The US Department of American Exceptionalism is vigorously taking exception to a world happiness survey conducted by Gallup Inc. that claims Americans have only the 33rd highest amount of well-being among the populations of the 148 countries polled.
Said Lisa Whithaus from the DOAE, “You better believe we’re contesting these results. How in the world can Gallup call its methods scientific when they don’t even factor in the unfair double boost in happiness the rest of the world must have gotten from the opportunity to lie about how happy they are just so they could beat America at something.
“Nor, while we’re at it, did Gallup bother to take into account the unfair drop in happiness Americans have experienced thanks to the rash of similarly distorted rankings that have kept America out of the top spot in terms of education and health care and human rights and any number of other areas.”
Added DOAE public communications director Tiffany Witherspoon, “Let’s just say for the sake of argument that somehow there really are 32 peoples in the world who have amassed more happiness than we have.
“What I would say to them is, What on earth does happiness even have to do with it? The last time I checked, the inalienable right the Creator endowed all men with was the Pursuit of Happiness, not Happiness itself, which, by the way, there’s nothing better than for snuffing out the will to Pursue Happiness.
“I would also tell the 32 big winners of this Gallup survey that I hope they’re not letting themselves get too happy about beating America in a rankings contest whose metrics are totally moot.
“Who cares if Panamanians got a better night’s rest in the previous day than we did? So what if Paraguayans and El Salvadorians got more respect or if Venezuelans had more laughs or if Guatemalans and Filipinos got to do more of what was interesting to them or if Thailanders experienced more feelings of enjoyment?
“When you start asking questions that measure what matters, America starts wiping all the big dumb bright white smiles off all the happy happy faces of all the brown people with the joygerm fever. How do you think Trinidad and Tobago or Ecuador or Costa Rica would do on this little five-question survey:
“How many hours above and beyond the minimum of eight did you put into your Pursuit of Happiness in the previous day? What are you willing to sacrifice in terms of Life and Liberty in your Pursuit of Happiness? How big a personal share of the common pie of Happiness are you willing to Pursue for yourself? What are you willing to do to your fellow vyers for slices of the pie of Happiness in your Pursuit of Happiness? How many resource-rich countries are you willing to have your tax dollars pay for invading in the interest of furthering your own personal Pursuit of Happiness?”
“Oh and by the way,” said Ms. Whithaus, “we’re not exactly happy about Gallup’s having served up to Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan and Haiti the perfect opportunity to make America look bad by winding up at the very bottom of the happiness rankings and thereby imply that America’s deep involvement in their societies has somehow damaged their national well-being.”
In the face of relentless DOAE criticism, Gallup Inc. is standing by the results of their world happiness survey.
Said one company official, “If anything, America should probably have scored much lower than 33rd. Absent America’s wild success at Pursuing Happiness through violent widespread neoconservative foreign adventures and through highly infectious neoliberal principles and practices, a good many more countries would very likely rise above the US on the totem pole of national well-being.”