Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Narrow Atlantic

UCLA professor Peter Baldwin pens an interesting priece for the UK's Prospect in which he argues that the differences between the US and Europe are not as great as is often claimed. Baldwin's point of view strikes me as left of center, but his argument (mainly a comparison of statistics to see how the US really measures up to various EU countries on questions like poverty, education, environmentalism, etc.) is fairly non-ideological and the overall result is interesting.

Left open ended (though he provides a few thoughts on the matter) is the question of why both Americans and Europeans like to perceive such strong differences between themselves, and what exactly that means about the two cultures.


Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Eeep! A bit of a mistake on the apples to apples, here:
The true disgrace of American health care is that infant mortality is higher than anywhere in Europe. It's higher because of reporting differences-- here's one paper written on that; here and here are some blogs on the subject, but it boils down to:
The US is one of the few places that counts every kid born alive, even barely, as a live birth; other countries count some small babies as "miscarriages", or don't count a death that happens in less than a week, or other cheats.

Other than that quibble-- which just comes down to using data that anyone would expect to be valid-- guy seems to be quite accurate. (Naturally, I think that "other avenues of redistribution ... voluntary efforts, private but statutorily encouraged benefits" are much more efficient than the gov't. ;^p)

Jen said...

Wow, thanks for those links. I have long wondered about the US infant morality rate compared with other nations - this makes it all make sense!