[Marxism] Global Rankings Study Depicts an America in Warp Speed Decline | Alternet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 9 11:11:45 MDT 2014

If America needed a reminder that it is fast becoming a second-rate 
nation, and that every economic policy of the Republican Party is 
wrongheaded, it got one this week with the release of the Social 
Progress Index (SPI).

Harvard business professor Michael E. Porter, who earlier developed the 
Global Competitiveness Report, designed the SPI. A new way to look at 
the success of countries, the SPI studies 132 nations and evaluates 54 
social and environmental indicators for each country that matter to real 
people. Rather than measuring a country’s success by its per capita GDP, 
the index is based on an array of data reflecting suicide, ecosystem 
sustainability, property rights, access to healthcare and education, 
gender equality, attitudes toward immigrants and minorities, religious 
freedom, nutrition, infrastructure and more.

The index measures the livability of each country. People everywhere 
depend on and care about similar things. “We all need clean water. We 
all want to feel safe and live without fear. People everywhere want to 
get an education and improve their lives,” says Porter. But economic 
growth alone doesn’t guarantee these things.

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 

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.


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