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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

What is the Best Country?

All countries are good at some things, bad at others. It is impossible to make wide comparisons between countries in any meaningful way. It's like asking "Is Pizza or Pasta best?" There is no correct answer because the question is too simplistic.


If you WERE comparing countries, what factors would you take into account? I AM doing such an ill-conceived comparison... the issues I've raised in order to arrive at results so far, are:

* Acievement of Women's Right to Vote on an Equal Basis with Men (Source: Lisa Tuttle 'Encyclopedia of Feminism' 1986)
* Life expectancy (Sources: Anthony Giddens "Sociology" 4th edition, & CIA World Factbook 2004)
* Quality of Life (Source: The Economist's "World in 2005" publication)
* Most Competitive Economy (Source: Annual World Economic Forum)
* Gay Rights (Sources: www.ReligiousTolerance.org, Stonewall, etc)
* Obesity (Sources: OECD Health Data 2004, 3rd edition and International Obesity Task Force", EU Platform Briefing Paper)

Factors that I'm DIScounting are: Natural resources, country size, population size, etc.

The five best countries so far are... three main ones plus two secondary ones... Sweden, Finland, Norway, Australia and Switzerland. Anyone care to suggest further countries or heuristics?


This page is now launched on http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html
and further comments can be found on http://www.livejournal.com/users/vexen/240464.html?nc=13

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Population density isn't an issue... it's not the populations' own fault how big/small the country is, no personal effort on their part can change that situation, and no matter how much I proclaim that a country is "good" or "best" because of it's population density, no other country can use it as an example to follow suit. In short, it's an unfair metric and not one that improves the world by highlighting it. What people find crowded is down to what they're used to, it's not possible to compare and decide on a best density in order to rank countries.

I do want to include petrol tax, ranked in order of petrol tax. In my mind, whichever countries are taxing petrol most are doing what is best for the world.

There are stats for motorway densities, I recall Finland has the lowest in Europe. But I can't decide if that implies more efficient alternative transport (which would be good), less usage of roads (which would be good), or, failure of to developed a motorway network (which would be bad). So it's not possible to make a ranking without an in-depth study of road usage & alternatives per country.

There's no way to "rank" speed limits, because there's no "obvious" "best" speed limit off which to base a relative index.

% owning homes would be the UK, most of all, we're a nation of homeowners. But that's a peculurality of the way our society its, most countries do not have a "thing" for owning homes, that heuristic is too culturally tied up, it's not really a measure of anything and I wouldn't know whether it was better for the world if people owned or rented.

I've considered suicide rate but I don't really know what it says about a country if it has a high or low suicide rate. It seems complicated and I need to look into it.

Since posting yesterday I've added: Asylum Seeker Acceptance Rates

I do want to include petrol tax, ranked in order of petrol tax. In my mind, whichever countries are taxing petrol most are doing what is best for the world.

But then the whole thing becomes very subjective, as there are a lot of people out there (me for example) who would disagree with you that petrol tax is a good thing ;-)

Well, higher petrol taxes decreases petrol consumption, which is good no matter what the governments' actual reasons for doing it. You can set a good example by accident!

I guess we just have different measures of "good". I'm a fan of self-mobility and view private transport as the only practicable way to achieve this in the sort of low-population-density worlds I like.

When we have nuclear, efficient electric or non-consumable energy sources powering private transport, it will no longer be necessary to curb consumption (because consumption will have decreased). But, it's not a low-population density world we live in, with the mass of humans hurtling way past 6 billion people, so no matter how much we're fans of self-mobility, the practical reality is something else. My life is about making sure we GET to the future with our morals and world intact!

Perhaps you could add contraception usage rates to your index? Is this measured or collated?

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