Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Singapore Happy?

Singapore is the happiest Nation in Asia, in 2013, up from 90th out of 151 countries in the Happy Planet Index (HPI) 2012.

Do you believe it? Perhaps? Because UN is soooo trust worthy...

Well, they caused cholera and just tried to cover up right?

To be really happy, and not just reported by UN and by random statistics thrown by the government, there are a few things to consider.

First, the widening income inequality. Singapore’s Gini coefficient has been above the warning line 0.4 for decades, and rose from 0.454 (before Government transfers and taxes) in 2001 to 0.478 in 2012. Singapore’s income gap between rich and poor was higher than the well-developed Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and even worse than the still developing China.

Next, Singapore’s rank in the World Giving Index (WGI), compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation using data gathered by Gallup, fell significantly from 91st in 2010 to 114th in 2012. Singapore was far behind its regional peers Hong Kong (19th), South Korea (45th), Taiwan (52nd) and even lower than the least developed country Bangladesh (109th).

When Singapore -- a materialistic country, with a severe income gap and a society where giving is clearly lacking -- tries to compete in the happiness index, focusing on the measurement index and trying to score points and "win" the system is not a real victory as the root of the problem of unhappiness is still there. There are also many rules and regulations, yet lack of minimum wages and social safety nets.

I guess UN can really help Singapore in the happiness index by running a UN-happy Day in Singapore so it can be ranked highly... Oh wait, they just ranked Singapore as #1 happiest country in Asia.

-- Iron Bowl

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