Archive for certainty

Economist Intelligence Unit : U.S. not among the best places to be born in 2013


It appears the United States isn't one of the top countries offering the best quality-of-life according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU, a sister company of The Economist) which "earnestly" tried to figure out which country will provide "the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life."

Switzerland and Australia got the number one and two spots. Here are a few of the factors that determined the standings:

Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy. [...]

Small economies dominate the top ten.

Stability and trust are pluses, so "boring is best."

In 1988, the United States came in first, France second, and West Germany third. Iran, Iraq, and Zimbabwe were last.

More here.


My Holiday Wish for Certainty


Guest post by Muther Bear (@MuthrBear)

I’d like a nickel for every time I’ve heard a Republican tell me that the “job-creators” need more economic certainty. Hell, with that many nickels (and the right donations made), many Republicans would probably start to actually see me as a “job-creator” - some would most certainly start to “worry that I might” not create any jobs if I don’t have economic certainty.

Imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered that a bona fide hugger of trees and believer in the well-being of human beings over the bottom-line of corporations like me actually agreed with all of those Republicans! Wow. I want certainty, too! Bipartisanship!! Wheeeeeee!!!!!

Oh yes, I absolutely do want certainty. If you’re a “job-creator” who is, oh say, actually creating jobs, I hope that this year’s Christmas stocking is filled to the furry brim with all the tax breaks that you honestly deserve. An economic candy cane for every job you create, I say!

Your corporate spokespersons bought-and-paid-for representatives claim that you are “worried that you might” lose some of your ridiculously over-stuffed, grossly under-earned goodies, so you’re remaining seated on all of your nickels.Well, how awful for you, I say! Whether it’s all that worry, or all those nickels you’re laying on, you’re probably losing sleep most nights, you poor things! I want certainty for you, too!

My Christmas wish for you, dear job-free “job-creators” is that you get the certainty that you want, and most certainly, the certainty that you deserve. I hope you can stop “worrying that you might” not get to keep your goodies, and I hope that your worry is replaced with the absolute certainty that you will not receive another nickel in tax breaks until you are actually creating jobs, “job-creators.”

I’m off to write a sternly-worded letter about this to Santa, our President, the Tooth Fairy, or whoever else out there might actually have a shot at affecting this particular brand of absurdity. Then, maybe I’ll throw all the food in my fridge away because I “worry that it might” go bad, and I’ll glue all of our toilet seats down because I “worry that I might” fall in.

Take Care, Muther B.