Thursday, May 24, 2012

Romney calls U.S. the most prosperous nation. It's not.

I heard Mitt Romney claim that the United States is the most prosperous nation on earth. I thought, "Huh?" I had a vague recollection of a report listing the States well down on the global prosperity ranking. No CNN newsperson questioned Romney's claim

Note the United States is in 10th position.
A quick google found The 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index. The U.S. was rated 10th. Not bad but not No. 1.

To tell the truth, the idea that the world's countries can be neatly ranked according to prosperity is open to question. Let's not get too hung up on the specific numbers but on the general placement.

Clearly there are thoughtful folk who would not rate the U.S. among the very top countries when it comes to prosperity. The index still has the States in the top ten, a drop from its past ranking, but still an excellent placement.

The finding that I found most interesting was how Americans rate their country when it comes meritocracy, the selecting of people to positions of power and influence in government and business, etc. according to merit, according to their ability.

Only 88.5 percent of Americans believe their society is meritocratic. I say only because 93.4 percent in Norway believe their society is meritocratic. Even the Chinese rate their country, China, higher on the meritocracy scale than Americans rate the U.S. On the meritocracy scale, Americans rate the U.S. closer to India than to Norway.

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