Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Satisfied Israelis

Never-ending wars, economic gloom, terrible drivers, consistently idiotic politicians, hordes of nasty antisemites, Iranian bombs, hot summers and drought in winter, taxes... and the Israelis keep on smiling. Or rather, endlessly kvetching but fundamentally smiling. I challenge you to find any society anywhere with levels of satisfaction with life to equal those of the Israelis, as detailed here. Even the Israeli Arabs mostly agree, though with less exuberance.

The numbers have been mostly consistent for years and years. Partly they reflect Israelis' conviction that things really are pretty good. Second, they reflect the typical Israeli conviction that life is fundamentally what we make of it, so why complain? Most profoundly, however, the consistently stratospheric levels of satisfaction stem from the recognition that compared to the previous 2,000 years or so, we're living in a miracle.

1 comment:

Dimitry said...

Yaakov, I recently saw Economist's "World's most innovative countries" report. I don't have a link, only a pdf sent to me by a colleague. It is very interesting. Israel is #9 and projected to rise to #8 in 5 years. The most important thing, though, at least in my view, is that the ranking is combined from the actual innovation and political atmosphere that contributes to it. Israel is #27 in the political atmosphere and projected to fall to #30. We are swimming upstream, big time. Maybe Netanyahu's policies towards high-tech will slightly improve matters.