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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Nicholas Kristof, "We’re Not No. 1! We’re Not No. 1!": So Why the Demand for Green Cards?

First, I should admit that Nicholas Kristof makes me nauseous (see:

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "We’re Not No. 1! We’re Not No. 1!" (, Kristof tells us of an "index" that ranks the United States below many other countries. Kristof writes:

"We in the United States grow up celebrating ourselves as the world’s most powerful nation, the world’s richest nation, the world’s freest and most blessed nation.

Sure, technically Norwegians may be wealthier per capita, and the Japanese may live longer, but the world watches the N.B.A., melts at Katy Perry, uses iPhones to post on Facebook, trembles at our aircraft carriers, and blames the C.I.A. for everything. We’re No. 1!

In some ways we indisputably are, but a major new ranking of livability in 132 countries puts the United States in a sobering 16th place. We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.

In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety. Even in access to cellphones and the Internet, the United States ranks a disappointing 23rd, partly because one American in five lacks Internet access."

It's so awful in the US compared with Iceland and Holland? So why are foreigners knocking down the doors for Green Cards?

Sure, I know. If the Social Progress Index (I never heard of it prior to reading Kristof's op-ed) ranks countries in a certain order, it must be absolutely, positively true.

Or maybe to properly understand the Social Progress Index, you need to be a "progressive" . . .

1 comment:

  1. "First, I should admit that Nicholas Kristof makes me nauseous"
    No, he makes ME nauseous. Actually, he used to make me nauseous. Then I stopped reading Der Neue Stuermer.
    I can't spend my life vomiting.