Isn’t this a horror

It’s official: America has the most billionaires in the world, for yet another year.

OK, Google tells me it’s 614 of them.

Finland, the happiest country in the world, has just six billionaires.

Hmm, Finland’s population is 5.5 million, the US 330 million. So, adjusting for population size we’d get 360 Finnish billionaires. Sure, that’s different from 614 but not that different, is it? Also, the US GDP per capita is about 24, 25% higher, again closing the gap.

As usual, The Guardian is giving us numbers not rates and being misleading in doing so…..

29 thoughts on “Isn’t this a horror”

  1. I’d suspect that the unhappiest countries in the world also have approximately 6 billionaires — all members of the dictator’s family.

  2. As usual, The Guardian is giving us numbers not rates and being misleading in doing so…..

    Not quite. Sometimes they give rates but not numbers and mislead in a marginally different fashion.

  3. “Finland, the happiest country in the world, has just six billionaires.”

    “According to a survey of drinking habits, the alcohol consumption of at least 13% of the population is sufficient to increase their long-term health risks. This is equivalent to 560,000 Finns.”

  4. The Meissen Bison

    I imagine that what makes the Finns so content (apart from the booze) is not their lack of billionaires but their homogeneity.

  5. Are Finns happy? The music of Sibelius is often rather melancholy or tinged with menace. The Moomins often seem depressed…

  6. Do we really want to copy the happiest country on earth?
    In the past the winners have included Denmark, Panama and Colombia.
    I have spent a lot of time in Denmark and Colombia and if you try to copy both of them you will end up crazy – they are very different places.

  7. Imagine how happy they’d be if they had no billionaires, like Niger or the Central African Republic

  8. Poppy Noor is supposedly a Cambridge psychology grad. Half of a psych course is statistics. So she’s either stupid or dishonest. She should know better than to mislead.

  9. “Inequality” ???

    This is crass ENVY.

    Kill the rich, take their stuff. Tear down a statue, bitch.

    ‘Wealth in the US isn’t trickling down when compared to other countries. Just look at Finland, the happiest country in the world: it only has six billionaires’

    How is Finland’s having fewer billionaires evidence of wealth not trickling down in US?

    She is interested in wealth being taken, not trickling down.

    ‘In the absence of a national paid leave policy, it is up to companies to provide paid leave to its employees.’

    It is up to employees to decide where they work, paid vacation being a consideration.

    ‘In fact, there are a lot of basic services that other similarly wealthy countries provide as a minimum that just aren’t given to Americans.’

    “You damn Americans need to go socialist like us!”

    Then we’ll have fewer billionaires like you.

  10. Of course, maybe all the really successful Finns who hate the place and the diet of herring and probably communal saunas.

    Name a famous living Finn. It’ll be one of a couple of racing drivers who live in Monaco or Linus Torvalds, who lives in America.

    I’ve been to Denmark, liked the place, but live there? It’s damn cold, even just off summer.

    I think the best place to live in the world is probably around Tours in France, or whatever the equivalent in other countries. Nice and warm, but never too hot. Southern England is pretty decent, too. What’s the US equivalent? Delaware?

  11. @Bloke on M4
    For climate the best place in the world would be somewhere up a mountain in South America as it has quite a narrow range of temperatures. I.e. Bogota if you like it coolish, Popayan a bit warmer, La Paz very cold etc.

    Denmark is ok but as they all speak English learning the language is a pain.

  12. Obligato

    6 / 5.5 * 330 = 360

    What are you smoking..:)

    (10.23 compares with 6. Tim’s comparing a hypothetical 360 with 614. Same comparison)

  13. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    Poppy Noor is supposedly a Cambridge psychology grad. Half of a psych course is statistics. So she’s either stupid or dishonest.

    It’s more likely “and” as opposed to “either… or”.

  14. Dennis, Septic to the Masses

    Funny, I don’t see Mexicans, Syrians or San Franciscans making a mad dash for the Finnish border.

  15. We had one of our all time favourite meals in Tours. At the railway station restaurant. There aren’t enough exclamation marks in the universe to emphasise that last point enough.

  16. Mind you Tours can’t be the best spot because it’s not looking south over water. (Or north if you’re thinking of NZ.)

  17. The contrast between socialist Noor and capitalist Trump couldn’t be more stark:

    She wants fewer billionaires. Trump wants more.

    What makes America great* is the availability of capital. Get an idea for a business, and if the story is good enough, you can get someone to finance it. Get an idea in a socialist country – or a poor one – and there is nothing you can do with it. It is useless to dream in socialist countries. This is a great human tragedy, the truth of which should be shaken into creeps like Noor. There is nothing like the feeling that you can develop a good idea here. It opens up your life.

    I’ll take opportunity over ‘happiness’ every time.

    *I had a friend years ago who was a Polish émigré. He had defected from the Soviet Bloc when here in the U.S. participating in a sporting event. I had heard of such people in the news back in the day. He once asked me what makes America great. It was a quiz; he already had an answer. With no hesitation, I said, “Capital.” His eyes lit up, and he exclaimed, “That’s right!” I knew the answer because I had worked in businesses that had capital available, and ones that didn’t. It changes everything.

  18. I think the best place to live in the world is probably around Tours in France, or whatever the equivalent in other countries. Nice and warm, but never too hot.

    Canary Islands are good if you want all year round warm-but-not-hot.

  19. I realize that people take survey after survey, but I always assume that those countries deemed the happiest are places where the survey adherents think they would be happiest and questions are skewed accordingly. I don’t think I’d be happy living in Finland, though I’d probably prefer it to the Sudan.

  20. Gamecock. Certainly. The reason American scientists, including so many foreign born scientists, win so many Nobel Prizes is because their research can secure support here more readily than wherever they were born.

  21. Question: If Finns in Finland are so happy, why am I living in a town where the largest group of ex-pats are Finns?

  22. No, it’s not true, Finns are not the happiest. High taxes, mosquitoes in the summer, Somalis, etc. Gone down the pan since the early 90’s. Only two things I miss, my lake house and my saunas which I had 3 at one stage. Dip in the lake, sauna, beer, lake, sauna, beer, rinse, repeat.

  23. Michael van der Riet

    As Ismo the Finnish expat comic says,

    Don’t tell a Finn that Finland is the happiest country in the world unless you want to make him unhappy. He will look around and think, “Why is everyone else happy and I’m not?”

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