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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Republicans Are Making America Sad Again

Republicans Are Making America Sad Again
- America is a prosperous nation, but not a super happy one. That's been true for a while. But the policies of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are making matters worse. That's according to the latest "World Happiness Report," which is put together by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in conjunction with the United Nations.
Per capita income in America has tripled since the 1960s, but we are no happier now, collectively, than we were then. "Per capita GDP is still rising, but happiness is now actually falling," writes Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report's authors. Indeed, in 2007 America ranked third in happiness among the 35 member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. By 2016, we were down to 19th place.
A rising per capita GDP, after all, doesn't mean much in a nation with rapidly growing inequality. To get that number, economists simply divide the value of the nation's total economic output by the population. So if the rich are getting vastly richer while the poor have stagnant wages, per capita GDP may increase anyway. Boosting a person's income, in any case, only goes so far in contributing to their well-being. Once your basic needs are reasonably met—food, clothing, shelter, transportation, entertainment—it's pretty well established that more money doesn't equal more happiness.