Monday, February 11, 2008

If you're happy and you know it vote Republican

Republicans are happier than Democrats. Have been every year since the General Social Survey was first conducted in 1972. And, it has nothing to do with money or the fact that Republicans have been in power more than Democrats over that span.
You can practically hear the researchers at Pew scratching their liberal heads. They put the findings through a rigorous process called multiple-regression analysis in an attempt to isolate the relevant variables. But try as they might, they could not wash that Republican happiness out of their hair.

Basically, Republicans have in spades all the things that combine to make us happy. Church attendance is particularly crucial. People who attend religious services regularly are more likely to report being "very happy" than those who don't – 43 percent vs. 26 percent (a happiness boost, by the way, that cuts across all the major religious denominations). In addition, Republicans are more likely to be married than Democrats, and married people are happier than singles.
That's interesting. This is almost gratuitous, but still I like it.
If this isn't depressing enough for liberals, it turns out that some of their own pet policies are to blame for their unhappiness. Once in power, Democrats tend to focus on issues that, according to the science of happiness, have little effect on our contentment – income equality, for instance, and racial diversity. Neither is linked to greater happiness. Countries with large disparities between rich and poor are no less happy than more egalitarian ones, studies have found. And the happiest countries in the world tend to be homogeneous ones, such as Denmark and Iceland, not the ethnic melting pots that liberals celebrate.
I wonder what political party in Ireland attracts the happy people?