I’ve spent the last three Fridays writing about individuals and their faces. How we perceive ourselves, how others see us and the things we do to change our facial image.
While our individual ideas about our looks are subjective, the face of America is clearly measurable and objective. It’s wonderful to love our country, but it’s totally stupid to shout we are better (or #1) in any category unless you can prove it. It’s better to look at measurable statistics with a reasonable approach then believing senseless slogans and puffery. I can shout that the Cubs are #1 over and over, yet the truth is they haven’t been for one hundred and six years.
Where can we find out how we stack-up with other countries? How can we know if our health care, safety, poverty, personal freedoms, clean air and water, and other things are “better” than another country?
This week the “Social Progress Index” of 2014 was released. A Conservative Republican Economist, one of the most respected in the world, headed up the team that put these figures together. His name is Michael Porter and he is the Director of the Institute for Strategy and Competiveness. He is a hard-core Capitalist. Michael Porter is said to be the most “cited scholar in business and economics in the world.”
I think his credentials, and his brilliant team, are important to know so the huge number of Americans who “hate” professors, science, and other people who are “trying to change their minds” might think about some things with an open mind…hopefully.
There is no doubt that America is the richest country in the world. There is no doubt that America spends more on their Military budget than the next EIGHT highest spending countries combined. It is a fact that 8 out of the 10 richest people in the world live in the USA. But—what the hell does that have to do with you and me? This is what the 2014 Social Progress Index is all about.
I encourage each of you readers to spend a small amount of time and Google the things I’m writing about. Check out how POORLY we compare to other countries in every category you can imagine. There is an OVERALL rating and the USA rates 16th. Japan, Ireland, Germany, Britain are all ahead of the USA.
There are dozens of categories and they are each broken down into a rigorous measurement framework using the best data available in the world.
Here is just ONE sub-category called Health and Wellness. Japan is Number One. Italy is Number Two. Switzerland is Number Three. You have to scroll quite a way down the page to find the USA coming in at NUMBER SEVENTY.
Until we know the truth about how it really IS for you, me, and our neighbors things will never change. We will remain a Faceless America…just the way 8 out of 10 of the world’s richest people want it to be.
Here is a direct link: http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/data/spi