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Big government makes happier people researchers claim

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage at the campus of Lehman College for the Dream Big Day at the Bronx Children's Museum on July 25, 2014, in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage at the campus of Lehman College for the Dream Big Day at the Bronx Children's Museum on July 25, 2014, in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Research styled as a conversation starter by the scientists that conducted the study indicates that industrialized countries that have bigger government influence on economic factors produce happier people. The study was conducted by Dr. Patrick Flavin, assistant professor of political science in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and Texas A&M University. The research was presented on Aug. 15, 2014, at the Baylor University website.

The study is based on the response of 50,000 people in 21 industrialized countries including North America, Australia, Japan, and Europe. The simplistic response to the question “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?" was recorded on a scale of 10. The respondents were part of the World Values Survey from 1981 to 2007 and all factors like health, wealth, employment, education level, and marital status were statistically eliminated from the evaluation.

Denmark is the happiest with a score of 8.20. Japan is the least happy with a score of 6.63. The United States came in at 11 with a score of 7.61. Canada was just a little happier than the U. S. with a score of 7.82. The rankings do parallel the level of government involvement in the given country’s economy and the largess of the given country’s welfare system.

The idea behind the study was to gauge the reality of individual happiness based on four measures of government policy. The indices were the rate of government consumption as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), social program expenditures as a percentage of GDP, welfare state generosity, and control of the labor market by government. The conflict between free market economists and those favoring higher levels of government intervention in the markets is an expected result of the research.

Considering the retirement of the baby boom generation and the costs for Medicare for these people, the United States is destined to become happier if poorer. Likewise, the Affordable Care Act has destined most working people in the U. S. to be poorer while making other people happy. Based on the research results, the Republicans do not have a prayer of winning the Presidency of the United States no matter their candidate.