The International Happiness rankings are in, and the news is not good for the United States. In a humiliating reversal of expectations that stunned all but a few of the world’s nations, the first-world nation and so-called ‘last remaining superpower’ finds itself dead last in the rankings. Making matters worse, it appears that happiness quotients in the United States were too low to be accurately measured by the comprehensive survey, resulting in no score at all.
Faring the best at number 1 was the People’s Republic of China. Rounding out the top five were such Shangri-las as North Korea (2), Cuba (3), Iran (4) and Venezuela (5). Although to varying degrees these nations had been thought shitholes (particularly #s 2 & 3), it’s now believed that the authoritarian (and in some cases totalitarian) governments in these top-five governments actually aid happiness by removing many of the daily life-choices that can contribute to unhappiness.
The survey was conducted by pollsters in North Korea, who were no doubt glad to have the work as a distraction from the constant gnawing of hunger in their distended bellies. The polling agency that completed the survey assured various watchdog groups that it employed a highly-subjective and ever-changing set of criteria on which to base its findings.
America’s poor showing in this wholly unbiased study has caused concern throughout the formerly great nation. Scientists such as Dr. Earl Wickenburg of the Bahl-Tikkler Institute blame ‘Plethoritis’–literally the bounty of choices Americans face every day in employment, eating, healthcare and travel–for the US ennui. “Americans think they’re happy,” says Wickenburg, ‘But they’re not ‘Venezuela Happy.’”
Not everybody is surprised by this. ”I totarry saw this coming,” says one high-placed observer, who asked that we call him only by the alias ‘Lil Jim, “Americans think they’re happy, but rearry–they’re so ronery.”
However, if the world economy continues to sour, experts believe that the United States has a chance to improve its dismal status in the rankings. ”If the nation can get back to its lean, mean fighting weight of the Great Depression,” Wickenburg says, “America can usher in a new age of ‘do-without’ greatness.’” According to Wickenburg’s calculations, an indicator of America’s growing happiness will be the complete stanching of northward immigration across the US’s southern border, coupled with the heretofore-unobserved phenomenon of a southward flow into Mexico.