Motherhood in national perspective.
"During that time period from the late 1970s to the 2000s, while women were increasing their work hours, other developed countries were passing family-friendly policies like paid family leave and affordable childcare. The United States, on the other hand, is one of just five countries across the entire globe that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. The country ranks at number twenty-one among developed countries for the percentage of GDP spent on preschool, and spending on childcare assistance has hit a decade low."
"It heartens me that you’ve taken up the mantle of spreading “awareness” about the 200 girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok; it heartens me that you’ve heard the cries of mothers and fathers who go yet another day without their child. It’s nice that you care.
"Here’s the thing though, when you pressure Western powers, particularly the American government to get involved in African affairs and when you champion military intervention, you become part of a much larger problem. You become a complicit participant in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa. This is not good. (via Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse. - Compare Afrique : Compare Afrique)
While the U.S. enjoys the second highest per capita GDP of $45,336, it ranks in an underperforming 16th place overall. It gets worse. The U.S. ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety.
More surprising is the fact that despite being the home country of global tech heavyweights Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Oracle, and so on, the U.S. ranks a disappointing 23rd in access to the Internet. “It’s astonishing that for a country that has Silicon Valley, lack of access to information is a red flag,” notes Michael Green, executive director of the Social Progress Imperative, which oversees the index.
If this index is an affront to your jingoistic sensibilities, the U.S. remains in first place for the number of incarcerated citizens per capita, adult onset diabetes and for believing in angels.
New Zealand is ranked in first place in social progress. Interestingly, it ranks only 25th on GDP per capita, which means the island of the long white cloud is doing a far better job than America when it comes to meeting the need of its people. In order, the top 10 is rounded out by Switzerland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Denmark and Australia.
Unsurprisingly these nations all happen to rank highly in the 2013 U.N. World Happiness Report with Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden among the top five.
So, what of the U.S? In terms of happiness, we rank 17th, trailing neighboring Mexico.
Is this series out on DVD yet?
Beginning scene of the new HBO series The Newsroom explaining why America’s Not the Greatest Country Any Longer… But It Can Be.
Want to stand in awe of our universe? Listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson and tremble.