Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nasty, Brutish, and Short

So where is this armpit of the European Union, this cancer of the continent?
Stop that! I know what you’re thinking!
Greece? The Balkans? Not exactly. Behold the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, population 503,000, a tiny freckle on the map between Belgium, France, and Germany.
Actually, I would call it a pollup. It’s one of those highly unusual places where, if you weren’t told were you were dropped in, you would have some sense you’re in northern Europe, but would be unable to establish where.
Luxembourg boasts the world's highest per capita GDP, $108,832 in 2010. But something must be wrong.
Much as no-one seems to make the strange and politically specious “affluenza” argument anymore, one wonders what they’re measuring:
The miserable Luxembourgers – who rate lower than all but one other European country on the Happy Planet Index (they're tied with war-torn Sudan!) – buy more cigarettes and alcohol and have a higher per capita carbon footprint than any other country.
Why can’t they practice self-immolation like the REAL believers in a desperate cause?