Aussies are happy, but they don’t know it
by ronrichmond | on May 23, 2012
Smile, we’re the world’s happiest nation
The title, the picture, the caption,
and the story below were headlined in the
Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 23 May 2012.
My title for the blog and the caption
probably best reflects the surprise for
most Aussies with the news from this story.
More comments on that later.
Happy Aussies, what a surprise!
Australia is the world’s happiest nation,
beating Norway and US,
based on criteria including income,
jobs, housing and health compiled by the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Australia led all rich nations,
the Paris-based group’s Better Life Index showed,
when each of 11 categories surveyed in 36 nations
is given equal weight.
Happy Aussies even live longer
Life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years,
two years higher than the OECD average, the survey showed.
More than 72 per cent of people aged 15 to 64
in Australia have a paid job,
above the OECD average of 66 per cent.
Happy Aussies sidestepped the recession
Australia was the only major developed nation
to avoid the 2009 worldwide recession and the
government is aiming to return its budget
to surplus in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
A mining investment boom has spurred hiring and
driven the unemployment rate below 5 per cent,
even as the strong Aussie dollar
- recent falls notwithstanding -
hurts manufacturing and tourism.
“Australia performs exceptionally well
in measures of well-being,
as shown by the fact that it ranks
among the top countries in a
large number of topics in the Better Life Index,”
said the OECD, a body representing the world’s developed nations.
As Europe faces years of fiscal austerity,
Australia’s budget surplus would make it
one of the first developed nations to emerge
from an era of red ink caused by the worldwide
financial crisis that started in 2008.
But happy Aussies are grumpy in the local polls
“We’ve all just lived through the biggest economic meltdown
since the Great Depression,”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a May 9 interview,
when asked why her government has low poll ratings.
“While Australia has largely dodged that bullet
- we didn’t have a recession, for example -
it has had an impact on people.
“We’re a government with a big reform agenda,” she said.
“I’m not surprised there’s some nervousness in the community.”
Still, Australia’s unemployment rate is tipped by the OECD
to rise as industries outside of mining struggle.
The nation’s jobless rate will climb to 5.7 per cent in 2013
from 5.4 per cent this year.
That would match a level reached in September 2009 and be
higher than the average in the past decade of 5.2 per cent.
“Mining expansion will continue,
but some other sectors are having to adjust to the high level
of the exchange rate and raise their productivity,
which can be expected to weigh on the labor market,”
the OECD said in the report.
“Faster fiscal consolidation will also weigh somewhat on demand.”
Happy Aussies even have a Budget surplus
Gillard’s government plans a $46 billion swing to a budget surplus,
helping to provide the Reserve Bank with more scope to cut interest rates.
The central bank has cut the benchmark interest rate
by a percentage point to 3.75 per cent in the past six months
to stoke demand as a 41 per cent gain in the dollar against the
greenback since 2008 hurts non-resource exporters, tourism and education.
More jobs for happy Aussies
Australia’s unemployment rate fell last month to 4.9 per cent,
the lowest level since April 2011, from 5.2 per cent in March,
a government report showed this month.
Core inflation slowed to a 13-year low in the first quarter
as the currency’s strength contained prices.
“In the absence of inflationary pressures,
the accommodating monetary stance which accompanies this budget-
tightening should help limit the risk of weakening employment,” the OECD said.
Australia is also one of the world’s safest
trade and foreign investment destinations,
ranking alongside Canada, Germany, Norway and Sweden,
according to an analysis of 131 countries on
Dun & Bradstreet Corp’s Global Risk Indicator.
“Solid gross domestic product growth,
relative to other developed economies,
contributes to Australia’s status as
one of the world’s safest trade destinations,”
according to the report.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/
So what do you think of us happy Aussies?
Not bad, huh?
Australia, the place to be!
Bondi Beach, the Gold Coast
Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge
We even have jobs, a strong currency
a good place to invest!
That’s a WOW story!!!!!
So why aren’t we happy Aussies
jumping over the moon for joy?
Because everything is relative.
Yes, we’re also hurting in Australia
We just don’t realize that it’s not as bad
as in most other countries in the world.
The situation with our hung parliament doesn’t help
The opposition exercises its bloodthirsty right
to shriek and whine and shout insults constantly
in their quest to topple the government, no matter what!
The conservative media thrive on these opportunities
to sell more papers and airtime and ratings
And all the unhappy Aussies get to hear is
About a hopeless future!
No wonder we Aussies are so easily
conditioned by the bad press
about our terrible plight and
a hopeless future.
So it takes an independent thinktank in Europe
to analyze all the countries of the world
and give us happy aussies the best marks
even if we don’t know it.
We’re happy Aussies, we know it, and we’ll clap our hands
in spite of the bad press
and the constant shrieking of the opposition
I’m happy to be in Australia
I’m proud to be Australian
I do think this is the best country in the world
Whenever I travel,
I’m so happy when I finally land back in Sydney
Yes, this is the land of happy Aussies
Even if we don’t know it.
This is the land of opportunity
Of fair play and consideration of everyone.
That’s why I’m blogging about this story
and adding my two bits worth.
I just happen to enjoy blogging
Because I’m a member of the Empower Network.
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