Friday, January 20, 2012

Martin Prosperity Report ** Updated **

I’d never heard of this before. It maintains an index of countries based on what it calls “the three Ts of prosperity” … which are Technology, Talent and Tolerance.

imageClick to go to the report

Canada is #1 in the world for tolerance, although we fall a bit on technology and even more on talent. Still, we are in the top ten for prosperity, as one would expect.

The USA is #2 after Sweden, which takes #1. In fact, 3 of the 4 top spots are occupied by Nordic nations. That’s impressive. The UK is right up there as well.

In concert with my recent theme of pointing out the inequalities between the rich and the poor, I note the last few sentences that close the summary:

Our findings suggest that there are two distinct paths available to greater economic competitiveness. On the one hand, there are nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, where higher levels of economic output and competitiveness occur alongside higher levels of inequality. On the other hand, there are a greater number of nations like Sweden and Norway, where high levels of economic output and competitiveness occur alongside far greater equality. This suggests a high-road path to sustainable prosperity, where the fruits of economic progress are broadly shared.

The USA is the current poster child for inequality, with the rich fighting tooth and nail to ensure that getting sick still ruins lives. They are phenomenally accomplished at convincing the poor to vote against their own best interests time and again. And of course they have brought the fine art of the rip off to legendary levels, as the recent bank fiasco and the automotive bail outs so clearly illustrate.

I prefer the high road … I only hope that we in Canada can survive the onslaught of pandering to the USA that has our conservative government building super prisons, threatening to jail people for simple pot possession, buying expensive jets and so on … we need to remember why Canada gets the #1 spot in tolerance in the first place.

And yes, I think we also need to strike a better balance. Let’s see if we can maintain #1 in tolerance while actually boosting out technology and Talent rankings.

Edit: I realize in reading back over this article that some of that last part could be taken as anti-USA rhetoric. Well, it's not. I enjoy visiting the USA and I have huge respect for all that they have accomplished and all that they could accomplish given the right circumstances. But I also have deep frustration that the most powerful nation on earth manages to also run such a high imbalance between rich and poor and that they are taking capitalism to extremes that are leading to massive abuse. And unpunished no less ...

Edit 2: So very glad to see president Obama defining his reelection campaign along these lines … fairness of opportunity for all and addressing of the outrageous wealth gap in America. Just excellent. I sure hope he gets in again, because the other side appears to love the status quo of the ever-widening wealth gap.