0282 – We are so so poor these days

<EDIT 04/07/2012: Added link to the source of the graph on the right, which I forgot to put in earlier. My apologies.>

When we talk about a nation’s progress, we often talk about the GDP. A steady increase in GDP, consistent with the infinite growth paradigm, the notion that a country’s wealth and GDP can increase forever. A high GDP per capita means that a country is rich, and a lower GDP means the country is relatively poor.

This is a false paradigm.

Many of us are so so poor these days. Continue reading

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0274 – University Towns Score High in Well-Being

Gallup just released this a week ago. University Towns Score High in Well-Being:

Good to see good ol’ Ann Arbor high up on that list. In addition, Ann Arbor tops the list for life evaluation:

Residents of Ann Arbor rate their current lives and their lives in five years the best on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10 based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, giving the city the highest Life Evaluation Index score in the nation. Honolulu again led the nation with the best Emotional Health Index score, while Fort Collins, Colo., displaced a fellow Colorado city, Boulder, with the highest Physical Health Index score in the nation. Prescott, Ariz., had the highest Work Environment Index score, and residents living in Barnstable Town, Mass., had the highest Healthy Behaviors Index score. Appleton, Wis., which did not have a sufficient number of respondents to be reported in previous years, led the nation in residents with the best access to basic necessities.

If you’re intrigued, Gallup also has a neat tool that you can use to compare well-being across different regions.

Now, this is an interesting stat. Ann Arborites in general have indeed been giving off happy vibes. Incidentally, it’s also the greatest city for singles! So we must be doing something right here. Although I hope I won’t have to be in Ann Arbor for this reason. Please, God, send me someone soon.

Anyway, I wish I can delve deeper into this stuff, but unfortunately Gallup doesn’t release complete results of its surveys. From initial look, it seems like we do have the conditions of a great city – somewhat sheltered economy, vibrant job market, healthy options (e.g. local or organic food, public transportation, biking, etc).  That’s where I’m going to plug the Happiness Initiative again. It is aimed to gather comprehensive information of how you feel about your life and the typical conditions that affect happiness. I’m really excited to see what we can find out! Help this boy out and take the survey!