Its Not InSane But Its Unhappy To Be Poor
It is the Maddening of America and hardly a joyous read I can assure you.
The article suggests, based on extensive studies, that “as many as 20% of American adults may be severely mentally ill. In view of disputes over the significance of available data, let’s assume that only 10% of American adults are severely mentally ill. As these conditions are presumed to be distributed uniformly within the population, they must afflict a significant share of policymakers, corporate executives, educators, and military personnel of all ranks, recurrently rendering them psychotic, delusional, and deprived of sound judgment.”
However the statistic I found most interesting is this.
“Southeast Asian countries appear to be especially immune to the bane of severe mental illness; in other regions, poverty, or lack of development, seems to offer a protective barrier.”
Can they be sure ?
The argument is that insanity is cultural in origin albeit the poverty reason.
To be poor is to be unhappy as well.
“Above a rather low level of income (enough to satisfy basic needs), Easterlin found no correlation between happiness and GNP per head.”
This is a 1974 study mentioned in another article, Happiness Is Equality.
More surprising is that “another finding has also started to influence the current debate on growth: poor people within a country are less happy than rich people. In other words, above a low level of sufficiency, peoples’ happiness levels are determined much less by their absolute income than by their income relative to some reference group.”
To be poor is relative but poverty is not. To be poor, you need a benchmark against what is rich. Poverty is a different story in itself. It is the absence of basic needs.
Thus you can be poor but not be impoverished if there are enough people who are “ultra rich”. That leads to the poor being unhappy even if they are not impoverished. It is the gap that matters.
That sounds a bit like Singapore and America too. (Actually, Singapore’s GINI is higher than America’s).
Inequality is the main driver of being poor. You can be a poor millionaire in Singapore too. And that is the main reason for all those surveys that show that Singaporeans are one of the most discontented lot in the world (as usual, always trying to top in everything).
We have to stick to America’s example because most of the research is done on American society described as “a society cleaved between a sliver of haves reaping ever-fatter rewards and hordes of have-nots who haven’t had a shot at a better life in at least a decade.”
If we go by the Equality debate, then many Americans must be unhappy.
“A research paper released Monday found that some moms’ reactions to the 2007-09 recession included shouting more at their kids and even taking aggressive action, such as yanking or spanking them.”
And what if, just what if, the US leaders are insane and the people are unhappy. That is a recipe for disaster.
Related articles :
Why Are Singaporeans Sad ? They Are Not Rich Enough ! (tradehaven.me)
Singapore – Wealth Worship : (tradehaven.me)
WEALTH – The Fallacy Of Singapore Property. Written For My Friends. : (tradehaven.me)
Although anyone taking this seriously may not be insane, they would have to be extremely stupid.
As usual, it is written to provoke thoughts and a response.
“Terminally ill “Simpsons” co-creator to leave entire fortune to charity”
In South East Asia there would be under diagnosis, probably of a dramatic magnitude.
In the US on the other hand the problem is the opposite of under diagnosis, more a case of extreme labelling. And as if labelling others isn’t enough, the most common form of insanity is probably hyperchondria, in which case people label themselves. The ignorant and poorly educated won’t have the intellectual concepts to label themselves anyway and that accounts for a high percentage of South East Asia outside of the most developed regions. Singapore is more developed than its neighbours, you do after all have Woodbridge, so the only partially valid comparison might be Singapore, not the rest.
Really, as fascinating as the article on madness is, it really doesn’t contain a great deal of substance and the reasons for the results being incomparable to South East Asia are fairly obvious. To suggest South East Asians are immune from mental illness is absurd and totally contradicts the observation that we encounter the “disturbed” in South East Asia as frequently as elsewhere…I have certainly come across quite a few. The difference is recording infrastructure and labelling, thats really all it is. Its similar to statistics on crime…does non detection and non conviction mean there is no crime,…if so then well done South East Asia (just so you know, I am being sarcastic).
As for crazy politicians, well, I tend to agree, but I can think of more than a few throughout Asia that are far worse than anything I have ever known from the US and I say that as a non-US person. I can’t of course name them as free speech doesn’t really exist over here does it. And why so little in the way of genuine free speech by the way? Paranoia perhaps…which is a symptom of quite a few severe mental illnesses.
This is what I think. Perhaps Southeast Asians are just as mad if not worse ? The sore lack of emphirical studies particularly in the jungles of Borneo can hardly account for the shamans’ diagnosis of spiritual possessions ? Against the religious backdrop of Buddhism and Islam, there is a certain stigma to the anti-collective behaviour. Stoicism perhaps (Don’t hear of Eskimos going mad) ? Political repression does count, btw, in my opinion – leads to delusion and all sorts of things.
Does suicide count as insanity ? Because suicide rates are going up.
My personal far flung theory is that 90% of the livestock we eat are mad anyway, living in the brutal farming conditions of the modern day – housed and bred in darkness and artificial light all the way to the stove.
An interesting and far more plausible connection we could possibly make is this.
If the insanity rate is indeed going up, and economic inequality is on the rise (which leads to unhappiness). Could this Unhappiness be the root of the Insanity ?