[20180826] 快樂的祕訣

How to Be Happy

by Stephen J. Dubner  @Freaknomics

聯合國世界幸福報告/世界快樂報告 (World Happiness Report) 旨在於提供除 GDP 成長之外、衡量國家發展的其他標準。北歐國家常年佔據了排行榜的前幾名,Freaknomic Radio 這次研究了丹麥的社會制度和整體環境,探討他們快樂的祕訣、以及這些是否可以在別的地方複製。

快樂指數前 30 名國家
圖例

(在這個榜單中丹麥排行第 3 名,臺灣排 26 名,新加坡排 34 名,香港特別行政區排 76 名,中華人民共和國排 86 名)

“快樂” 可以有很多含義,哥倫比亞大學的經濟學家 Jeffrey Sachs 認爲,經濟學界很遺憾地在一百五十年前認爲快樂無法被測量,轉而測量消費者偏好,以至於經濟學家在他們的世界觀中遺漏了很重要的一個面向。

不丹國王在 1971 年首度發明了“國民幸福總值” (Gross National Happiness) 的概念,將其視爲和國民生產總值 (Gross National Product) 並肩的指標。

亞里士多德兩千年前就已經指出,財富累積到一個程度之後,就應該追求其他如身體健康、心理健康、社群融入等生活中的其他面向:

SACHS: I go with Aristotle — he’s my guy, my favorite philosopher. And he pointed out in the Nicomachean Ethics, 2,300 years ago, that to be happy requires the good benefit of having material needs met. So don’t deny those, he said. But he also said, only aiming for wealth, single-mindedly pursuing a higher wealth, is certainly no way to happiness and after a certain point of income, work on other things — work on your friendship, work on your mental health, work your physical health. Work on good governance, work on your charitableness. Because in this kind of world, a good life is a balanced and a virtuous life. Not a single-minded pursuit of income.

丹麥擁有全民醫保、幾乎免費的公立教育系統等社會安全網,帶來了社會流動性的提升、人口平均壽命延長、較低的過胖人口、對政府的較高信任、人與人之間的較高信任等好處。

丹麥平均一周工作 27.6 個小時,而美國平均是 34.4 小時 (編按: 臺灣平均是 39.1 小時)。丹麥也提供非常慷慨的產假和育嬰假,而且強調男女平等,育嬰假可以由父母一起分享,其中有 13 周的假期還可以延後使用。Helen Russell 是《The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country》這本書的作者,她因爲家庭因素從英國搬家到丹麥,她一開始對這種 “佔便宜” 的行爲就感到難以置信,但慢慢的她也就習慣了丹麥人的生活方式,並且提高了自己的日常快樂水平。

由於貧富差距非常小,而且人們非常反感炫富、過度消費主義的行爲,人與人之間非常平等。Russell 以咖啡廳的服務生和顧客的互動爲例,由於雙方的收入水平差不多,所以沒有像美國和英國那樣明顯的權力不平衡:

RUSSELL: It’s really interesting. So I — literally this morning, I’ve just come from an independent coffee bar and there’s an equality there. There is not a difference between the person who is serving me coffee and the person buying the coffee. You can talk as equals, because you know that you are both probably, after tax, taking home around about the same amount. And everybody is having a sort of decent life.

On the flip side, there’s not the same service culture. I was just back in the U.K. for work. Oh my goodness, everyone was so nice to me. And when I go to the States, that’s even more so, and I have to remind myself, “Oh, they’re being nice to me because there’s a financial imperative.” And there is more of a service culture in some places than others. In Denmark, that’s not the case. You don’t expect bells and whistles. But I’m kind of fine with that now.

hygge” 是丹麥獨特的生活理念,《The Little Book of Hygge》的作者 Meik Wiking 解釋 hygge 是創造出一種舒暢氣氛的藝術,在丹麥文化中的重要性不亞於 ”自由“ 之於美國:

WIKING: Well done. So I think the best explanation of what hygge is, is the art of creating a nice atmosphere. So it’s about togetherness. It’s about pleasure. It’s about warmth. It’s about relaxation. And that is a key cornerstone of Danish culture. To Danes, hygge is perhaps what freedom is to the Americans.

如果北歐/丹麥模式這麼好,其他國家怎麼不學習呢?主要是因爲所需付出的價格,北歐國家對自己人民課稅的強度讓其他國家瞠目結舌:

SACHS: Now one thing that those countries do, which is unimaginable in the U.S. context as of today — they tax themselves, and tax themselves.

物價也非常高,但數據顯示十分之九的丹麥人對這個付出換來的好處非常滿意。

當然,美國式資本主義喜歡提出的理論是允許更高的貧富差距才能激發更多的創新和發明:

DUBNER: One counterargument is that well, if you have that, you have that, what you don’t have are the huge rewards for innovation and invention. So there are a lot of things that we complain about in the U.S., including income inequality, including the lack of a lot of the social-service network that a lot of European countries have. But we are the country that makes Apple and Google. And on and on and on and on. It seems that there’s an upside to status-seeking, as well as downsides.

但北歐這些民主社會主義國家認爲他們這樣在創新和快樂間的折中是比較合理的。比起擁有 Apple 或 Google 這樣的公司,他們更希望讓大多數人擁有有趣的工作、快樂的家庭、健康的身體等:

WIKING: I think perhaps Danes have lower materialistic ambitions than in some countries. But in terms of having an interesting job, having a happy family, having a healthy hobby and keeping fit, I think there is a lot of, sort of, expectations that people want to live up to.

2018 年世界快樂報告的主題之一是移民帶來的影響,報告指出,從窮苦、充滿暴力的國家移民到北歐國家的人,通常能夠順利轉化成北歐的生活方式,並沒有把移出國的習性並沒有太阻礙他們融入移入國:

SACHS: People who move from a poor, unhappy, violence-filled country to a happy Nordic country become like the Nordic citizens in the country. They do carry some of the legacy of the country that they came from. But the adjustment is remarkably fast.

但的確當地也有一些對移民具有敵意的勢力,丹麥就有一個反移民、但仍然屬於左派的大黨:

(SACHS:) So it’s basically social democracy, but for the Danish people, not for migrants. Whereas in the United States — and in many other countries — we tend to think of anti-immigrant also as being right-wing. But Scandinavia has, “Yeah, we love our social democracy, but it’s just for us.

相對於本地人來說,移民要變得快樂需要付出的努力會更大一些,這是肯定的:

DUBNER: I’ve read and heard from people who move here either as highly skilled workers or as refugees, that Denmark works great if you’re Danish. And that it’s much harder — and granted, most countries are this way — but one particular complaint in Scandinavia is that even when you’re being treated fairly and given opportunities, economic and educational opportunities, and so on, it can be very, very hard to break into the society.

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