Happy mystery

In: Uncategorized

13 Jul 2009

A wry piss-take of the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index (see posts of 7 and 11 August 2006) by Professor Wilfred Beckerman in a letter in Saturday’s Financial Times:

Sir, Regarding the “Happy Planet Index” that ranks countries according to their happiness and lack of environmental degradation (July 4): it showed that “among the rich countries the highest is the Netherlands – but it manages only 43rd”. The UK is 74th. The highest ranking countries are in Latin America, with Costa Rica top and crisis-ridden Honduras 10th.

Why is it then that millions of people are trying to emigrate from the happy poor countries to the rich countries and there is so little movement in the reverse direction? If, rightly or wrongly, immigration into the rich countries is thought to be excessive, perhaps the solution is to give all would-be immigrants a copy of the Happy Planet report.

I presume that as soon as they reached their conclusions the UK-based authors of the report immediately packed their bags. Personally, I shall stay here.

Wilfred Beckerman,?Emeritus Fellow,?Balliol College, Oxford, UK