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Though I am not surprised at the ranking, I'd like to know what dominating factors contribute to our lower ranking on the global Human Development Index scale.


The 2009 report was released on October 5, 2009, and covers the period up to 2007. It was titled "Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and
development". The top countries by HDI were grouped in a new category
called "Very High Human Development". The report refers to these
countries as "developed countries".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index


The HDI combines three dimensions:


Tags: development, human

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To disagree with Larry on 100% of his issues:

Contributing to life expectancy at birth: poverty and lack of health care in the United States.

Knowledge and education: A prevailing anti-intellectualism and Christian fundamentalism that accepts myth and dogma as fact, and a news media that reports every concept, no matter how fruity, as deserving of reportage and respect. The US accepts way too much non scientific thought as truth--like intelligent design, instead of evolution. Does any other industrialized country so blatantly turn its back on science and the scientific method? And now the fine state of Texas is going to dictate that no schools teach evolution because the concept is not acceptable for inclusion in textbooks.....what do you expect?

Discipline in the schools is not the problem. Perhaps if we looked at how learning actually takes place (guess what? It is not by making kids sit in a straight row and shut up until spoken to! That is a system that makes docile burger flippers and corporate peons rather than fully engaged, interested and interesting people) and took an interest in the process, oh, and in the children themselves, that would bear better results.

Standard of Living: Probably the reason the United States ranks on indexes like this at all. The US has had its too high standard of living for way too many years by taking from the rest of the world....a small percentage of the world's population living on a high percentage of the world's resources.

Add to all this the notion that the US doesn't have any real culture, but has instead an economy....where we all seem to feel the need to scramble for money instead of things that might make life meaningful and satisfying...and well, what do you expect?
Let's take money out of the equation mak. What makes life meaningful and satisfying?
Connecting with friends for scintillating conversation and thought....creative endeavors (whatever your particular creativity involves)....quiet thought and reflection, in my case often accompanied by walks alone through nature or cityscapes.....I'm not saying we don't do this stuff, I am saying that by necessity in a "culture" such as ours we have to allow these things take a lower priority than the scramble for the almighty buck....and we have set up our world (yes, we have) in such a way that the dollar comes first. Causing too much stress and pain.
Money doesn't cause stress and pain, lack of it does. I like having a roof over my head and food in my belly. And I REALLY liked providing this for my family and love seeing my kids providing the same for their families. Capitalism provided the cityscape for you to enjoy.
Ummm with all due respect, Larry, you are one of the lucky ones. Capitalism causes a lack of money for most people and the stress and pain. Remember, capitalism is like a game of Monopoly: eventually one person has all the marbles.
" ...Remember, capitalism is like a game of Monopoly: eventually one person has all the marbles..."

Games are a whimsical subset of models. The more elements of a system that can be correctly quantified, the more useful a model built on them becomes. Monopoly is not such a system, nor was it designed to be. It's designed to be a fun game.

Far from demanding one winner, capitalism is an incredibly varied group of people who, while striving to achieve personal goals, must convince others to help them along the way. Not "compel", "convince".

This complex system has at its core a simple principle: people seek gratification. The successful ones are aware of the frailty of their place in the system, and they are always looking for new allies. This means doing things that encourage innovation, investment and personal development. It's why we build cities, make markets and live life

If I try to bust everybody out of the market, I am left with no market. There's no future in that.

Saying that Monopoly is like capitalism is like saying that Mystery Date is like courtship.
You have to have enough money to buy enough food, shelter and clothing to afford the luxury of all that conversation, creativity, walks and reflection.

Drum circles and incense are even more expensive.
A prevailing anti-intellectualism and Christian fundamentalism that accepts myth and dogma as fact, and a news media that reports every concept, no matter how fruity, as deserving of reportage and respect.

Take a look at the majority of comments in the WTP aka 'The Dull Normal' Club and you will see just how prophetic your statement is.
Seperation of church and state. We need to get back to this. Freedom of Religion is great, just please keep all your beliefs out of our schools and our government.
Animak,

No "real culture"? Are you serious?

Welty, Fitzgerald, Didion, Pynchon, Roth, Bellow, Penn-Warren, Styron, Cather, Leonard, Hemingway ... right off the top of my head in thirty seconds flat, and that's just authors. And I'm just a guy 30 miles out of Houston, Texas ...

No culture, my foot.
The National Academy of Science has reported that over 47 million Americans are living below the poverty line. The Census Bureau has reported the number to be somewhere around 40 million. Living in poverty affects all areas of life including birth rates, education, and certainly standards of living. Obviously, all things suffer. But then, that's Capitalism for you.....everything there is to own is owned by the top 1% of the population. Even though it's the only "culture" we've ever known, it only works well for those who have the access to gain the most....the extremely wealthy.
Belle,

This means that about 261 million are living above the poverty line. I have already destroyed the "1% argument" earlier in another thread. Click here to see the facts about US income distribution.

As for "access" being closed to all but the extremely wealthy, that will come as big news to all us Baby Boomers whose fathers went to college on the GI Bill, and who, along with our mothers, provided us with the biggest economic expansion in world history.

As one of three children from a family of sufficient but modest means, I am living proof that this country will allow you to go as far as your talent, training and tenacity will take you.

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