dilluns, de febrer 14, 2005

Trethi - Taxes con't. (English)

Ok, fair play, the streets of the United States do not look as dire as the one pictured above in N'Djamena, Chad, clocking in at HDI 167 out of 177, nor, all the worst naysayers notwithstanding, do I think it ever shall be. One the other hand, if one looks closely the other world scale, HPI-2, then America is in even worse shape that its otherwise rosey looking 8 might make us believe. HPI-2 takes into account relative poverty among the 17 wealthiest nations in the world, since in relative terms, otherwise there is little difference among them. One is forced to ask however, how the arose at the 17 wealthiest nations rather than 10, 20, 25, something with a nice typical cut-off point. The mystery is quickly solved when you observe that the United States ranks at number 17. More frighteningly still is whne you consider the percentage of American's who live below the poverty line. We rank in at 27 worldwide, with number 28 our good old buddies, the Russians. France incidentally has and HDI of 16, but an HPI-2 of only 8; Germany's are 19 and 6 respectively.

All these data are sobering reminders of the changing fortunes of man and his best laid plans. What is especially disturbing to me is how few Americans are aware of their country's crumbling perch. Relatively few Americans even seem willing to admit that their country is any worse off now than it was ten years ago, yet the numbers clearly indicate that. Sadly too, few Americans are willing to travel abroad to observe the changing world around them, seemingly content to live in Spanish imperial-like decadence as the rest of the world catches up and sails past us.