Following Sarkozy’s happiness commission, the latest effort to come up with a broader measure of national well-being than mere GDP has been made by the London-based Legatum Institute. Legatum’s ”Prosperity Index” sounds like it is weighted towards economics. But, in fact, the institute tries to take into account a great many factors in producing its national rankings, these include health, entrepeneurship, democractic governance etc. The Finns are apparently the best-off people in the world, according to this measure. Strange then, that they are so catatonic. Maybe that is the secret of their success.
In the manner of these reports, Legatum tries to come up with ten “key findings”. These include “freedom cannot be divided”, “good governance is central to life satisfaction” and most sweeping of all, “History is not destiny.” Blimey. Who said it was? And what would it mean if history was destiny?