRIGGIN 210 P E R C E N T!!

And what does that mean? Lets demonstrate that in real life.. A really nice car would cost what? About $50,000 in the United States? Wanna buy the same car while living in Denmark? Guess what? That same car will now cost you $155,000!! You could buy a friggin Ferrari for that amount back in the states! So If you ever come to Denmark.. Don't wonder why there are no nice cars around and why the cars are so small, so old, polluting and rusty.. You can just merely tell yourself that it is because if it was up to the goverment we would all be riding our freakin bicycles like the happy prozac popping communists that we are.. in the pouring rain! You know there is a saying ?You?ve been in Denmark too long when a Ford Escort starts to look like a nice ride.?

Oh! and by the way.. gas is 9 dollars a gallon because of the goverments "special tax" added to all gasoline and diesel. It's basically just a scheme to get people out of their cars and onto their ****ty little bikes.

I know.. You are thinking, well public transportation is great over there!... UMMM NO?? This country possibly has the WORST public transportation in the world so you have two choices.. Ride the bus and get late to work and get raped by your boss... OOORR buy a car and get raped by the goverment.

What else is Rotten in Denmark that I haven't told you about?

CRIME!!!! Did you know that the state prison here has a special suite for the prisoners to rent for a weekend to stay in with their girlfriend, wife or family..? Did you know the prison has a cinema? All Inmates have their own little kitchen and nice table with a big window and everything, pretty comfortable bed also. Ohh they also have internet access  isn't it great!.....NOT!!!

This place is CRIME HAVEN.. You can literally run somebody over and kill him! On purpose with your car and get off by telling the authorities that you fell asleep, you just get a short manslaughter sentence a little fine and a new drivers test! And don't get me wrong, prison here is LUXURY.. It's just like home! Some of the criminals in danish prisons actually do crime just to get locked up because it's so nice, they get free meals and get to sit in a nice cell all day long. If they are bored they can well... Get their girlfriends to come over or go to the cinema.

Guess what? This country even has Open prisons.. Yeah that's right the inmates get a curfew and they can leave.

I?m telling you, leave this glorified idea it?s a fairytale. The list of negative things is basically too long to mention here but the day one of you unfortunate fools move here and tries to buy a car please call me! I really want to hear the trembling in your voice when you find out that a small factory new eco car will cost you $70.000 and upwards, or that the real estate broker is trying to charge you $600.000 for a half decent hundred year old apartment.. (they are literally 100+ year old most places)

You know there is a reason why denmark is having so much trouble holding on to a decent educated workforce.. because the youth of this country immedietly leaves after they finish up the university. They move to america, germany, italy spain etc.. Completely debt free. This is really one of the only true good benefits, a free education system that you can exploit and then move to a better country.

Please have a look at this file written buy a Dane before you consider moving here and PLEASE take the information seriously because it will come back and haunt you the day you are living on this forsaken soil.

http://haxor.dk/articles/dksucks.html

Great article on the danish mentality
http://www.rense.com/general79/brave.htm

Let me tell you, the two worst! and I mean absolutely worst things about this place is the mentality of the people, If you ever come here and buy a really nice house or a car (if you can afford it) don't tell anyone! People will dispice, hate and loath you for it! They won't tell you but you will feel the wrath of their jealousy.. If you're lucky you might have a few people who will congratulate you. There are a few things in this country that is absolutely taboo.. Success and Wealth! They won't have it! They will hate you for it, If you are an american who have a few million saved up on your account and ready to retire in Denmark.. Just don't! And if you do remember to tell people that you are making whatever the average salary is that year, that way you can avoid social persecution.

Anyways you can read more about this sort of social behavior if you google "law of jante" , danish society is basically built around these fictional rules.


Let me just give you Americans a little piece of advice and I hope that you take it seriously.
If you really must insist that this place is ?OHHhh Soo! heavenly!!? Consider moving to southeren Sweden and drive to Denmark to work across the bridge connecting the two countries.. Just As many other danes who have seen the  light  are already doing, sweden is a MUCH cleaner country, the streets are dirtless unlike Danish streets. Everything isn?t taxed to death.. I mean even toilet paper and toothpaste is taxed in Denmark for god sake!! In sweden cars are tax free so you will be able to buy a really decent car at very cheap prices.. Believe me, you will thank me when the harsh winter kicks in.. It?s no fun riding your bicycle in pouring rain and snow even though it does look OoooOoohhh so idyllic when watching propaganda videos of happy bicyclists videos of Ultra-Socialist Denmark on Youtube.

In sweden houses and apartments are alot more high standard and affordable, Swedes are more financially liberal and the goverment won?t try to snake out hundreds of different rules and regualtions to try taxing you for something you don?t really need or want. And of course sweden is also a socialist country so there will be ?free-healthcare? for you people that apparently crave this fairytale public service. Basically you can have the best of both worlds.. The Wonderful finacial freedom and cleanliness of sweden.. Not to mention the beautiful nature but you can also recieve the mediocre but safe salary in Denmark.
to sum this up.. DENMARK IS NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS! DON?T BE STUPID PEOPLE.

Living in sweden while driving to work in Denmark is probably the ultimate luxury for the average welfare leeching underachiever of socialist scandinavia and this is the ultimate truth that I have concluded after living here for 20 years so whether or not you choose to believe this is entirely up to you.

And no I'm not old and grumpy but young and healthy, the lose backbone of this country that will hopefully leave soon if everyting turns out as planned.

If you have any questions please post them here.. If this rant helped you realize how shi.tty this place is please tell me! Then atleast I will know that I saved a few fools.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/world/398666-denmark-sucks-happiest-nation-my-ass.html
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987

kimba1

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 03:33:12 PM »
huh??

I thought bhutan was
they even did a 20/20 special on it.
the country is so poor the government started a happiness program.
but it did mention that it is slipping abit due to the internet.
material possesions can be quite tempting to lure people away from happiness
says one bhutan tourist visiting the states

which makes sense
lets be honest we work and pay bills.
but we don`t actively think about being happy.
we do things that we think will give us joy.
but don`t try to simplify such things
and lot of us don`t even bother to try.
I say this because I have a friend who didn`t vacation for over 5 years.


p.s. I thought it`s the sweds with the high suicide rate?
something about the culture that glories deppression
ex. bergman films

_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 03:52:51 PM »
Wow...what is with the intense hatred?

I rather liked the article. Plus, it wasn't written by an American.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

BT

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 03:59:36 PM »
What hatred. I like the Danes and by extension the Icelandics. But they do have a high suicide rate and that indicates at least some level of unhappiness.


_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 04:11:26 PM »
What hatred. I like the Danes and by extension the Icelandics. But they do have a high suicide rate and that indicates at least some level of unhappiness.

They do, as do the Scottish (which is even higher).

I don't know the answer to that. There are many possible factors and variables that could play a role in the mental health of the people in these societies. I don't know the answer to your question Bt. I looked it up (though on Wikipedia) and there are twenty-six countries ahead of Denmark as far as suicide rate is concerned. I don't see any real discerning pattern in those twenty-six countries.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

BT

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 04:17:42 PM »
My understanding is it had a lot to do with the higher latitudes and the resultant reduction of sunshine during the winter months as well as an above average consumption of alcohol.

But who knows.

Nonetheless I am happy that the Danes are happy. Used to be they were a melancholy sort.


_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 04:24:35 PM »
My understanding is it had a lot to do with the higher latitudes and the resultant reduction of sunshine during the winter months as well as an above average consumption of alcohol.

But who knows.

Nonetheless I am happy that the Danes are happy. Used to be they were a melancholy sort.

I've heard that as well. It would seem to explain the higher suicide rates in places like Scotland, Finland, and Seattle as well. I think that Greenland has a high suicide rate as well.

The Danes may be a lot like the Germans...just not a very emotionally expressive bunch.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 05:08:30 PM »
Is the secret of happyness , low expectations?

Perhaps expectations that match the reality of responsibility and resorces as they are helps a preson acheive satisfaction .

Expecting personal wealth and power more than can be got might lead to dissatisfaction under any circumstance .

In North Korea people seem to be quite happy with little controll of their destiny , but they are kept in the dark more than mushrooms , is ignorance really bliss?

The Danes have access to the worlds press , so ignorance can't be the whole answer.

_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008, 05:34:25 PM »
Is the secret of happyness , low expectations?

Perhaps expectations that match the reality of responsibility and resorces as they are helps a preson acheive satisfaction .

Expecting personal wealth and power more than can be got might lead to dissatisfaction under any circumstance .

In North Korea people seem to be quite happy with little controll of their destiny , but they are kept in the dark more than mushrooms , is ignorance really bliss?

The Danes have access to the worlds press , so ignorance can't be the whole answer.

You have a sociological study that shows that North Koreans are happy?

What makes you think that Danes are "underachieving?" They seem to be doing very well. Their country has put up financial statistics better than the United States.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 05:36:03 PM »
Is the secret of happyness , low expectations?

Perhaps expectations that match the reality of responsibility and resorces as they are helps a preson acheive satisfaction .

Expecting personal wealth and power more than can be got might lead to dissatisfaction under any circumstance .

In North Korea people seem to be quite happy with little controll of their destiny , but they are kept in the dark more than mushrooms , is ignorance really bliss?

The Danes have access to the worlds press , so ignorance can't be the whole answer.

You have a sociological study that shows that North Koreans are happy?

What makes you think that Danes are "underachieving?" They seem to be doing very well. Their country has put up financial statistics better than the United States.

Certainly , ask the North Koreans if they are happy the same way the Danes were asked , I bet on a 100% score.

_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008, 05:42:52 PM »
Is the secret of happyness , low expectations?

Perhaps expectations that match the reality of responsibility and resorces as they are helps a preson acheive satisfaction .

Expecting personal wealth and power more than can be got might lead to dissatisfaction under any circumstance .

In North Korea people seem to be quite happy with little controll of their destiny , but they are kept in the dark more than mushrooms , is ignorance really bliss?

The Danes have access to the worlds press , so ignorance can't be the whole answer.

You have a sociological study that shows that North Koreans are happy?

What makes you think that Danes are "underachieving?" They seem to be doing very well. Their country has put up financial statistics better than the United States.

Certainly , ask the North Koreans if they are happy the same way the Danes were asked , I bet on a 100% score.

So you are insinuating that the Danes were forced by their government to answer positively?
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008, 05:45:12 PM »
Is the secret of happyness , low expectations?

Perhaps expectations that match the reality of responsibility and resorces as they are helps a preson acheive satisfaction .

Expecting personal wealth and power more than can be got might lead to dissatisfaction under any circumstance .

In North Korea people seem to be quite happy with little controll of their destiny , but they are kept in the dark more than mushrooms , is ignorance really bliss?

The Danes have access to the worlds press , so ignorance can't be the whole answer.

You have a sociological study that shows that North Koreans are happy?

What makes you think that Danes are "underachieving?" They seem to be doing very well. Their country has put up financial statistics better than the United States.

Certainly , ask the North Koreans if they are happy the same way the Danes were asked , I bet on a 100% score.

So you are insinuating that the Danes were forced by their government to answer positively?


Hmmmm........ that seems unlikely in Dennmark , likely in NKorea.


_JS

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Re: The Happiest People on Earth
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 05:47:31 PM »
So really...you have no point of any merit?
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.