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.
TEHRAN—Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America’s uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon. “Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran,” said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and ”everything they need” to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material. ”Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that’s proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat.” Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel.
Source: The Onion
Covert war is still war, and war on another front is not what we need right now. Get the facts and muffle that drumbeat against Iran.
The U.S. considered sending in covert missions to Iran to recover a drone that crashed in the country, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The RQ-170 Sentinel, a high-altitude stealth drone known as the Beast of Kandahar, went down in Iran while on a surveillance mission. Iran said it shot the drone down, but the U.S. maintains it crashed due to a malfunction.
I, for one, am supremely disappointed at the prospect of the U.S. missing out on an entire episode of the critically acclaimed series, especially based on the worthless reasoning that “it’s controversial.” Controversy is good. Controversy begets conversation and progress. If Attenborough does come off as alarmist, allow people the opportunity to interpret that on their own, and others to respond to it in turn. I can’t think of a worse way to handle the situation than to not air it at all.
David Attenborough on the U.S. censorship of the Discovery Chanel’s episode on climate change.
More at io9
You can’t have a conversation about climate change if you … well, refuse to have a conversation at all.
“You can’t have a conversation about climate change if you … well, refuse to have a conversation at all.”
That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.