Where the U.S. really stands compared to the rest of the world: The 2014 Social Progress Index

  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 11:28 AM GMT
    The exhaustive, highly respected, and seriously quantitatively based Social Progress Index for 2014 has been published.

    The URL is below, but I am highlighting the United States' scorecard, which you can find on p.63 of the report itself. Some of the findings are quite astounding (in terms of how we Americans see our country, and how it actually performs).

    The Index measures three broad categories and four subcategories under each of those: Below, the U.S. précis:

    1.BASIC HUMAN NEEDS: Overall Rank: 23/132
    a.Nutrition & basic medical care: 24
    b.Water & sanitation: 34
    c.Shelter: 9
    d.Personal safety: 31

    2.FOUNDATIONS OF WELLBEING: Overall Rank: 36/132
    a.Access to basic knowledge: 39
    b.Access to information & communications: 23
    c.Health & wellness: 70 (That puts us right down there with... Iraq)
    d.Ecosystem Sustainability: 69

    3.OPPORTUNITY: Overall Rank: 5/132
    a.Personal rights: 22
    b.Personal freedom & choice: 15
    c.Tolerance & inclusion: 13
    d. Access to advanced education: 1

    http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/system/resources/W1siZiIsIjIwMTQvMDQvMTUvMTQvMTkvNTAvMTU0L1NvY2lhbF9Qcm9ncmVzc19JbmRleF8yMDE0X1JlcG9ydF9lXy5wZGYiXV0/Social%20Progress%20Index%202014%20Report%20e%20.pdf
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
    But, but... If we chant: "USA! USA! USA! We're number one! We're number one!!!" doesn't that MAKE us number one?

    No, this index is a lie. Fox News absolutely guarantees us we're number one in everything. Except, of course, with our Chief Executive, where we're dead last.

    We've gotta turn this index around. Repeat after me: "USA! USA! USA! We're number one! We're number one!!!" There, now we're number one again. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Apr 21, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    I guess I had a vague knowledge that we'd rank where we do in these categories, but it wasn't until the end, Access to Advanced Education, that I got to thinking about it. We truly were #1 following WW2 but mostly because the rest of the civilized world was in shambles. And our education system was first rate up until about 1970 when it started to decline mostly because of forced integration and bussing. Now I'm not saying that the injustices didn't need correcting, they did, it was just that that was when the broad middle classes started disconnecting from K-12 as a given highest priority. We have the best access to college now but I'm afraid a lot of college is (and sometimes isn't) just finishing the education that most 1st world countries get before college. The level of ignorance ("We're #1!) in this country is astounding but equally astounding is the crazy-headedness of the FOX-Republican crowd. I have wealthy, educated friend that just told me he had a "God given right" to have guns. WTF? He said it was an "inalienable right" as defined in the Constitution. I'm not sure what can be done with that kind of mentality.
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    Apr 21, 2014 6:54 PM GMT
    This kind of stuff reinforces why I think 'studies' - especially in the soft sciences - are so far out in left field. (pun intended).

    Lets create a whole bunch of criteria to make countries like the US look bad, and then measure everyone by it.

    We rank 5 out of 132 in opportunity? Get real.

    "Highly regarded?" Yeah - amongst all social scientists who think like they do.

    Does the US have issues? Of course. Is it nearly as bad as this? No. Not even close.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Apr 21, 2014 7:30 PM GMT
    Thanks ,that was very interesting though i admit i only broused through to find my countrie's rankings [israel]
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 7:35 PM GMT
    weightliftr310 saidThis kind of stuff reinforces why I think 'studies' - especially in the soft sciences - are so far out in left field. (pun intended).

    Lets create a whole bunch of criteria to make countries like the US look bad, and then measure everyone by it.

    We rank 5 out of 132 in opportunity? Get real.

    "Highly regarded?" Yeah - amongst all social scientists who think like they do.

    Does the US have issues? Of course. Is it nearly as bad as this? No. Not even close.


    The team that compiled the results was led by Prof. Michael E. Porter of Harvard. He is a) a self-described conservative; b) a registered Republican; c) the "most often cited business professor on the planet." (Fareed Zakaria, CNN, April 20). He is not a "social scientist."

    More, from Wiki...
    "He is a leading authority on competitive strategy and the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions. Michael Porter's work is recognized in many governments, corporations and academic circles globally. He chairs Harvard Business School's program dedicated for newly appointed CEOs of very large corporations (another bunch of left-wing "social scientists," I suppose?)

    But I am sure he and his team will be delighted to find that you "think" their results are "not even close."

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    Apr 21, 2014 8:17 PM GMT
    weightliftr310 saidThis kind of stuff reinforces why I think 'studies' - especially in the soft sciences - are so far out in left field. (pun intended).

    Lets create a whole bunch of criteria to make countries like the US look bad, and then measure everyone by it.

    We rank 5 out of 132 in opportunity? Get real.

    "Highly regarded?" Yeah - amongst all social scientists who think like they do.

    Does the US have issues? Of course. Is it nearly as bad as this? No. Not even close.

    Funny how conservatives always dismiss research when the results annoy them. Or not funny, actually.
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    Apr 21, 2014 8:22 PM GMT
    its not that it annoys me, its that it is so obviously one sided that it stops being 'research' and turns into propaganda.

    Actually discuss real issues with a balanced approach, and I will listen (and change my opinion if its called for). Put out garbage like this, and why bother.

    This stuff is equivalent to the right's echo-chamber of Rush Limbaugh, but it masquerades as 'thinking,' because its 'backed by data.'

    I studied social sciences in college, so I've seen how this works, first-hand.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 8:25 PM GMT
    weightliftr310 saidits not that it annoys me, its that it is so obviously one sided that it stops being 'research' and turns into propaganda.

    Actually discuss real issues with a balanced approach, and I will listen (and change my opinion if its called for). Put out garbage like this, and why bother.

    This stuff is equivalent to the right's echo-chamber of Rush Limbaugh, but it masquerades as 'thinking,' because its 'backed by data.'

    I studied social sciences in college, so I've seen how this works, first-hand.


    You're funny. Have you read the report? WHICH criteria do you disagree with? WHICH quantitative analysis of theirs is faulty, and why? When you mock the "opportunity" ranking, why didn't you mock the, say, "sanitation" ranking? NOT on expert on that?

    It's THEY who have given a rigorous underpinning to their conclusions, and YOU who are just...what... as usual, "offended" because you don't "like the test results?"

    Try that the next time you visit your MD.
    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 8:28 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    The level of ignorance ("We're #1!) in this country is astounding but equally astounding is the crazy-headedness of the FOX-Republican crowd. I have wealthy, educated friend that just told me he had a "God given right" to have guns. WTF? He said it was an "inalienable right" as defined in the Constitution. I'm not sure what can be done with that kind of mentality.

    Rely on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law?
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Apr 21, 2014 8:37 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI guess I had a vague knowledge that we'd rank where we do in these categories, but it wasn't until the end, Access to Advanced Education, that I got to thinking about it. We truly were #1 following WW2 but mostly because the rest of the civilized world was in shambles. And our education system was first rate up until about 1970 when it started to decline mostly because of forced integration and bussing. Now I'm not saying that the injustices didn't need correcting, they did, it was just that that was when the broad middle classes started disconnecting from K-12 as a given highest priority. We have the best access to college now but I'm afraid a lot of college is (and sometimes isn't) just finishing the education that most 1st world countries get before college. The level of ignorance ("We're #1!) in this country is astounding but equally astounding is the crazy-headedness of the FOX-Republican crowd. I have wealthy, educated friend that just told me he had a "God given right" to have guns. WTF? He said it was an "inalienable right" as defined in the Constitution. I'm not sure what can be done with that kind of mentality.


    you missed Jesus' signature on the Constitution and Bill of Rights
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    Apr 21, 2014 8:47 PM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    weightliftr310 saidits not that it annoys me, its that it is so obviously one sided that it stops being 'research' and turns into propaganda.

    Actually discuss real issues with a balanced approach, and I will listen (and change my opinion if its called for). Put out garbage like this, and why bother.

    This stuff is equivalent to the right's echo-chamber of Rush Limbaugh, but it masquerades as 'thinking,' because its 'backed by data.'

    I studied social sciences in college, so I've seen how this works, first-hand.


    You're funny. Have you read the report? WHICH criteria do you disagree with? WHICH quantitative analysis of theirs is faulty, and why? When you mock the "opportunity" ranking, why didn't you mock the, say, "sanitation" ranking? NOT on expert on that?

    It's THEY who have given a rigorous underpinning to their conclusions, and YOU who are just...what... as usual, "offended" because you don't "like the test results?"

    Try that the next time you visit your MD.
    Good luck.


    this..."Try that the next time you visit your MD. Good luck." is what this research creates, and is likely the world-view of the researchers who put this stuff together.

    I don't need to see the article itself - I've read plenty of others - to know that when the US measures 5 out of 132 on 'opportunity,' something isn't drastically wrong with the US, something is wrong with the definition they use for "Opportunity." Where would Zambia fall on the opportunity scale? 1? So, then, there's only a 4 point difference between Zambia and the US? Please explain how that would meaningfully describe the difference between the US and Zambia opportunity-wise.

    Again, I've seen, in detail, how stuff like this gets put together. Start out with a screwy definition (however elaborate) of something, and you'll get the results you're looking for. In the echo-chamber of social science research, this stuff happens all the time.

  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    weightliftr310 said
    WrestlerBoy said
    weightliftr310 saidits not that it annoys me, its that it is so obviously one sided that it stops being 'research' and turns into propaganda.

    Actually discuss real issues with a balanced approach, and I will listen (and change my opinion if its called for). Put out garbage like this, and why bother.

    This stuff is equivalent to the right's echo-chamber of Rush Limbaugh, but it masquerades as 'thinking,' because its 'backed by data.'

    I studied social sciences in college, so I've seen how this works, first-hand.


    You're funny. Have you read the report? WHICH criteria do you disagree with? WHICH quantitative analysis of theirs is faulty, and why? When you mock the "opportunity" ranking, why didn't you mock the, say, "sanitation" ranking? NOT on expert on that?

    It's THEY who have given a rigorous underpinning to their conclusions, and YOU who are just...what... as usual, "offended" because you don't "like the test results?"

    Try that the next time you visit your MD.
    Good luck.


    this..."Try that the next time you visit your MD. Good luck." is what this research creates, and is likely the world-view of the researchers who put this stuff together.

    I don't need to see the article itself - I've read plenty of others - to know that when the US measures 5 out of 132 on 'opportunity,' something isn't drastically wrong with the US, something is wrong with the definition they use for "Opportunity." Where would Zambia fall on the opportunity scale? 1? So, then, there's only a 4 point difference between Zambia and the US? Please explain how that would meaningfully describe the difference between the US and Zambia opportunity-wise.

    Again, I've seen, in detail, how stuff like this gets put together. Start out with a screwy definition (however elaborate) of something, and you'll get the results you're looking for. In the echo-chamber of social science research, this stuff happens all the time.



    Read the report and get back to me with an "argument", as opposed to your baseless claims.
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    Apr 21, 2014 8:58 PM GMT
    you win.
  • carew28

    Posts: 662

    Apr 21, 2014 9:20 PM GMT
    Here are some statistics on the United States' lifespan, compared to other countries. I'm also including Canada and Great Britain, just for comparison:

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2013)

    U.S. average human lifespan 79.8 yrs. (35th out of 193)
    Great Britain " " 81.0 yrs. (29th out of 193)
    Canada " " 82.5 Yrs. (12th out of 193)


    UNITED NATIONS WORLD POPULATION PROSPECTS (2010)

    U.S.A. 77.97 yrs. (40th out of 198
    Great Britain 79.53 yrs. (23rd out of 198
    Canada 80.50 yrs. (11th out of 198





    U.S. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (2012)

    U.S.A. 78.37 yrs. (33rd out of 189)
    Great Britain 80.05 yrs. (20th out of 189)
    Canada 81.38 yrs. (9th out of 189)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 10:17 PM GMT
    So?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 10:22 PM GMT
    Only if you accept the authority of this "highly respected" organization. Otherwise, as someone else said, it's lies and propaganda. People sneak into this country for a reason, and it's not because of the flashy fashion shows in NY.
  • BAHBAA

    Posts: 122

    Apr 21, 2014 10:26 PM GMT
    So our ranking isn't the best but it is far from the worst... I would say overall its pretty good we're well above the median in all categories.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 10:45 PM GMT
    Blakes7 saidOnly if you accept the authority of this "highly respected" organization. Otherwise, as someone else said, it's lies and propaganda. People sneak into this country for a reason, and it's not because of the flashy fashion shows in NY.


    So let's try some hypotheticals. I have no children (God forbid!), but if I did, and they get report cards with an A, a couple of Bs, a C, and a D, I do one of two things: I call the school and say "This is a load of bullshit!" Or I say, "OK, you're doing well here, how do we keep this up? You're not doing so well here, how to we improve this?"

    Or..

    You're my college history prof. You ask me to write an essay on what I think of Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (because he's a "highly respected" authority on that, you see).

    My response to you is, "I haven't actually read the book, but it's a load of bullshit." You ask, "Why do you think that?" And I answer, "Because he's just trying to make a point."

    As my prof, what grade would you give me?

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    Apr 21, 2014 11:27 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidBut, but... If we chant: "USA! USA! USA! We're number one! We're number one!!!" doesn't that MAKE us number one?

    No, this index is a lie. Fox News absolutely guarantees us we're number one in everything. Except, of course, with our Chief Executive, where we're dead last.

    We've gotta turn this index around. Repeat after me: "USA! USA! USA! We're number one! We're number one!!!" There, now we're number one again. icon_biggrin.gif



    lol are you trying to leave him without anything to say?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 11:29 PM GMT
    BAHBAA saidSo our ranking isn't the best but it is far from the worst... I would say overall its pretty good we're well above the median in all categories.


    For the WEALTHIEST country in the world.... that's OK with you?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 11:52 PM GMT
    I don't know what's more troubling, the report or the unwillingness to actually read it.

    I've seen surveys done by Fox News. I think, "Boy, that's a troubling statistic, but I don't believe them because they're Bullshit Mountain." Then, you see the methodology of the study and admit, well, people do in fact support Duck Dynasty. Huh.
  • BAHBAA

    Posts: 122

    Apr 21, 2014 11:55 PM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    BAHBAA saidSo our ranking isn't the best but it is far from the worst... I would say overall its pretty good we're well above the median in all categories.


    For the WEALTHIEST country in the world.... that's OK with you?


    Completely ok, were ranked behind other wealthy developed countries.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 21, 2014 11:59 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidI don't know what's more troubling, the report or the unwillingness to actually read it.

    I've seen surveys done by Fox News. I think, "Boy, that's a troubling statistic, but I don't believe them because they're Bullshit Mountain." Then, you see the methodology of the study and admit, well, people do in fact support Duck Dynasty. Huh.


    Your point is so very well taken. Ralph Waldo Emerson (a very "great" American.... long before Hannity was a very "great" American) said we were the most "anti-intellectual nation to have ever been born."

    My point in posting this report was to try to engender a discussion about our misconceptions of ourselves, and how we make ourselves better. Instead of that, a poster compares us (the U.S.) to..."Zambia"....as if.... New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden..don't exist? Of COURSE he hasn't read the report; that would be an "intellectual" activity.

    Emerson was right then... and one look at many RJ forums, he's so right now.



  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Apr 22, 2014 12:02 AM GMT
    BAHBAA said
    WrestlerBoy said
    BAHBAA saidSo our ranking isn't the best but it is far from the worst... I would say overall its pretty good we're well above the median in all categories.


    For the WEALTHIEST country in the world.... that's OK with you?


    Completely ok, were ranked behind other wealthy developed countries.


    So if it's "ok" with you that we rank BEHIND Cuba in access to basic knowledge.. you'd agree, then, that at least in THAT regard their "system" of giving access to basic knowledge is... as good as ours, right?