Iraqis and Afghans are among the most optimistic people in the world when it comes to their economic future, a new survey for the BBC suggests.Here are two other suggestions: (1) Perhaps their recent past, before the experience of war, serves as a reference point for them, and they hope for a better life relative to their sufferings under the Taliban and the Baathist regime. (2) It may be that they allow themselves some optimism because their priorities are not the same as those of so much of the Western liberal-left.
Canadians are bullish not just about their own finances (64%), but also about the economic prospects of their country (63%).
They are joined in their optimism by the people of two countries devastated by war and civil conflict, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, 70% say their own circumstances are improving, and 57% believe that the country overall is on the way up.
In Iraq, 65% believe their personal life is getting better, and 56% are upbeat about the country's economy.
The experts at polling firm Globescan, who conducted the survey, venture the guess that war may have created a "year zero" experience of collectively starting again.
The unhappiest people? Zimbabweans:
Among the six countries with unhappy majorities, Zimbabweans stand out as the most miserable lot.Another detail from the survey:
An overwhelming 90% of those interviewed say their country's economy is getting worse, and 84% are dubious about their own financial future.
Iraq... had a 40 percent plurality saying the UN has a negative influence while 34 percent thought it was a positive influence.(Hat tip: RB.)