BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic?

12:05 UK time, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Power and prosperity are shifting to the east and to emerging economic nations according to a new global poll. Is this an accurate picture?

The survey, which measures levels of optimism about personal well-being and the state of the economy, suggests the biggest number of optimists live in countries like China, Brazil and India as the economies of emerging countries tend to enjoy rapid growth rates, while the developed economies have struggled economically, largely due to the credit crisis.

The BBC's Adam Mynott says there are marked differences between these emerging countries and the rich G7 of the US, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy and Japan, with the survey suggesting that the most downhearted country is the UK.

Does where you live affect your optimism? Are you an optimist? Does this survey reflect your own experience? Do people who live in richer countries have the right to be pessimistic? What are your hopes for 2011?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    The global economy will certainly recover in the year 2011, provided we remain optimistic and hardworking, and not arrogant and complacent.

  • Comment number 2.

    No. Power & prosperity make a nation arrogant and lazy. Just look around you.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes the global economic power is shifting to east, this trend is quite evident by the emergence of developing economies like India,China and some other east asian countries. But that does not mean the west is loosing it's influence, the western countries are role models for the development. As a citizen of India I know there is great amount of respect and admiration for the western world. Just few credit crises can not shake the fundamentals of western economies. So they should not loose faith in their abilities and should continue to follow the path of progress.

  • Comment number 4.

    Maybe.

  • Comment number 5.

    In China, India and Brazil you will also find the worst and most widespread poverty. There is no optimism amongst the poor in these countries. They depend upon help from 'downhearted' people like us in the UK.

  • Comment number 6.

    I would say thats a given. If I live in a massive mansion I am probably prosperous. If I am a press baron I am powerful and therefore probably optimitic (with good cause)about outcomes.
    I actually live in a modest home, have no power beyond my franchise at election time (fortunately) Have a choice of people to vote for who are hardly worth the effort. An economy which had to borrow 23 billion last month to stand still. I am being screwed by taxes appearing from all over the place to try and right what the economic disasters produced.
    We used to talk about trade deficits. Not any more since it ran into billions a year. Not surprising we make nothing.
    So, we have no power no prosperity and I am certainly not optimistic. If we had any national pride, standing & success worth talking of (not the odd blip on the radar) I might feel better but sadly no we even had our national pride ground into rubble. All my concern is for furture generations. I think it might last out the decade or two I have left me, but then I am not optimistic !

  • Comment number 7.

    When you look at what you had to what you see will determine your own personal outlook or even the entire population.

    There are many in China and India that are enjoying the benefit of the current consumer demand, most have no change but there is a future to look forward to.

    As for the UK costs are getting out of control, there are groups of companies that have the monopoly over food, shelter and fuel, items we need or suffer without and the future Well we are constantly being told it will get worse. And I won't say much about the bankers.

    Optimist or pessimist.

    Is my glass half empty or half full, I'm a realist if you have one or the other then you have the wrong size glass.

  • Comment number 8.

    So the question implies that on the way up the roller coaster riders are filled with anticipation built upon hype, sensationalism, half truths, and someone's cunningly devilish plan. When they eventually hit the top and start the long accelerating downward plunge to oblivion they may not be quite so optimistic, sure of stomach, or trusting of the designer.

    Roller coasters use a lot of energy dragging people up to the top only to drop them down at the bottom again. But, if they were level, would anyone ride on them?

  • Comment number 9.

    A prosperous liquid employment market is going to make the average worker feel optimistic about the future, which results in increased consumer spending, and investment. It self-perpetuates. Europe has become bad value for money. I do nothing but work and pay massive amounts of direct and indirect (CCTV driving-related fines - we should vote the councillors out of Lambeth, London) to lead what I believe is a very average life.

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't think it's power, but there is most certainly an element of "prosperity": that optimistic feeling that essentially everything important to a happy life is within reach - employment, ability to save, a home, enough food, an element of control over their destiny, etc.
    Power as well as prosperity are shifting to the east.
    I agree with the survey that the biggest number of optimists live in countries like China, Brazil and India; the economies are emerging, but more than that, especially in South America, the people have been given voice by some great socialist leaders e.g. Evo Morales.
    The developed economies have fallen to investment banks that have ruined their prosperity and plunged them into austerity.
    There is a way to fix this situation (which I have written about several times before; so, I won't bore you with anymore details.)
    The BBC's Adam Mynott says the most downhearted country is the UK. Really? Perhaps that's because they don't possess as many riffles and are not subject to rebellion as in the US, but even in the US the "take back America" project (Tea Party) seems to have fizzled.
    Does where you live affect your optimism?
    Yes, I am very happy to live in Canada where we are blessed with an astute Finance Minister, Mr. Flagherty.
    Do people who live in richer countries have the right to be pessimistic?
    Absolutely because their economies have been taken to the cleaners where their money has been shrunk, starched and give back as unwearable.
    What are your hopes for 2011?
    That politicians find the courage to split investment banks between retail and investment and that a foreign exchange tax be imposed on the banking sector.

  • Comment number 12.

    The answer to the question is yes. Why should the emerging countries not be optomistic? It is their chance to get it right. Every "great civlisation" has its day and growth is fine until the me me me attitude takes over.

    Now we wait and see if social injustice, the widening crevasse betwen rich and poor can be stopped from growing and replaced with a system where all can have the simple things we all want here in the West. To feed our family, to have good medical care for everyone, to have our children educated, to keep a job to allow all the rest and to leave the world abetter place than before.


    Wait a minute must wake up....India 2G scandal, China politicians millions stashed in Sitzerland, sorry but it is the beginning of the end unless you, the emerging countries all get rid of what the west has left now, deceit, debt, money rules and no one listens.

    I am optomistic that maybe it can happen. Hey but politicians, money dealers and media giants will soon change that.

  • Comment number 13.

    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!

  • Comment number 14.

    Yes.

    For all the ideologoical socialist clap-trap spouted in China over the last 50 years, more chinese have been lifted out of poverty in the few years since they embraced free-market thinking than ever were under the communists.

  • Comment number 15.

    Development from 1 to 2 is 100%, from 101 to 102 is just 1%
    Relativity is the core of the matter...

  • Comment number 16.

    13. At 1:54pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:

    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!


    I agree you Axolotl. If you read other posts of this subscriber on other boards, you will come to the sane conclusion that he is a Troll.

    If not then at least a prime example of why the right wing lunatics need to be held in check.

  • Comment number 17.

    Prosperity for all nations depends on their implementation of IT and creating the "paperless office" reliant on its electronic management systems. Industries in that case will use the most up to date intelligence for production. 19th century thinking forces operations back to the rustic caves and neanderthals.

  • Comment number 18.

    It seems that the view of the world is painted in by the mass media without any true relevance. When there only exist monopolies for a capitalist system and the controlling stock is being owned by government, capitalism is capped off by a totalitarian socialism controlled by government.

    Unless it is a brand new type of a invention and not simply a new mouse trap the economy can not grow.

    By controlling the truth and information social interactions are contained. There are base principle processes that must satisfy the primal id. Sadly these process are being rationed out. These are the forces that allow the release of individual choices and personal will, our motivation. Many of the thoughts to create the specific actions needed are suppressed and in place of them other actions are subverted to take it's place.

    I can not but see pacification without ever any actual works being accomplished. All I see is dangerous and over powerful government without the faculties to maintain it without destroying the people.

    Economic growth by forcing the people to produce more of what is already there but then there is no market for it and over worked people eventually degenerate. What's left is a even poorer people than before it. So many items exist but no one can afford to own them.

    The only way to create a more prosperous world is to give the people the freedom to think and make choices. The larger a government becomes the more moronic the people are trained to be.

    A phrase relevant to the time, "A Government that is big enough to give you any thing can just as easily take it away." This is what a government can do and subdue any person or group to make way for other chosen endeavors of the government and not the choice of the people.

    Here I watch BBC turn out thought that the citizens immerse them selves in but nothing is ever done. Like the hamster running in A CAGE WHEEL. We have choices we don't get to fulfill and in place of that something we don't do we spend our time running inside a wheel that never goes anywhere but we do get to make it turn.

  • Comment number 19.

    14. At 1:58pm on 22 Dec 2010, AndyC555 wrote:

    Yes.

    For all the ideologoical socialist clap-trap spouted in China over the last 50 years, more chinese have been lifted out of poverty in the few years since they embraced free-market thinking than ever were under the communists.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The same is happening to South American countries which in the main have been Right Wing Dictatorships for the past 200 Years, but there it is socialist leaders that are enabling the rise in prosperity and standards of living. Also could you say that the average person in the other non communist country, India, is getting a fair deal. They may have a rising middle class but the poor have yet to see any improvement in their standard of living.

  • Comment number 20.

    Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic? Well I certainly would hope so, if not I think we are all screwed.

  • Comment number 21.

    13. At 1:54pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Very lucid reply...... your real name must be Milliband...
    are you in Gordon Brown denial

  • Comment number 22.

    Power and prosperity are shifting to the east and to emerging economic nations according to a new global poll. Is this an accurate picture?


    Of course it is, because that's where Capitalism has shifted to.

    If you keep electing governments that go out of their way to make it more expensive to produce goods, and insist on taxing the hell out of the private sector in order to sustain pointless jobs in the public sector, then this is the inevitable consequence. Unfortunately, not enough of the people who keep electing these populist opportunists (socialists) realise this, so the trend will continue.


  • Comment number 23.

    On the surface of it this may seem like the classic "have your say" question, that is, a placation of our need to feel involved and relevant that is destined to go nowhere and influence nobody. Nevertheless, on the unlikely chance that someone destined to make a real difference inavertently stumbles upon this, here's my two bob's worth.

    It seems likely that during the next few decades we will come to know enough about the human brain to have answers to questions about the nature of optimism. Furthermore, agreements to control carbon emissions are very likely to create more diffuse global power resulting in quite profund changes in the outlook for prosperity and realisation of aspirations that most humans have. For us in the world's wealthy minority it seems a pretty good bet that lower espectations are most likely to be realised.

    When the Yanks pinched John Locke's ideas and came up with the phrase the Pursuit of happiness, I'm sure it was expected that eventually something better would replace it. The Yanks are like that - they tend to have great faith in the future. Indeed, if the USA is to allow a system of world governance it would have to include the improved version of Life, Liberty etc. etc. Clearly that version would encapsulate the deeper understanding we then have of what these concepts actually are inside the human brain.

    Thing is, is anyone thinking as broadly as the Enlightenment Age liberal theorists did about the principles that might be suggested by the emerging neuronal level understanding of what makes humans optimally happy? If it's just us "reckoners", then we clearly need help. So, if there are any really really clever brain scientists out there who have an inclination to deeply cogent philosophising and have a few free moments to set out a future for mankind, please register and join the blog.

  • Comment number 24.



    Providing Labour never get back into any sort of role in government, we will do fine. Defeating Labour's attempt to enslave us forever, with an army of voters bought with taxpayers' money but without taxpayers' consent, was a close run thing. But it is done and Britain is free again. Praise be to God.

  • Comment number 25.

    How can we be the most disheartened?

    We've got so much going for us and lots to look forward to:

    Okay Labour took away our 10% tax rate and the Torys (who cried foul play) haven't returned it.
    Petrol and Diesel regularly rises
    Continued war and death in Afghanistan
    in January the 20% VAT to come
    if you're a student they'll be cuts at your uni, but the cost will treble
    Public Sector and many other workers can look forward to redundancies
    House repossessions, Insolvency and Bankrupcy rises
    Utility Bill rises
    Council Tax rises while services are cut
    The obese, lazy and idle will continue to sponge off the working
    3 more years of Tory Cuts (with gutless Lib Dems in their pockets)
    Banks and creditors ransacking their customers


    I myself am hoping 2011 simply doesn't happen.

  • Comment number 26.

    It seems to me big powerful governments enslave the people and have not the faculties to sustain economic growth for all. The government gets what it wants done but not the people.

    This is done so Big Brother Government can dominate and can make choices that belong to the people. You either get fed to run in Big Governments caged wheel and do what Big Brother wants or you still being caged, don't get fed or get a caged wheel to run in at all.

  • Comment number 27.

    The skeptical post Cold War optimism of a world more able to cooperate and coexist in relative peace and harmony for the sake of the betterment of the human condition is largely giving way to the realization that that optimism has largely failed. Giving communist China an extensive opportunity to reform its politics and practices has led to its self serving, aggressively militarist, expansion of an ideology and practices that are the symptoms of it growing, not into what was hoped, but into a new and more evil empire. Peace in the Middle East is further from reality than ever, with the conflict there spurred by China's desire for resources in exchange for armaments and support for totalitarianism. China's support for Maoist insurgent terrorism, and allied forms of extremism, in areas bordering it, is becoming a very persuasive method supporting its long term agenda for central Asia, South Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, the Phillipines and Indonesia. It believes in creating puppet states to conceal its degree of control over its own allies. Its oppression of its own people is second only to a very few lesser powers with which it has developed close relations. Meanwhile western alliances, inclusive of NATO, Japan, the Commonwealth, the European Union are in a weakened, unprepared, position, reluctant to enter into an era where the world necessarily is once again becoming an armed camp, facing a very real threat and danger to its peaceful evolution. A threat from Chinese communism. Russia remains reluctant to fully join with Europe and NATO, and defense treaties, against the new threats that face our world remain tenuous and uncertain. We do not live in happy times. We do not live in optimistic times. We live in a time when China is already threatening the world with the dangers of World War III, and weakness on the part of its ideological, economic and thus military contenders will invariably result in that war actually happening.

  • Comment number 28.

    the good years of labour's 13 years in government represented the total number of deciples including Jesus who spread the word of christian faith to the poor,the rich and the sick.Labour did what was expected of themand and that was to look after the poor,the sick and their neighbours,their friends ,the elderly.
    At this moment in time the tories are tormenting the people who were looked after under labour.

  • Comment number 29.

    The emerging nations haven't suffered years of mismanagement by politicians with the aggregate intelligence of a damp lettuce.

  • Comment number 30.

    Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic? If you have short/long term memory problems then it would be a delusional yes by all! If you measure well being by wealth, then a yes by the indoctrinated masses. If you measure optimism by totally ignoring the plight of everyone, even your neighbour, and simply focus on how many friends you have on Facebook then yes! If you believe that nationalism does not create extremism, or even better if you don’t even know what extremism is, then yes! In other words if you are a complete zombie who walks around in a total daze pulverised daily by propaganda and it’s all perfectly normal, no questions asked, then a BIG yes.

  • Comment number 31.

    Saying that power and proserity are shifting to the east and to the emerging economic nations is not an accurate picture.The rates of growth in emerging nations like China, Brazil and India do not mean that they are soon going to topple the G7 nations in the overall resource generation.When the base of the economy is smaller as in the case of emerging economies as compared with devolped nations which have much larger economic bases, the growth percentage in the former is likely to be higher than that in the latter. But that does not make the former more prosperous and richer than the latter.
    Surely,the place where a person lives in affect his optimism.I am an optimist, but my optimism is not just a facile optimism.The survey that power and prosperity favour the emerging nations has some grain of truth in it, but such prosperity and powers of theirs does not adversely affect the developed nations.That is my experience.
    Certainly, the people in richer countries have the right to be optimistic.In matters of growth they have an advantage over the emerging nations. This is because it is but a natural law that growth tends to concetrate in the countries which are alredy developed. For them nothing succeeds like success.
    2011 holds a bright future for the world provided the war in Afghanistan is ended soon.

  • Comment number 32.

    Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic?

    It depends entirely upon your concept of what constitutes power and prosperity.
    To me, power isn't just military might: it's the overall measure of a nation's status and influence in the world - the power to do good.
    Similarly, prosperity should reflect the well-being of the average citizen of a nation, not the wealth of a tiny and privileged minority.
    And as for optimistic? Perhaps cocky and over-confident might better describe the attitude of some emerging nations.

  • Comment number 33.

    How do you measure power and prosperity? I remember watching a very hillarious presentation by a swedish economist. It showed the changes throughout history and how the wests wealth grew and so did the life expectancy while the eastern countries struggled to follow. Then it showed the movements through the years as the east catches up to the west.

    Measured on the strength of an army could be interesting. The US have an army which is highly optimistic, tries hard and has been beaten badly a few times. Yet the americans and their army are still highly optimistic. They have the patriotic love of their country which makes them pretty optimistic in my view. Our army has been short changed a few times and while this has happened we have become less optimistic (so I have observed).

    I doubt it can be measured on co-operation/glabalism since the US is happy and trades with anyone. China appears to be pretty optimistic (with good reason) and trades with anyone. The members of the EU have a fluctuating happiness depending if they are thinking of the evil EU and their level of support for the unstable group. Since both german and french populations were becoming disillusioned with the EU when they realised the commitments during hard times.

    It could be measured on religion. But it doesnt seem to work. Death threats for a few pictures is the first that comes to mind but also the christians and the various scandles and embarrasments they have suffered too. If these message boards are anything to go by it is the athiests who seem to laugh more based on religion/happiness.

    Maybe festivals and celebrations improve optimism. But again from reading these boards and talking to people there is a complaint that there is snow and self responsability goes out of the window (the council must clear it). A HYS on foods errupted in some vegies attacking meat eaters to provoke an argument. The holidays are coming and still people winge about the new gov as if it happened yesterday, or even as if they had suddenly done something so devistating the last 13 years seemed perfect.

    So maybe government has something to do with optimism? But under labour people had loads of money. People complaining that we were spending more than we made and the unhappiness when people realised they had to repay debts on their new sofa/tv/double glazing. The ID card idea and many CCTV and speed cameras supported by stealth tax's upset people as did the idea of a prolonged war (although afghan was generally supported to begin with). Broken promises and blatent lies upset even more people and so labour were voted out and nobody had overall power to run the country.

    Leading to the new gov. The old policies being worthless (because nobody has any power) the parties had to negotiate. Labour wanted nothign to do with running the country because of the aweful state they left it in leaving the libs and tory to work together. Ending the non-existent jobs in the public sector upset people as did the idea of reducing our spending so we can pay off the debt. Damage left from the last gov is still blamed on the current leaders and a competition of expressing how unhappy a person is with the gov is the new passtime. Regardless of facts everyone wants things to carry on as if we aint in debt but yet voted out labour. Therefore the population must eb creating their own misery.

    Comparing with the US who voted in the opposition of george bush who embarrassed the US on the world stage. Now have obama who has shown more interest in the east than with the long standing allies of the west. This upset people. As did the idea of changing the healthcare system and claims of him not fulfilling his promises. However sarah palin still takes an amount of abuse formerly reserved for bush. So leadership doesnt seem to help.

    Society and closeness may provide optimism. But it doesnt look that way. Snowfall led to a lot of grumpy complainers who were grumpy and complaining before the snow. People stating that there is no such thing as society (blamed on thatcher) then seem to use it as an excuse to be horrible and complain. The idea of a few weeks work for people on benefits to help the community brought back a number of lazy and self centred people who hated the idea of work. Somehow the concept of helping society equated with slavery. People refusing to clear paths or help old people for fear of bein sued made me laugh until I realised they were being serious. Which puts us to shame when people in poor countries share what they have with their neighbours.

    Maybe personal possessions improves optimism. But with all our possessions, TV, computers, internet and resources there are people here crying about how they have to cut back a little to balance the bills. If this was done by the last gov the situation wouldnt be so bad. But instead bankers are blamed. Not the banks we own but all bankers because they have more money and we want want want. 'Its not fair' and the stomping of feet improved nobodies position or optimism and yet it is the chosen path. While other people are freezing on the streets with no home to go to. Some people give them a coin or two. Others refuse because it might be spent on drugs or alcohol. But who thinks to buy them some dinner or a hot drink? Items of clothing to replace their damaged and worn?

    So put simply I think we need to stop making ourselves miserable. We seem to create our own misery and become less happy because of it.

  • Comment number 34.


    "In China, India and Brazil you will also find the worst and most widespread poverty. There is no optimism amongst the poor in these countries. They depend upon help from 'downhearted' people like us in the UK." (James Price 5)
    ....................
    James,
    how do you know there is no optimism in the poorer parts of these countries?
    I live there, close alongside these 'poor' places (favelas), and I have regularly, over the last few years, seen the national optimism surveys of the upper and lowest quartiles. In Brazil, the lowest quartile is highly optimistic (with 87% support rating for a President that they believe, with not a little evidence, is leading them to a better life).
    The very LAST thing in their mind is that they depend on YOU or any developed nation for any help or improvement in their circumstances. Such support does not exist - and these poor would shake their heads in bemusement at your sad lack of understanding and knowledge.
    Geoff.

  • Comment number 35.

    Developing countries are creating jobs at a healthy clip while developed countries are losing jobs. Economic growth in developing countries far outstrips those in developed countries. Developing countries have much to be happy about. Developed countries have to grapple with back-breaking sovereign debts and austere measures - nothing to cheer about.

  • Comment number 36.

    "Are emerging nations more optomistic" ?

    You need ask the ordinary people 'on the ground' so to speak. But they don't have a voice.

    It can't be denied that there is a global and distructive repeat of the dark, dirty and polluting re-play of the 19th century 'industrial revolution' affecting Brazil, India, and certain areas of Africa caused by huge investment from China for minerals, gold, silver, gems and essential grades of platinum and deforestation?

    This question does not address any of those issues.

    However, the UK is regarded as the most 'down-hearted'? Hmm, why is that? Let's think:

    UK is a tiny and increasingling over-crowded island and a mere stop off for most airlines and suffer most from aircraft pollution and noise.
    UK is very popular for asylum seekers.
    UK allows it's elderly to freeze to death.
    UK had Tony Blair that took us to more wars than any Prime Minister in British history.
    UK spends more on overseas aid than on it's own people.

    Need I say more?

  • Comment number 37.


    "I agree with the survey that the biggest number of optimists live in countries like China, Brazil and India; the economies are emerging, but more than that, especially in South America, the people have been given voice by some great socialist leaders e.g. Evo Morales." (BluesBerry 11)
    ...................
    BluesBerry,
    I'm sorry we seem to be disagreeing so frequently, but I think you have been taking the wrong message from the grandstanding of Morales at Cancun.
    The revolutionary left are not the focus of optimism, they are the focus of regional concern. Their exhortations from the grandstand are 'God is good and supports the poor' type words. The people know that this translates into continued Cuba-like poverty.
    Your South American Heros of Hope are undoubtedly the pragmatic and illiterate Lula of Brasil and the significantly-less-left-of-centre and highly educated Sebastián Piñera of Chile.
    Lula's 'Robin Hood' route of re-distribution of wealth may not be sustainable but, here and now, the poor empathise with his National Socialist use of the industrialising economy to elevate their life-style.
    Brasil's poor are learning how to buy on credit and learning how to live with mortgages. Their credit-bubble will burst eventually, once the consumer society of the poor out-reaches its ability to survive economic downturns.
    Geoff.

  • Comment number 38.

    The UK is the "most downhearted country" because we've on the brink of becoming a 3rd world county ourselves. Most of this is down 13 years Labour madness, but now the Tories are in and they are doing nothing to solve the real problems in this country. It's as if Nu-Labour have been re-elected.

  • Comment number 39.

    Well you can go ask the Yanks they're happiest when they are bombing some third world nation on the other side of the globe into oblivion just to rebuild it from dust and call it democracy, and yet for the last two years at least the Americans have been all glum even quite pessimistic rather than optimistic unless you are a crooked banker and have been bailed out by the taxpayers then you're in heaven. Having power, superpower, has not translated into more jobs that keep being outsourced to some backwater tax haven with no labor laws. Still if you enjoy living pay check to pay check and barely avoiding foreclosure on your home and don't even give a second glance at your mounting credit card interest rates because living on the "edge" is exciting to you and you keep hoping on striking rich it on the lottery then you are the world's most unabashed optimist regardless of national status. As for prosperity that's all relative. It has been shown that one man's prosperity always comes a the price of another man's since no society has ever managed a fully equal distribution of national wealth for all its citizens. It's probably not practical in real terms. Actually it is the existance of a large middle class that assures a more equitable distribution of money and everywhere there has been a determined assualt on the middle class by a new age of financial robber barons and corporations who have given us the latest economic world recession thanks to their uncontrolled thievery. The poor depend on the taxes paid by the middle folks while the rich get away without paying any taxes because they have the political influence to write the laws in their favor and are defended by the political parties like the Republicans in the US who think that billionairs have too little money. It is this squeezing of middle class people with their concomitant descent to lower economic status that has reduced general optimism. Just ask a Spaniard these days if you don't believe me.

  • Comment number 40.

    29. At 3:40pm on 22 Dec 2010, chiptheduck wrote:
    The emerging nations haven't suffered years of mismanagement by politicians with the aggregate intelligence of a damp lettuce.
    ............
    You are so, so wrong:

    Russia under communism,
    China under Mao,
    India post-colonial, post-partition,
    Brasil under Lula,
    South Africa under Zuma.

    These countries, like all others have had long periods of mismanagement. Most have prospered some time later in spite of past or current mismanagement.
    Circumstances ("dear boy, circumstances") conspire to put large reserves of key resources in the hands of BRICS at a key time of re-structuring of world economic power.
    Food and raw materials, ...food and raw materials and industry, ....food and raw materials and service industries, .....food and raw materials and service industries and a developed post-industrial 'culture'.

    Management can help the process along but management without circumstances can't do the biz.

    Mismanagement and negative circumstances can certainly do the biz when it comes to destroying a nations ability to prosper (Gordon Brown).
    Management and positive circumstances can do the biz (China).
    Management and negative circumstances can survive but the biz is beyond the possible (UK Coalition).

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    The best measure of the optimism of a Country is to look at the building style of Public and Business premises. In the UK the years between the late 1950's and the mid 1980's was filled with drab, faceless and downbeat cheap building. Contrast them with the monumental buildings of the late Victorian era. Later the buildings of the 1990's and early 2000's were so much more positive in style.
    It remains to be seem what sort of dismal building we wil suffer in the next ten years.

  • Comment number 43.

    You want to know why there is no optimism in this country? Here goes:

    1) Public services being cut which the poor rely on
    2) Tax rises
    3) Redundancies
    4) Bank bonuses after bailouts using tax payer money
    5) Tax bills written off for large scale businesses
    6) Which could have been used to stave off Uni fees rises
    7) A **** poor electoral system which means only 40% of votes actually count
    8) **** weather
    9) More of all this to come
    10) No end in sight to these above

    I'm too lazy and not optimistic enough to go to 100.

  • Comment number 44.

    That depends who has them. I'd be optimistic if I believed that institutions existed for the good of the population as a whole.

  • Comment number 45.

    13. At 1:54pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!

    Is that it?, your final and only one word of reply, your interlectual skills truly stretched to it`s full limit on a brilliant post, so whats your contribution.

  • Comment number 46.

    33 in the uk forgot about watching the royle family,an example of miserable minds in britain unable to move from the t v for fear of loosing too much weight.People in Britain react to what is fed to them by way of example,they eat what is available,full tummies make happy times,which maybe different to what is practiced when down to earth credit agreements ride on the backs of hard working families,under western servitude,another example of how well off the borrowers of life style britain is,while the hunt for better times is not so optimistic,because of power and the means by which power is so often used agaist the majority of mankind,we in britain struggle to get to the pub or the shop for fear of being run down by the credit hot rod ,a wide spread curse on the daily living of decent people.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think power makes a nation arrogant and dangerous. I think prosperity certainly does bring some happiness - that's why it's important to have a government fighting for us and not against us like our current Clown Coalition. So far they have not created one new job but they made hundreds of thousands of people redundant - how can being unemployed make anyone happy ?

  • Comment number 48.

    Its not really that big a deal since this county lost its way some time ago. When style becomes more important than substance then there is no hope of competing anyway with everybody living in a virtual reality that has no relationship with global competition. When you see hard working eastern Europeans take work that the British unemployed will no longer do it is apparent that we have lost the will to live. Life is not a chocolate box and this recession is going to remind everybody of this unpalatable fact.

  • Comment number 49.

    The global economy will recover definitely sooner or later, but US economy will never recover. Its basically not an economic crisis but a civilizational one. Its a civilization on the inexorable decline. It is waiting for its last rites.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    great britain used to be,no longer is,quite dead on the inside with nothing to live for on the outside,struggles to keep down 65 million people from bursting into a frenzied rage over government tampering in financial services,snowed in,iced up and the road to europe cluttered with bondage,what a carry on! so near christmas and the plastic is still being manufactured,imported ,shed on the ash tips hard to get rid of much the same as the euro, here to stay by demand.

  • Comment number 52.

    Is pessimism a bad thing? Excessive confidence can lead to errors of judgement. A balanced approach has to be preferable in stewardship.

    The tiger economies in Asia are experiencing growth so it is no surprise they have greater hope of work, and the opportunity to spend the money.

    Growth in the low wage and large economies is to be expected

    We shipped much of our manufacturing to Asia and people then start to wonder what work there is for them to do that can pay a living wage? We can't all be civil servants.

    The unemployed and "economically abused" young in the UK are a forgotten generation as they have been ignored for jobs and only know unemployment. Those that have jobs in many cases can only get part time jobs as employers seek to avoid employment legislation.

  • Comment number 53.

    38. At 5:11pm on 22 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    The UK is the "most downhearted country" because we've on the brink of becoming a 3rd world county ourselves. Most of this is down 13 years Labour madness, but now the Tories are in and they are doing nothing to solve the real problems in this country. It's as if Nu-Labour have been re-elected.
    ...............................................................
    Your disappointment is your own doing, to believe that a Tory/Labour government, or any government/leader can solve your problems is I’m afraid naive at best! What makes a nation is a forced identity, propaganda, dictatorships and plenty of oppression, all under the name of a flag! The UK like USA China et al are simply ideologies, all based around the same principles, a leader, a bunch of supporting dimwits, an army to control the oppressed and protect the bourgeoisie, and an aggressive territorial behaviour, bit like religion huh! Nations, countries, regions, towns, flags and football teams, all the same nonsense, it’s tribal, threatening and totally destructive evidenced by constant wars and conflicts stretched over thousands of years. If I and others can see this then why can’t you?
    If a nation is characterised by a mass of people providing the best of everything for a minority at their own sacrifice, then it about sums up this UK ideology! Does that sound fair to you?

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    The balance of economic power is changing very rapidly and, while European economies and the US economy will still be influential, the new emergiing economies of Brazil, China, India, and much of Asia and south America will have a far greater influence.

    I can understand the emerging economic nations feeling optimistic as economic growth has surged in 2010. In Europe, while most economies are no longer in recession, their economies are simply crawling along in comparison. What is not helping much of Europe are government cutbacks which adds to a sense of doom and gloom.

    If one looks at world history, there have always been shifts of power. Although this one is of an economic nature, another power shift is taking place.

  • Comment number 56.

    I've just been red-carded by the moderators here for saying nothing more harmful than "Britain,seek thou God".Now, if it isn't too hard a thing to ask, I'd like the moderators to get back to me and kindly explain what in any of this was a breach of "house rules".

    I tell you what, I may be country, but I'm not stupid. Its pretty easy to see that all this yammer about freedom of speech is all cods-wallop. Here on BBC, some gherkins called "moderators" sit back and filter through only those things that further their secret little and pernicious aim. Apparently it is all fair and fine to insult God, faith, Christianity, the Pope, catholic priests and anything good, but to speak up for any of these is graded as unpublishable. Fine. You may go ahead and cut off this present posting, it will count for nothing because effective today and now I withdraw my registration on this blog and will no longer post anything on it.See this therefore as my valedictory speech, my final curtain call on BBC Have Your Say.

  • Comment number 57.

    Would power and prosperity make a country more optimistic? I do not know.

    But I do know that the converse is true - seeing successive governments trash you country makes you more pessimistic.

  • Comment number 58.

    45. At 7:00pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ron C wrote:
    13. At 1:54pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!

    Is that it?, your final and only one word of reply, your interlectual skills truly stretched to it`s full limit on a brilliant post, so whats your contribution.
    ------------------------------------------
    Succinct and accurate. What more can one want?

  • Comment number 59.

    Whose power and whose prosperity is supposed to make us optimistic - in this country only the 5% very wealthy have that sort of power and prosperity. Evrybody else has to earn all that money for them to collect so no it does not make us feel good.

  • Comment number 60.

    19. At 2:26pm on 22 Dec 2010, Darwins Chimp wrote:
    14. At 1:58pm on 22 Dec 2010, AndyC555 wrote:

    Yes.

    For all the ideologoical socialist clap-trap spouted in China over the last 50 years, more chinese have been lifted out of poverty in the few years since they embraced free-market thinking than ever were under the communists.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The same is happening to South American countries which in the main have been Right Wing Dictatorships for the past 200 Years, but there it is socialist leaders that are enabling the rise in prosperity and standards of living."

    fair point.

    Down with ideological claptrap from either extreme of the political spectrum and up with free-market thinking.

  • Comment number 61.

    It helps but mostly it has to do with a "get up and go" spirit. In America, we were pioneers and dreamed big. We were the best and nothing was impossible for us to achieve. Sometimes just having really strong convictions brings you through eventhough we're a nation of bumbling idiots most of the time. We owe a debt of gratitude to those original Englishmen and women. They were really brave to come so far and seek out a better life for their children.

  • Comment number 62.

    Gaining even an Inch will always be Psychologically more Encouraging than Loosing a Yard, because the Inch represents PROGRESS, an essential for Optimism.

  • Comment number 63.

    "
    53. At 8:32pm on 22 Dec 2010, DoleBoy wrote:

    38. At 5:11pm on 22 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    The UK is the "most downhearted country" because we've on the brink of becoming a 3rd world county ourselves. Most of this is down 13 years Labour madness, but now the Tories are in and they are doing nothing to solve the real problems in this country. It's as if Nu-Labour have been re-elected.
    ...............................................................
    Your disappointment is your own doing, to believe that a Tory/Labour government, or any government/leader can solve your problems is I’m afraid naive at best! What makes a nation is a forced identity, propaganda, dictatorships and plenty of oppression, all under the name of a flag! The UK like USA China et al are simply ideologies, all based around the same principles, a leader, a bunch of supporting dimwits, an army to control the oppressed and protect the bourgeoisie, and an aggressive territorial behaviour, bit like religion huh! Nations, countries, regions, towns, flags and football teams, all the same nonsense, it’s tribal, threatening and totally destructive evidenced by constant wars and conflicts stretched over thousands of years. If I and others can see this then why can’t you?
    If a nation is characterised by a mass of people providing the best of everything for a minority at their own sacrifice, then it about sums up this UK ideology! Does that sound fair to you?
    "

    I have no idea what you're on about.

  • Comment number 64.

    If BBC HYS is anything to go by the UK is full of moaners and whiners regardless of the state of the economy.

    Happy holidays!

  • Comment number 65.

    BluesBerry wrote:

    "I agree with the survey that the biggest number of optimists live in countries like China, Brazil and India; the economies are emerging, but more than that, especially in South America, the people have been given voice by some great socialist leaders e.g. Evo Morales."

    LOL. So they "have been given voice, huh?" You mean by those same people that will block and take away voices if they don't fall in line with the governments, or should I say the dictatorships?

    Too funny.

  • Comment number 66.

    ColadadelCid wrote:

    "Well you can go ask the Yanks they're happiest when they are bombing some third world nation on the other side of the globe into oblivion just to rebuild it from dust and call it democracy, and yet for the last two years at least the Americans have been all glum even quite pessimistic rather than optimistic unless you are a crooked banker and have been bailed out by the taxpayers then you're in heaven."

    Typical. So is this your way of appearing "optimistic" or less pessimistic by foolishly trying to make Americans appear as miserable as you and many of your fellow countrymen?

    Let me guess, you are British?

  • Comment number 67.

    Allen T2,
    Americans were initially down for a time but they are recovering. We will forge the nation we want because we're hard working and enthusiastic. We will pay off our debts to China and emerge from our opressors. We will end the Federal Reserve and take our power back. We are Americans and we can do anything!

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm not sure it is just the UK economy that makes us pessimistic. Even when the economy recovers in 2011 I think there will still be a great deal of negativity in Britain.
    This is mainly related to social issues and injustices brought about by a variety of highly-publicised activities: immigration, EU membership, political corruption (expenses), youth crime and unsafe neighbourhoods, unemployment etc etc.
    15-20 years ago, when I was in my 30s, these issues were not so prevalent as they are today. Consequently, I did not really think about them.
    Today, they are major problems facing the country and they are a worry. I don't even think of the economy (in comparison with other countries) as a major problem in the big scheme of things. I worry/think more about whether my car is going to be nicked tonight, why we are giving billions in foreign aid and to the EU, what type of country my grandchildren are growing up in.
    I have always been an optimist, but then I served my country for 28 years, in a great number of horrible places. You can't be anything else in those situations!!!!! Having retired from the military and living in this country is slowly beating the optimism out of me!!

  • Comment number 69.

    People are optimistic when they see a chance to better their lives. In this country, most people just get prevented from doing something by endless red tape, and if they manage to get past all that, get screwed by ever increasing taxes. No wonder we feel down-trodden.

  • Comment number 70.

    Power and prosperity are a misconception that will bring many Asian countries to civil war in the next 10 years.

    Unfortunately they are run by with a high degree of corruption and political dogma, the outcome of this is that the rich will get richer and the poor poorer, expectations in the population will rise and the shanty towns outside the new glittering metropolises will fuel unrest.

    what we in the west need to ask ourselves is why we accept unethical trading while trying to give ourselves rights and political correctness.

    Asia doesnt give a damm about that and we buy the spoils of virtual slavery at our own costs in lost jobs.. We need to introduce sanctions, not on trade but on our own ethical purchasing, we need to set standards and not give away our hard earned cash until the Asians play ball.

    Really we should be more aware of the poverty in Asia and why they can supply us with such dirt cheap stuff, and how they infringe patents with impunity..they will only get rich if we allow them to continue to operate in shameful ways.

  • Comment number 71.

    Yes! That is why America can wake up today and say it is going to nuke Syria or any other country it likes.

  • Comment number 72.

    "58. At 10:04pm on 22 Dec 2010, Human0Bean wrote:
    45. At 7:00pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ron C wrote:
    13. At 1:54pm on 22 Dec 2010, Ax0l0tl wrote:
    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:

    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.

    The failed multiculturalism project, the complete lack of identity, the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it. The EU dictating our way of life and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.

    THIS is what makes a nation downhearted. When you see people calling for the deaths of our soldiers and the Police protecting THEM.

    When you have a nanny state created by the left wing. A state where everyone is on camera dozens of times per day. Where you have to have background checks if you want to look after your neighbours kid.

    This country has been destroyed by the left wing.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Bonkers!

    Is that it?, your final and only one word of reply, your interlectual skills truly stretched to it`s full limit on a brilliant post, so whats your contribution."

    Seems perfectly accurate to me.

  • Comment number 73.


    Kolawole Ajao 71 "Yes! That is why America can wake up today and say it is going to nuke Syria or any other country it likes."

    STUPID CHILD

  • Comment number 74.

    Optimism is relativity between your current and future situations. It should come as no surprise that a poor man who makes $1 a day feels more optimistic than a rich one that makes $1000 a day - the former's income has potential to move upward at a much faster clip than the latter, besides he has only known terribly poverty and misery all his life.

    But I'm more than a little skeptical about the very limited sample size (on a per country basis) and most pertinently, whether the poll questioned the poorest people in the poor nations - for example, peasants who are illiterate, desperate and live in a state of virtual slavery through bonded labor in India or China. These people may have very different opinions from the people living in cities like Mumbai or Shanghai. I know that is true at least with my homeland (India). In 2004 for example, the ruling party in India lost the elections by trumpeting an 'India Shining' slogan that angered enough of the poor and desperate to vote them out of power.

    Finally, the eastern nations are wisely enough moving towards a capitalistic model at the same time that the western ones are moving towards a socialistic welfare state. The latter if not stopped will eventually lead the West to financial ruin - we've already seen that with countries like Greece. You don't grow an economy and attain prosperity by forcing the rich to give to the poor by threat of violence. That eliminates the rich class, so everyone can now be equally miserable.

    Eventually you simply run out of money to give everything to everyone for free. Because to distribute these things - houses, food, medicine, education etc. - someone first needs to produce it. In other words, try rewarding and not demonizing the creators, not the consumers in a society. Unless the West turns decisively away from a welfare state model, that only seems to work economically in tiny cohesive nations like Sweden, it will stop growing economically. All the good intentions won't stop it from falling into financial and political decline. This unfortunately has already started in the US, accelerated by the present administration.

  • Comment number 75.



    "Gaining even an Inch will always be Psychologically more Encouraging than Loosing a Yard, because the Inch represents PROGRESS, an essential for Optimism." (LordBanners 62)

    My wife believes gaining an inch is the opposite of progress

  • Comment number 76.

    The biggest social leveller is the availability of education via the internet, which has only been very widely available for around 10 years.

    As long as it's "on the net" people can learn, and better themselves.

    You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

  • Comment number 77.

    Britain is a jaded society - we have run out of ambition ("Been there, done that") and we live for game-playing and trivia. The emerging nations want what we have, but when they get it, after 50 years or so, they will get bored too. We need something new and edifying - and I don't mean another season of X Factor, or some new millionares on Dragons' Den. How about reintroducing politics into our society? or trying to lead the wordl in saving our planet from ourselves?

  • Comment number 78.

    The UK is the most downhearted country. My, is it really you do surprise me!

    Excuse me why I take off my David Cameron rose tinted designer glasses.

    Oh yes, so it is! Hardly surprising though is it?

    The wealth gap is growing.
    People on low incomes are being forced to take pay cuts even though their financial burdens like mortgages have remained the same and could rocket in the New Year as the BOE is forced to raise interest rates and regardless of what we are being told prices in general are rising with a big rise forecast to coincide with the VAT rise.

    At the same time higher income wage earners are taking more and bigger bonuses and can afford to pay people to avoid them paying tax.

    The tax burden is greater on the low income group. The VAT increase of 2.5% in the New Year is a bigger burden to someone on minimum wage compared to someone on the national average or above. This is also true of increases in duty. E.g. 2p on a £4 bottle of wine (what the average person drinks) is a bigger tax increase than 2p on say a luxury £8 plus bottle of wine.

    The low income groups are also more susceptible to inflation most of which has been caused by the government increases in duty on fuel etc. and will be made worse by the VAT rise in the New Year.

    Jobs, especially the higher paid skilled job market is shrinking rapidly.
    There are fewer jobs available for the younger age groups as older people are forced to work longer.

    Like me, many people have been ripped off by greedy financial institutions mis-selling mortgages, pensions etc. whilst our funds have plummeted because of the financial crises caused by greed whilst without doubt our state pension is going to fade away to nothing.

    Our youngster are now looking forward to less jobs and the prospect of mounting debts as they are forced to pay for tuition fees.

    So for the life of me I can’t see why the UK is so downhearted.

    Merry Christmas to you all and CHEER up!

  • Comment number 79.

    10. At 1:29pm on 22 Dec 2010, Trench Broom wrote:
    The downhearted UK is like this not because of economic problems, but because of the social disaster that has befallen us - especially under 13 years of Labour.


    What "social disaster"? Do you not have access to technologies and amenities today that your parents could only dream about? Your parents and grandparents would look at your lifestyle today and be amazed and shocked: shocked at our selfishness and self indulgence; amazed at our ability to communicate.


    The failed multiculturalism project,


    I have news for you: this country has been multicultural for well over 1000 years. Our monarchs in that time have been Danish, Norman, French, Welsh, Scottish and German (Anglo Saxon for only 30 years in that period). Our culture is an amazing blend of all those plus influences from all around the world due to our imperial period. This is rich and varieted: hardly "failed".


    the complete lack of identity,


    Your identity is what you make it. If you need something like a clan or a tribe, you must be very insecure.


    the scenes of poppies being burned and nothing being done about it.


    This is known as "freedom of expression", something that has been part of Britain's traditions and cultural identity for at least 300 years. I don't what these peopel did any more than you do, but they have a right to do it.


    The EU dictating our way of life


    How? What has the EU dictated we do recently that has been more harmful to you than anything a UK government has done? Do the French feel "dictated to" by the EU? And don't give vague, abstractions like "loss of sovereignty": in a globalised world, no nation has true sovereignty anymore.


    and we as a country being unable to deport a single terrorist or foreign criminal due to the horrendous 'human rights' industry created by the left wing traitors.


    Maybe you should ask why the other 47 countries that have ratified the ECHR and countries like the USA with comparable constitutional rights don't appear to have such issues.

    I think you're looking for others to blame for your life's predicament when really you should be looking in the mirror.

  • Comment number 80.

    Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic?

    Make a nation optimistic? Power and Prosperity is just what we told we were going to get under Thatcher, My, what short memories we all seem to have.
    Electricity, Gas, Telephone, Water, Train fares were all going to get much more reliable and cheaper because of privateisation................
    Has anyone experienced that? No, I didn't think so.

    It is very strange is it not that all these Utility companies reduced staff in order to supposedly save money and improve services - when in actual fact services went down the pan and huge salary increases and bonuses paid to those at the top. It didn't take too long for the Banks to latch on to this Bonus thing either did it?
    BAA Is a prime example - look at the BBC report on Matthews agreeing not to take his bonus because of the chaos at Heathrow, as is Railtrack - Bonuses for trains arriving within plus and minus nine minutes of the actual due time - What an absolute Joke!

    Planning, Forsight and Prosperity, that is what makes a nation, add power into the equasion and we end up with Greed.
    It is this Greed that has recked the economy of this country, but those at the very top are still doing very nicely thank you very much, 'We'll just continue taking our unearned bonuses we don't deserve'
    Whilst the ordinary people in this country are paying the price for this greed at the top.

    The Power of Greed Blinds all of everything other than the Greed Itself.

    I can see this country exploding into massive civil dissobediance before very long, once that starts, just how will the authorities who have contributed to this Greed respond, or maybe they won't even survive it when it does finally happen - which it will.

  • Comment number 81.

    No it is because the quality of our media and journalism is so poor that they can only write negatively. It is far easier to criticise than to praise and our media have been whipping up this storm of misery for years now. Perhaps they have an agenda but I suspect it is just because they are mostly second rate writers who are only in the jobs because Mummy and Daddy had the money to send them to a good school where they made the right friends etc etc.

    Look out the window. Has the snow brought the world to a halt? No, everything is still moving, some more people are skiving than usual and mostly it is a white and cold version of the usual world out of the window. Some people not being able to fly for a day or the odd road being blocked for a few hours is not a disaster but the media would have you believe it was. Apply the same logic to just about everything they report and we might be a lot more happy or confident.

    Things are bad for some people, they always are. A few more people than last year will be unemployed, but they won't starve and they won't be homeless. Happy Christmas whingers.

  • Comment number 82.

    Prosperity is probably a big catalist among most people of a nation. When things go well, one tend to worrie less. But one should not forget that in every nation, however prosperous, there are always people who do not thrive of of that prosperity. So in that way prosperity of a nation does not necessarily lead to optimism among all people of that nation.

  • Comment number 83.

    These stories are just used as an excuse to further abuse and humiliate the working class of the UK.

    If you buy into it it, they'll be followed with more legislation to make you "more competitive" with third world workers.

  • Comment number 84.

    "
    82. At 2:18pm on 23 Dec 2010, Loewis wrote:

    But one should not forget that in every nation, however prosperous, there are always people who do not thrive of of that prosperity.
    "

    That's because they are useless.

  • Comment number 85.

    I think the direction of socio-economic trends creates optimism. If you look at Britain we are pretty pessimistic but I don't think many of us would swap our lives here for one working in an Indian call-centre or textiles factory.

    The report findings are also consistent with happiness surverys that found Scandianivian countries have the highest levels of happiness, apprently a result of their having a very small gap between rich and poor. Just goes to show that what is claimed as being good for business is not necessarily good for happiness.

  • Comment number 86.

    I concur with the impression that the UK is a fed-up country.

    Thanks to years of Labour mis-management, the whole economy was left in a complete shambles. In 13 years, my wife and I lost our married couple's allowance, mortgage interest relief, the ability to reclaim tax deducted from dividends, tax exemption on PEPs and ISAs, and tax exemption on private pension funds. Our hard-earned money went on immigrants and asylum seekers and their families, who have never paid one penny in taxes, on medical treatment and living costs. It was also squandered on thousands of undeserving layabouts in the form of countless different types of social security benefits.

    As if that weren't enough, we've had to suffer negligible interest on our retirement savings simply to help those families on joint incomes of £50,000+ with overstretched mortgages who are amazingly now labelled as disadvantaged. We have a declining police force, a shambles of a county council that now has a herd of white elephants, and laws that favour the criminal and never the victim.

    When they bring back the three Rs, flogging and hanging, my mood might lift. Until then, I just don't see any rosy future for this country.

  • Comment number 87.

    84. At 3:00pm on 23 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    82. At 2:18pm on 23 Dec 2010, Loewis wrote:

    But one should not forget that in every nation, however prosperous, there are always people who do not thrive of of that prosperity.
    "

    That's because they are useless.
    .....................................
    Yep, I agree Kuradi Vitukari, you don't seem to have much idea about anything really..

  • Comment number 88.

    National power and prosperity may translate into optimism, but much depends upon how the "prosperity" is distributed among citizens, who controls it, and how it is administered. National prosperity is a two-edged sword - it may depend upon the exploitation of people and resources both within the country and in other parts of the world as it enriches a privileged class. That generally results in a power elite class who then can manipulate news and data so that it serves as propaganda to reaffirm their positions and to attempt to persuade the less well off that they also are prosperous, so that optimism may well be contrived. A country's power can be used as an instrument of worldwide imperialism. Military victories abroad often are used to further the causes and concepts of optimism and prosperity at home.

  • Comment number 89.

    Not really. It only makes the rich more apprehensive of paying more taxes. The only way to solve this would be, if all people were poor or all were rich. When all are rich you share the tax burden. When all are poor nobody worries about taxes.

  • Comment number 90.

    India and China - to name two - have become powerful and are prospering but to what avail. In India, almost half of the population are below poverty line and live in slums. Prosperity is for the rich who get richer and are powerful or vice versa. China wallows in making dubious products and exporting them thus becoming rich in wealth and power. Indian senators or ministers are optimistic and overzealous in exploring avenues to amass pelf and power. There are almost half a dozen scams going on in the present scenario connected to the ruling party and the major opposition. Raids are conducted months after some brave activist files right to information plea. How many of such tainted ministers get punished when exposed - four per cent to cite statistics. Optimism my foot!

  • Comment number 91.

    Staying in a developing country in West Africa definitely kills your optimism. Thanks to Globalisation, we know how backward we are infrastructurally and in terms of standard of living. But if one can struggle to acquire qualitative education, one can be fairly sure of breaking into the upper echelon of society.

  • Comment number 92.

    Staying in a developing country in West Africa definitely kills your optimism. Thanks to Globalisation, we know how backward we are infrastructurally and in terms of standard of living. But if one can struggle to acquire qualitative education, one can be fairly sure of breaking into the upper echelon of society.

  • Comment number 93.

    Staying in a developing country in West Africa definitely kills your optimism. Thanks to Globalisation, we know how backward we are infrastructurally and in terms of standard of living. But if one can struggle to acquire qualitative education, one can be fairly sure of breaking into the upper echelon of society where optimism is certain to a large extent.

  • Comment number 94.

    HYS: "Does where you live affect your optimism? Are you an optimist?"

    Yes - If we live in a Country with a technologically-rich History etc, pride in that History naturally makes us optimistic.
    However - on a smaller scale, if we are raised in a deprived area - such as a 'sink-estate' - it will naturally curb our optimism.


    HYS: "Are you an optimist?"

    Normally, yes - but having a big concern for the success of my Country and it's people, my biggest concern is for the quality of my Government, their Policies, and the way those Policies affect the outlook & behaviour of our People.


    HYS: "Does this survey reflect your own experience?"

    Yes - EG: We can see just how optimistic the American people were prior to the Financial crash, likewise the current optimism of China's economic 'boom'. Personally, I have never felt so pessimistic as I was during Nu-Labours governance - which in my opinion, dragged the majority of people down - especially with regard to fairness and morality.


    HYS: "Do people who live in richer countries have the right to be pessimistic?"

    Of course - as long as the financial-success of that Country is contributed to by all Citizens fairly, and that the success is shared by all - why not?


    HYS: "What are your hopes for 2011?"

    Primarily, that our present Government act on their Policies with determination and dig us out of this Financial and moral-quagmire. The only way this can be achieved, is for the Citizens to accept the NEED for change. The longer we refuse to accept the need for change - the longer this Country - and it's Citizens, will suffer.

    On a smaller scale, I hope that common-sense is allowed to return to Justice - with far less preferential-treatment for offenders. Consideration for victims should far outweigh our consideration of offenders. 'Human-Rights' have become the 'bane' of fair-minded People in this Country.

    Ditto for the extreme Political-correctness that demands preferential-treatment for dogmatic reasons - not fairness...

  • Comment number 95.

    Do power and prosperity make a nation optimistic?

    Not when they are waved in the face of that nation.

  • Comment number 96.

    At 4:40pm on 23 Dec 2010, milvusvestal wrote:
    "I concur with the impression that the UK is a fed-up country.
    Thanks to years of Labour mis-management," etc.

    Whoa! I've seen this all my life. If you believe it is down to any one party you've swallowed the bait hook line and sinker. Alice in Wonderland - Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum? We are slaves to class in uk.

  • Comment number 97.

    we have a lot to be down hearted about mr mynott.yet another poll showing the gap between rich and poor getting wider and this is the 21st
    century.if we all had enough money so as to be free from the worry of debt and house repossesion,the differance it would make throughout society would be cosmic.if it was appropiate for the brains of our country to create a system for this to be so,then we would at last have created a land fit for hero's.for make no mistake it is the lack of funs that make people or is at the root of there unhappiness.of course they will be those that say but the air is free and the wonders of the countryside is free and so on and so on, but the fact remains,in a global capitalist system we choose to live in,money truly does,make the world go around.

  • Comment number 98.

    "
    87. At 5:38pm on 23 Dec 2010, DoleBoy wrote:

    84. At 3:00pm on 23 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    82. At 2:18pm on 23 Dec 2010, Loewis wrote:

    But one should not forget that in every nation, however prosperous, there are always people who do not thrive of of that prosperity.
    "

    That's because they are useless.
    .....................................
    Yep, I agree Kuradi Vitukari, you don't seem to have much idea about anything really..
    "

    Then tell me why they are not prosperous then? Oh, yes it's societies fault. The fail because they are useless, period.

  • Comment number 99.

    wheres my posting

  • Comment number 100.

    98. At 1:22pm on 24 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    87. At 5:38pm on 23 Dec 2010, DoleBoy wrote:

    84. At 3:00pm on 23 Dec 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    82. At 2:18pm on 23 Dec 2010, Loewis wrote:

    But one should not forget that in every nation, however prosperous, there are always people who do not thrive of of that prosperity.
    "

    That's because they are useless.
    .....................................
    Yep, I agree Kuradi Vitukari, you don't seem to have much idea about anything really..
    "

    Then tell me why they are not prosperous then? Oh, yes it's societies fault. The fail because they are useless, period.
    ......................
    Nope, nowhere close. You ask a question then supply your own answer, hmmm not a good way to learn. Lesson one, take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth!

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.