.by Anura Guruge
Prior ‘The Economist’ related post:
>> Where I get my irreverent humor … Nov. 30, 2012.
A 1988 index that ranked 50 countries had U.S. as #1. See below.
This is, of course, a very subjective list, based on an ‘happiness’ quotient.
Some of it makes sense to me. That Sri Lanka, where I was born in 1953, came ahead of India (#66), Pakistan (#75) and Bangladesh (#77), the three neighbouring countries makes sense, even given India’s now bestriding economy. Yes, given a choice, even today, between those 4 countries, I will, without hesitation, pick Sri Lanka.
Yes, of the top countries I have been to: Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Austria & Belgium. (Yes, I have been to Canada and Germany multiple times, but it is not something I want to brag about.)
Yes, all of those countries makes sense. Just last week I did mention that I had thought about moving to Belgium in the mid-1980s — and ended up coming here, for what I thought was a 2-year ‘tax’ exile.
Switzerland is indubitably nice. I could live there. Denmark is beyond wonderful. In 1984 I drove across Denmark in a convertible, silver TR-7. Many people in the countryside had never seen a TR-7. Beautiful country. Delightful people. I know Sweden quite well. Not sure I would want to live there. Even by New Hampshire standards their winters are grim. Alcoholism and suicide due to the weather used to be a huge problem. Not sure what it is now.
The Netherlands is great in all respects. Great, great people. I have spent a lot of time in Holland.
Yes, I understand how Canada comes in at #9, but I could never live there. I have even stopped visiting — though I used to go very often. I think of it as the frozen tundra to the north of us. I have been to Israel. Wasn’t the greatest trip. It was in 1992. And officials thought I was and treated me as a Palestinian. That was not one. But most of the people are very nice and you can’t beat the location.
Anyway … here is an extract from the 1988 list: