In 1988, the US was ranked "the best place to be born." Today it is #16. What happened?

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posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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The Economist Magazine "Where to Be Born" index, in the magazine's words: "attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead." Of course, this is highly subjective: What exactly constitutes a "good life," and who decides?

Here is an overview of the criteria the index uses:

Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy.

Source: The Economist

Here is the list from way back in 1988, long before Silent Thunder got his first gray hair. The US commands the highest rank:



...and here is the list for 2013, hot off the presses:



Now, a lot of things have changed both domestically in the US and globally, and the US isn't the only country to have seen changes. But the obvious question for Americans here becomes...

What Happened?

I thought this would be a good jumping off point for a discussion on America's long-term trajectory. With the elections just finished, there has been a lot of talk about the last 4 years or the last 8 years, and whether the country is better off or worse off over this period. But let's crank the frame of reference a little wider and take a look at the last quarter-century since the late 80s (Has it really been that long?)

First you can start by asking yourself if you think the US has indeed fallen from its position back then, or is this survey worthless? If you agree that something has gone awry, what is it? What factors have lead to the current mess? How did we go from toppling the Berlin Wall to the morass that defines contemporary American life? This is a good opportunity to look beyond who is president or which party holds the reigns and focus on the longer-term factors like culture, economics, demographics...the deep currents that underly the shallow swirling surface eddies.

I still have the greatest faith in the ability of the United States to overcome all kinds of hurdles. This is far from the darkest moment in the country's history. It has always been an American attitude to believe that "the best days are ahead." But to make this belief a reality, we need to face the truth, however uncomfortable.

In closing this post, I'll leave you with a short video clip that provides food for thought along similar lines. Its been posted on ATS before in other contexts, but those of you who haven't seen it might want to take a look:





edit on 11/28/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



+7 more 
posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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Looks like the government takes care of its people in those places and the living wage, in combination with the benefits conferred, allow for a very healthy and happy style of living.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:02 PM
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i'll tell you what happened,

democrats happened!!!


well maybe just government in general happened...
edit on 28-11-2012 by bjax9er because: add



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


What happened?

We shifted from a government that used to represent the people to a government that is now supposed to take care of the people.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by bjax9er
i'll tell you what happened,

democrats happened!!!


well maybe just government in general happened...
edit on 28-11-2012 by bjax9er because: add


i'll tell you what happened,

republicans happened!!!






well maybe just government in general happened...
edit on 28-11-2012 by bjax9er because: add



edit on 28-11-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: you little smarty pants



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


Gotta love being the 2nd best place to be born in the world


Quite happy with the 16 position jump it made.
edit on 28/11/12 by IntoxicatingMadness because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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The bush's happened . They really ran your country down . Spend billions on war and they profit from the companies they own that . While average Joe and their grand kids can foot the bill and will still be . Education and many social programs took a back seat to wall street and the banks get bail outs .

While wages for average Joe remains stagnant even probably dropping due to the sheer number of unemployed accepting less just to afford to provide the essentials to their kids .

I am sure it is a great place to live if you are a ceo or executive , or upper management .



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by IntoxicatingMadness
reply to post by beezzer
 


Gotta love being the 2nd best place to be born in the world





I wonder what's the best place to "die" in?



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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We went from a country where a president said "ask not what your country can do for you but one where what can you do for your country" or similar words like that to one where "whats in it for me"

Simple as that.

Reap the unjust rewards it won't last long.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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I'll tell you what happened. George Bush Sr., William Jefferson Clinton, George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama came along. Each creating and pushing for their own forms of freedom robbing legislation - as well as failed economic policies. Each doing things that were worse than the preceding president in office.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:15 PM
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Celebrate diversity.....

wait.....

never mind



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by TheOneElectric
 

The same goes for Germany, still tied on #16 with the U.S.
(It must however be noted that we had to integrate East Germany since the 80's and are currently tied down by vast payments for the €Z...)

Makes me wonder what this Economist Intelligence Unit uses to measure their index.
It sure isn't the general QoL, because Germany has a pretty high score there with a universal health care system, universal educational system, good working conditions and wages.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


That's probably more a personal choice than living in a place though they can be both quite personal. Australia Might not rank high due to practically everything either trying to poison or disembowel you (Damn cassowaries.)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:18 PM
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Baby Boomers and Closet Communists. The advancement of Technology. The "Me first" attitude. The loss of morals and principles. Wars.

Anything else?



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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Consider, in 1988 Ireland was ranked at 13th.

In 2012-13 the U.S. is ranked at 16th.

Does anybody remember the news coming out of Ireland at the time?

en.wikipedia.org...


.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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First chart looks suspect. I mean S. korea better to live in than Australia?

But the second one looks right. Australia second. Means we cant be complacent, but we can be smug


*sits back in his world comfortable chair*



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


When consumerism took over along with planned obsolescence and corporate greed; instead of building high quality repairable products made to last; corporate manufacturing and services went down the toilet.

Look where people are happiest........basically socialist countries..



www.forbes.com...
edit on 28-11-2012 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


Switzerland wins because it snows



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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In 1988, the US was ranked "the best place to be born." Today it is #16. What happened?


Rather than give a longer more complicated answer that essentially holds us all a bit culpable with Americas decent into it's current state (Yeah both Dems and Repubs included)...I'm going to do what we Americans do best and pass the blame on to someone else.



...and you just know they'll forgive me for it.


- Lee
edit on 28-11-2012 by lee anoma because: (no reason given)
edit on 28-11-2012 by lee anoma because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:37 PM
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I agree with the answers that others have posted.
The answer is the dual problems of the huge debt, and the fundamental attitude change in the population to a "whatever" mode with no long term planning.
Its this "cant be bothered" attitude that lets the politicians do as they please, because they dont have to plan any more than a few very short time ahead because the population cant be bothered thinking about those consequences either.

# Sell the family property so we can party this weekend? Sure.
# Go on a drug induced binge sunday night? Sure, Monday morning and having to turn up to work is HOURS away.
# Buy that new huge widescreen TV? Sure, the credit card doesnt have to be payed off for weeks yet.
# Politicians want to give us free # even though the country cant afford it? Hell yeah, I'll vote for that, I want free # today.
# Work hard at your job so you earn a reputation as a valued employee? But its friday afternoon!! Lets leave now and go to the pub!
# Take the time to do accurate work and pay attention to fine detail? CBF.
# Eat healthy so you live longer and enjoy the benefits of good health? Ppffhfhfh, Pizza time!
# Pay attention to the details of bills that Politicians want to pass? Too boring, the headlines are big and quick to read. That'll do.
# War against Iran? Hell yeah, they're all terrorists!!!! Thats what they say on TV.
# Politiciians say they have a plan to improve the economy by cutting backiugh;o;glhtlrth'reling all the itogiygefiwf? Fantastic!! Frankly couldnt be arsed reading the detail, but I get more free # with this new plan!!



“Every country has the government it deserves.”
Joseph Marie de Maistre
edit on 28-11-2012 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)





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