jueves, 28 de junio de 2012

Duodécimo (el 12) puesto en felicidad en el mundo!


El denominado Índice del Planeta Feliz (Happy Planet Index) elaborado por la influyente Fundación Nueva Economía nos muestra una forma diferente de apreciar el éxito de un país dándole al bienestar una categoría de mera medida, lamenta un artículo publicado en The Wall Street Journal.

El diario cuestiona que el influyente índice haya situado a Cuba en el duodécimo puesto mundial entre los países más felices y pone en tela de juicio la lógica y los métodos empleados para arribar a tal conclusión.

La valoración aparenta “medir lo que importa: en qué medida los países generan una larga, feliz y sostenible existencia para sus habitantes”, dice.

Pero las naciones con un alto estándar de vida, agrega, tienden a usar más recursos naturales, y es por eso que el lugar de ser elogiado por tener una economía dinámica y ser el país menos corrupto de África, Botswana figura en el fondo de la lista del Índice, por el daño que infringe a la ecología.

La felicidad económica, agrega, afronta problemas similares, aunque la miden preguntándole a la gente cuán satisfechos se sienten con sus vidas.

El problema es que los horizontes pueden verse un poco limitados cuando uno nace en un poblado asolado por la guerra en Afganistán en vez de haber venido al mundo en una próspera y estable Dinamarca, explica.

Tras precisar que la fundación encargada de elaborar el índice de felicidad es a todas luces una entidad influyente, señala que a contrapelo del lugar conferido a Cuba en la escala de sus mediciones hay hechos que se le escapan.

Existe una razón para que los cubanos regularmente arriesgen (y pierdan) sus vidas, dice, tratando de escapar de su país para llegar a Estados Unidos, y para que no exista un flujo de personas en la dirección opuesta.

“El hecho de que el Índice del Planeta Feliz no pueda captar esas realidades, o elija ignorarlas, bien sugiere –concluye—que sus autores están viviendo en otro planeta”.

http://www.martinoticias.com/content/cuba_indice_felicidad/12330.html

http://www.happyplanetindex.org/


How Cuba Became a Happy Country

By MATTHEW SINCLAIR

In what league does Iraq beat Britain, Haiti beat the United States, and Afghanistan beat Denmark? Political corruption? Violent crime? Temperature? No, welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Happy Planet Index. It is a little window into the way many environmentalists think.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) purports to "measure what matters: the extent to which countries deliver long, happy, sustainable lives for the people that live in them." It beautifully illustrates the two great vices of environmentalist thought: fetishizing resource efficiency above everything else and treating happiness economics with far too much respect.

Countries with high living standards tend to use more natural resources. That's why instead of being praised as having a dynamic economy and being the least corrupt country in Africa, Botswana comes at the bottom of the Happy Planet Index. It scores a pitiful 22.6, way below the Democratic Republic of the Congo (30.5) and Zimbabwe (35.3). Botswana's people might enjoy a much higher standard of living, but that means a larger ecological footprint.

Of course I will use less oil if I walk to work instead of driving or even getting the bus, or if I bring in crops by hand instead of using a combine harvester. The price you pay for that is normally taking a lot more time and therefore being a lot less productive: That's why we have to balance resource efficiency against other priorities. You might be able to consume fewer resources (and create lots of green jobs) by having people run in giant hamster wheels, but that doesn't make it a sensible way to power a city.

Happiness economics has similar problems. It works by asking people how satisfied they are with their lives. To assess "experienced well-being," the Happy Planet Index uses a question called the "Ladder of Life" from the Gallup World Poll. It asks respondents to imagine a ladder, where zero is the worst possible life and 10 is the best possible life, and report the step of the ladder on which they feel they currently stand.

The problem with a question like that is that your horizons might be a little more limited if you've grown up in a war-torn village in Afghanistan instead of prosperous, stable and connected Denmark. The average inhabitant of Copenhagen can probably imagine a more impressive life than the average inhabitant of Kabul, and that means a much higher bar for the real lives to meet.

It's even worse if you've grown up on the American dream. Do we really want to give countries high marks because the people living there treat just scraping by as a real achievement?

The Happy Planet Index hasn't been composed by some lonely obsessive living with his mother and boring a very small number of readers in a rarely visited corner of the Internet. No, the Happy Planet Index has been produced by the New Economics Foundation, a think tank with an annual budget of more than $3.9 million and a staff of more than 50. They may be as mad as a box of frogs, but these people are well-funded and influential.

They are also playing with taxpayers' money. One of the New Economics Foundation's biggest donors in 2010-11—giving them more than $155,000—was the British government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs paid more than $90,000 for another project in 2009 in which the New Economics Foundation produced a report—"Moments of change as opportunities for influencing behaviour"—which looked to Communist Cuba for an example of "mass efficiency improvement."

The Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304870304577490764002841198.html



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