NEWS AND OPINION:
Amid global turmoil and uncertainty, a massive new Ipsos poll of 19,516 adults in 27 countries reveals the happiest nation on the planet.
“The happiness leader in 2020 is China, where 93% say they are happy, up 11 percentage points from last year,” says the poll analysis, released Monday.
“The only country showing a significant increase in happiness since 2011 is China,” the analysis notes.
Netherlands is ranked second at 87%, followed by Saudi Arabia (80%), France and Canada, both at 78%. The U.S. ranked 11th on the list, with 70% of respondents indicating they are happy. On average, 63% of the global population agree.
“The incidence of happiness shows significant shifts in many countries: it has declined by eight percentage points or more in Peru, Chile, Mexico, India, the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Spain, while it has increased by more than eight percentage points in China, Russia, Malaysia, and Argentina,” Ipsos wrote.
The pollster measured 29 “drivers” of happiness, which range from physical health and well-being to family relations, personal safety, living conditions and meaningful employment. Social media, incidentally, brought the world population the least happiness, cited by just 11%.
In the last decade, the incidence of happiness has decreased sharply. The percentage of those saying they are happy has fallen by 14 percentage points globally. It is down by five percentage points or more in 17 out of 23 countries surveyed both years. Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, Spain and India show drops of more than 20 points.
The poll of adults was conducted July 24-Aug. 7 in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.
THE POLITICS OF FEAR
“COVID-19: The Politics of Fear and the Power of Science” arrives Tuesday from Turner Books with a clear message. Manipulative forces have co-opted coronavirus and stolen the nation’s peace of mind.
And who or what are these forces? They are government, the news media and our own psyche, says author Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and a Fox News analyst whose fans include President Trump and Fox News heavyweights Tucker Carlson and Mark Levin.
“An attempt to put this pandemic in proper medical context was immediately overcome by politics,” writes Dr. Siegel, citing partisan infighting, apocalyptic headlines, riots, protests, fear mongering and lockdowns which has marred everyday life.
“The virus is dangerous. The virus provokes fear out of proportion to the risk. This fear is its own corrosive disease and causes us to jump to quick answers, often over-politicized by a media hoping for ratings and politicians anxious to control us. This fear leads to dogma and distrust, premature judgement, hypocrisy and pseudoscience,” Dr. Siegel tells Inside the Beltway.
“The solution? Trust science — which has been proceeding in an incredible rate both in terms of understanding the virus and treating it and vaccinating against it,” the author continues — offering one more doctor’s order.
“Exercise kindness to others, and courage. These emotions are processed by the same brain centers which process fear,” Dr. Siegel says.
REJECTING THE RELIGIOUS LITMUS TEST
Americans reject the notion that Judge Amy Coney Barrett‘s Catholic faith should be a factor in her confirmation as Supreme Court justice.
“Three-out-of-four voters say a candidate’s religious faith should not determine whether he or she can serve on the high court,” declares a new Rasmussen Reports survey which found finds that just 16% of likely U.S. voters think a nominee’s religion should be a deciding factor in determining who sits on the Supreme Court.
Another 77% reject the idea that Catholics should be barred from serving on the Supreme Court because of their abortion beliefs.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Oct. 8-11.
‘CALIFORNIA-STYLE SINGLE-PARTY NATION’
What’s in store for the nation if Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden wins in three weeks?
“Here’s the game plan: Eliminate the filibuster so Democrats can pass whatever they want with a simple majority. Pack the Supreme Court with far-left liberals to overwhelm any conservative majority. Add four more Democratic Senate seats and 10 more Electoral College votes by making D.C. and Puerto Rico states,” says an Issues & Insights editorial.
“And voila, Democrats will have cleared the way for them to get their Green New Deal, Medicare for All, minimum-wage raising, pro-union, open-borders, tax-the-rich agenda enacted. They will have jammed the court with justices who won’t bat an eye at any Constitution-bending laws Democrats pass. And they will have made it far more difficult for Republicans to win the presidency or a Senate majority in the future,” the news organization says.
“Democrats will also be able to enact the ‘For the People Act,’ which was the first bill they introduced when they took control of the House. This legislation would dramatically expand government regulation of political speech, making it harder for Republicans to raise money, and it would federalize the election process — making it easier for Democrats to cheat,” the publications advises.
“In short, if Biden wins and Democrats gain control of the Senate, they will be in a position to turn us into a California-style single-party nation.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 39% of U.S. adults say Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris is “very liberal”; 82% of conservatives, 25% of moderates and 12% of liberals agree.
• 26% say she is “liberal”; 9% of conservatives, 27% of moderates and 51% of liberals agree.
• 20% say she is “moderate”; 3% of conservatives, 32% of moderates and 27% of liberals agree.
• 2% say she is “conservative”; 1% of conservatives, 3% of moderates and 1% of liberals agree.
• 14% are not sure of her ideology; 5% of conservatives, 12% of moderates and 9% of liberals agree.
Source: AN Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 4-6.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.