Friday, September 1, 2006

Vanuatu: Happiness Heaven or Fraud? / Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List'

The New Economics Foundation published a recent study where Vanuatu was declared the happiest country on Earth. Later this result was found to be an extrapolation- basically just an assumption they used as gospel. Cato-at-liberty had some choice words to say about this study:

But really! Multiply life expectancy by life satisfaction and divide it by environmental impact? That is, to be over-charitable, completely arbitrary. This is an index of, at best, the New Economic Foundation’s ideological preferences. It is a totally intellectually vacuous product meant to garner headlines, and it worked, to the shame of the Bloombergs and UPIs of the world.

Furthermore, it cheapens the work of real social scientists attempting to measure happiness and well-being. I worry that much of the happiness work is ideologically loaded, but most of it is at least an honest attempt study human welfare empirically. Too much of it, however, is stuff like the NEF’s index, basically an attempt to persuasively define something like “happiness” so that it comports with a statist, anti-growth agenda. This is sheer politics brazenly posturing as social science.

According to, innocent people are being put on the US government's black list every month:

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they're reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they're required to submit at least one report a month. If they don't, there's no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

"Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft ... and they did nothing wrong," said one federal air marshal.

1 comment:

relvis said...

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No one can be trusted so it better safe then sorry. We get our tax returns from the government so trying to hide wont help.