BLOG SOUP--Kevin Drum says people really aren't engulfed in existential despair after all:
I hate to throw a wet blanket on this pity party, but perhaps we should take a look at a few other data points before we decide that America is on the brink of a mass Jim Jones extinction event. For starters, here's a map from the 2015 World Happiness Report. Basically, it shows that most rich countries are pretty happy, including the United States:
For the record, we came in 15th. That's toward the low end of rich countries, but still pretty happy. Next up is a long-running Gallup poll about personal satisfaction:
There are surely pockets of despair. We've been hearing a lot about how white middle aged people are killing themselves or living with addiction and illness in much greater numbers than before.
So I don't mean to make light of those things. But generally speaking the country has not changed substantially. We aren't the happiest nation on earth (that would be Disneyland) but most Americans don't feel they're living in a dystopian hellscape.
Just yet anyway.
(Heather Parton blogs under the pseudonym Digby at the blog site she created: Hullabaloo and also writes for ourfuture.org)
Vol 13 Issue 91
Pub: Nov 10, 2015
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