Saturday, October 29, 2011


I've always felt lucky to have been born in the USA, the best place in the world.  I still want to believe this, but times have changed, and I'm not sure anymore that the US is the best.

How would one objectively determine the best place?

I don't really know, but this chart seems to be as good a place to start as any.  It looks at the poverty levels in the developed world, income distribution, the level of resources devoted to preparing preschool children for school and quality of health care.  It also has an overall measure termed "social justice" that the report describes as: "The differences in the prevention of poverty and access to educational opportunities...".  The report clearly demonstrates, the US is not the best place to be if you are poor.  In the US chances are if you are poor, you will remain poor and so will your children.

A large and growing permanent underclass is as much a threat to domestic tranquility as any threats from abroad.  In 2010 the US was responsible for 43% of the entire world's defense expenditures.  The Chinese spent 7.3%.  I think we can safely take a few billion from the military to educate our children and care for our sick and poor.  Besides, if our wacko politicians had a few less toys to play with we might not send our kids on dangerous, silly, expensive overseas escapades.


  1. How were you able to import that chart?

    Good books: Sailing to Hemingway's Cuba by Dave Schaefer and Sea Room by Adam Nicholson [maybe told you this one before].