December 10, 2018

Surprise! Norway Isn't the Greatest Country on Earth

“Every year, the United Nations releases the Human Development Index.

The HDI is like a country’s report card. In a single number, it tells policymakers and citizens how well a country is doing. This year, Norway was at the top of the class, while Niger finished last.

The index first appeared in 1990. Before then, a country’s level of development was measured solely by its economic growth. By taking non-economic dimensions of human well-being into account, the HDI revolutionized the idea of what was meant by countries becoming “more developed.”

The HDI has been wildly successful in changing the way people think about the development process. However, it still suffers from real flaws. There have been numerous attempts to do its job better, including one that we published on Nov. 6.

Eliminating the flaws in the HDI make a substantial difference. For example, Denmark was ranked fifth in the world according to this year’s UN rankings, but our new index knocks it down to only 27th, switching places with Spain.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."

"Scarcely hours after the titanic drubbing Democrats delivered to President Trump's GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential campaign began in deeply unwelcome earnest."

"US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital exactly one year ago, breaking with decades of international consensus in the process. What was the historic move and what impact has it had?"

"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."

"Have the scars of the housing bust turned us away from the American dream of homeownership? Survey data suggest otherwise.... We simply can’t afford to pursue that dream right now.'

"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."

"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."

"Dutton Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, is releasing a series of tiny books that give the act of reading a studied whimsy."

"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."

"The kitchen — named after the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim,” which means, “To Life!” — features a menu of Americanized Jewish food items such as pastrami on rye, potato knish with herb sour cream..."

"Life on the sprawling grasslands precipitated a shift from individualistic ways of living to more cooperative ways. This was the birth of what you might call “social intelligence,” and it changed the way our minds work."

"When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists."