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News American Human Development Index report released

  1. Jul 16, 2008 #1

    & WOW is there some appalling stuff about the so-called "world's only superpower," if anyone cares. Here are some tidbits that stood out for the British media:

    & there are many more on the report's website here:

    I wonder what they would find if they included the US media in their research. Maybe they'd find that this report would never be covered by the American media. I couldn't find anything about it on the AP wire, UPI wire or CNN. I didn't look very hard beyond those but maybe some obscure alternative-media site with a couple hundred readers, or a public-access show picked it up.

    All that free-market crap sure seems self-serving. I never hear many poor people saying the government should get off their backs.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2008 #2
    I feel like every "statistic" in the quote is uninformative and biased.

    What does "among the top 15 causes of death" mean, why can't they say "14th and 15th, or 8th and 9th. "

    42nd in global life expectancy, ok, well how about the useful statistic, what IS FIRST and whats the standard deviation. If its like 79 max, and we're at 76.3 with 41st being 76.304 or something, than that statistic is quite misleading.

    I'm not commenting on their results, just their interpretation. Ah, but that quotes from the media I see now. Ok, nevermind.
  4. Jul 16, 2008 #3
    Good call on those quotes Healey. I suspect they're closer to what they intend to make the reader think, but you can't just take it at face-value like that. Very easy to mislead.
  5. Jul 17, 2008 #4
    Hey you know what : there is one way to decide where it's best to live. Go see somewhere else for yourself. I am always amazed how many american rednecks ask me wether we have running tap water in our castles in Europe, and if the princesses also ride horses. If there is one thing I will not pay attention to, that would be the objectivity of an american citizen on its own country. Most of them live in an imaginary world and that is a big issue of yours.

    These kind of studies are very informative, yet very difficult, so they should be taken as such : critically, in all meanings of the word.
  6. Jul 17, 2008 #5
    Yes... and I've talked to people from other countries who think I must be dodging bullets all the time and having to buy a new wallet every week. There are ignorant ethnocentric people all over the world.
  7. Jul 17, 2008 #6
    Well Said. I have lost count long ago after travelling to well over 30+ countries and I have the same conclusion.
  8. Jul 17, 2008 #7


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    The Independent story sounds like sensationalist crap.

    And for the numbers on infant mortality, that has been discussed here several times, and most of us know why that number looks deceptively poor.
  9. Jul 17, 2008 #8
    All coutries have ignorant ethnocentric people, sure. But you should admit that this is a crucial problem in the US. Your failure to acknowledge that only makes it worse. American people have no clue of what is outside there own country. You have the luck to live in such a great and huge country and I would certainly not blame Americans for spending little to no time abroad. But that should not prevent your concern, especially since this is the "Politics & World Affairs" discussion forum for which this issue is highly relevant, especially in the current situation.


    Information on how a country is doing from human developpement criteria compared to other countries is a very important information on what sectors can and should be improved. The above information (American Human Development Index report) has been displayed yesterday in major news programs of at least five different countries (US, France, Germany, England and Canada) which I saw before even reading this discussion. None of them focused on infant mortality.

    I have no clue why this stupid picture shows in the above video :grumpy:
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  10. Jul 17, 2008 #9
    Yeah, things are just horrible here in the US :rolleyes:. Wierd how people are in some cases literally dying to get here from other countries.

    I wonder if our distinct ethnic diversity, which probably contrasts any other country in the world might attribute to lower ranking, skewing the numbers on the overall lifespan average. We have the highest immigration of people from third world countries. Different cultures with different hygeine, different diets, overall health disciplines and the fact that we are one of the fattest (which I attribute to prosperity in all classes) countries on the planet.

    Even our bums are overwieght.
  11. Jul 17, 2008 #10
    You simply don't get it. I never said that. I said that you americans are so full or yourself and the fact that your country is so much better than the rest of the world that you have no problem sending your army to force other people to be happy. You have a problem and it is so deep that your heads are far below the surface.

    Acknowledge this, it will be the first step towards learning from other countries. No country is the best. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. It would make a dramatic change if the US could achieve this shift.
  12. Jul 17, 2008 #11
    Hey, let's skew the results the other way! No, that is just a logical fallacy, my friend. I'd rather live in Iran than Iraq right now, but does that mean either country is great?

    And it's not people from the UK or Germany coming here on rafts hoping to God they survive, it's people from Cuba. That would be like saying working as a monkey at McDonald's is a good job because so many people want to work there, forgetting the fact that most of them are high-school kids who will take anything.

    Moreover, we are what, "the free world", the greatest superpower? Why aren't we #1 on these kinds of things? 40 countries are above us? That means some small European country has better healthcare than the US.

    I'm being kind of harsh, and I should mention that I don't think the US is bad, just that we could be much better but people say "Oh it's good enough." because of pride and just leave it at that. That's a really poor attitude.

    Because the food here sucks. Everything is packed with antibiotics and high-fructose corn syrup.
  13. Jul 17, 2008 #12
  14. Jul 17, 2008 #13
    I'm not failing to acknowledge anything. I realize and will fully admit that there are the same sort of people here and that it can and likely is a problem in regards to support of foreign policy, realization of problems, and the like. But you mention the issue as if it were a distinctly American problem. It isn't.

    I have no 'love' for this country I live in. It just happens to be where I was born. I probably would not mind living in another one but I am here and that's just the way it is.
  15. Jul 17, 2008 #14
    I'm not against US folks, I live in the US. Did you see the video up there ? It shows that the media coverage is strongly biaised towards local and people news.

    When I say "you" I mean your country as a whole. If there were more interest in world affairs among people in the US, maybe your president could not afford to lie outragingly as he did. I do not expect people coming here to discuss about world and politics affair to be on the average level of ignorance of course. An average educated minority unfortunately does not weight much in the ballot.

    Do you agree that the US has issues with the concept of sovereignty ? Should I make a list of the XXth century intervention of your country in other countries' politics ?

    This concept that all countries wish to be the same as the perfect motherland of freedom leads to a global perception that the US should be the policeman of the world. We have the UNO for that. You have proved deep contempt for this organization, although being one of the funding country for it, thus challenging the mere concept of UNO.
  16. Jul 17, 2008 #15
    Do you believe this applies to every American?
  17. Jul 17, 2008 #16
    Thanks for mentionning that. The mere concept of proud to be american : think about it really. To most Europeans, that would be like saying proud to be thursday. It's meaningless.
  18. Jul 17, 2008 #17
    No I certainly don't, I have many friends here, I happen to be in a scientific lab where I do talk to educated people everyday...
  19. Jul 17, 2008 #18
    I can't believe what I'm reading here.

    "you have no problem sending your army to force other people to be happy"

    We've lost a lot of lives making "other people to be happy."
  20. Jul 17, 2008 #19
    But you started that in the first place as if it was obvious that it made sense.

    Another thing going wrong : you justify war by the fact that I should not question it because it insults the memory of the veterans.
    I can see that every week in the newspaper. That also challenges democracy. Military power is separate from deciding power. Your administration made a mistake. I am insulting your administration, not the veterans.
  21. Jul 17, 2008 #20
    I think you have a responsibility to how you use your words. Merely the broad use of "you," as you have in this quote, encourages a gang-assault sentiment against Americans. You do know that half of the country didn't even want Bush in office, right?
  22. Jul 17, 2008 #21
    I know... I would use "us" to refer to the stupidity of french people when we decided to elect our current president. I don't mean to offend anybody.

    When I say "you" in this quote, once again I mean the general use I am reporting of what I see in the media and the newspaper. Interviewing a veteran, who describes what he has been through and his opinion on a country, justifying a posteriori a war is not just misinformation to me, it is really anti-democratic. A military person has been issued an order, he obeys, does not question it, goes through it where he looses friends, challenges his own humanity for the sake of Liberty... of course you do not expect such a veteran to be objective. And worse : preventing us from questioning war a posteriori in the name of respect for war victims, is actually not respecting the commitment of the military who went to war without question in the first place. This is highly respectable, and if administration has made a mistake, it should be awknowledged.
  23. Jul 17, 2008 #22
    Let me put it this way. How am I supposed to agree with you? The way you word things matters. The U.S. is torn apart.
    I did not justify war and did not suggest that you should not question it. When you wrote, "you have no problem sending your army to force other people to be happy," I was trying to express that these were hard decisions, most not our own, but the choices made by a few in power. I can't stand Bush and hate him for the pain he brought so many. But all you've done is compound the mess by describing this war and other crap in one fell swing as American. It's not. Not one bit. What it is - is a flaw of government. That's why I asked you if you knew that half of this country didn't vote for Bush. And his approval rating continues to drop. Now, most of this country is very unhappy with his administration and can only look for change in the next. It's obvious that he's deaf to us.
    It's an exaggeration and it's very wrong. I had hoped that Bush was honest about going into Iraq to get Sadam and liberate the people, to seize control of WMDs and make the region safer. I'm sure most everyone who went there had similar expectations. Remember, there was tremendous resistance in our own government, let alone the citizen population, for invading Iraq. Now we see that Bush lied, and now he has detainees tortured for useless information and worthless confessions.

    *throws confetti*
    This is another example of how you generalize so broadly. It's wrong. You write that this is based on what you see in the media and the newspapers; I heard plenty of questioning, and read plenty in the newspapers. I work in media coverage, so I get quite a glimpse of sentiments here. You and I are probably on the same page. I just think your perspective is too narrow. What you have described is not American. It's a flaw of government. Every government is subject to it. It just sucks that the U.S.'s government also has the most power. It's not an American problem. It's a human problem. Can you be so sure that these problems wouldn't exist in another country if it had the same power?

    *plays Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire*
  24. Jul 17, 2008 #23


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    I somewhat agree with humanino, the US is often portrayed in the American media as the only country in the world where people live in freedom (as an example). That is just ignorant and it always get me on the edge of my seat.
  25. Jul 17, 2008 #24
    Can you get a quote or something to where the US media says that the US is the "only country in the world where people live in freedom"?

    I live in the US and have never heard the popular media state this.
  26. Jul 17, 2008 #25


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    Shocking news: People who dislike the US find "appalling stuff" about it. Update at 11! :rolleyes:
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