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That's more like what I wanted to say.
Remember that this is the average - there are people who are happier since they spawned offspring (me). And yet I don't know if it would show in the questionnaire. Many aspects of our life suffered because we don't have the time and/or energy to pursue a lot of things that used to give us joy. To the extent we were accustomed to at least. OTOH, there are moments when I very intensely feel that it is well worth it. Does a drawing of a big red heart that hangs on the fridge increase my marital satisfaction? My financial status? My mental well-being?
I don't think one can rate happiness using a questionnaire. Not if the subjects consistently tell you that you got something wrong.
Or perhaps one can, for a certain definition of happiness.
On a sunny Sunday in the 1980s I was sitting on a park bench pretending to read a sf novel. Actually I was counting people coming into the election office. After an hour I went home and I assume someone else took over. I called a friend and mentioned a number in the conversation. The data was relayed further, and together with other bits of information collected from other inconspicuous looking young people it gave the underground opposition proof it needed to verify that the turnout was way lower than the government claimed. And to spread the word around the country and the world.
I was just a little pebble in the way of an avalanche. I didn't overthrow the regime.
But together, we did.
We wouldn't have had a chance to do it had we left the country, although many of those who emigrated contributed to the work in other ways.
Just sever the ties that link them to the homeland - to the relatives, the job, the environment they grew up in - the culture, language, the graves of ancestors - leave behind the old friends and old enemies, take their family and memories and become... who?
A fugitive? Unwelcome guest? Jobless, homeless, at the mercy of international organizations, with unclear prospects and still a family to care for.
Of course there are those who managed to build a new life after leaving their country. After a time, most emigrees adapt. But at what cost? How many nights sleepless from worry, how many insults thrown at them and their children, how many degrading job interviews where your exotic medical diploma is worth less than a local plumber's certificate?
And that's after one manages to flee the country, not a simple task in itself.
You have no idea what you are talking about.
I'm curious about the methodology of the study that gave rise to this factoid. If there was any.
Granted, there is a number of anachronisms from the bad old times that restrict free speech for no good reason (and I believe the American constitution has it right when it comes to good reasons to restrict the free speech), but any changes to the constitution require quite a wide consensus behind them.
The open government legislation is of course a step in a right direction as it establishes an important general principle and a legal base to build on, but concerning its particulars, I'd rather wait and see than to pass judgment one way or the other before anything has been written into law.
By the standards some of the commenters here seem to espouse, it would.