January 10th, 2013
10:46 AM ET

What we're reading

Young Americans are less likely to make it to their 50th birthday than any of their rich country peers, according to research highlighted today by the New York Times.

“Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction,” the NYT says. “American men ranked last in life expectancy among the 17 countries in the study, and American women ranked second to last.”

Taiwan is a better place to be born than the United States, according to The Economist’s Where to be Born Index of countries providing the best opportunities for a “healthy, safe and prosperous life.” The island came in 14th on the list, ahead of the United States in 16th place.

Will climate change make the planet cooler? In a week in which Australian meteorologists added a new color to weather maps to reflect soaring temperatures, the New Scientist notes unpublished research by climate scientist James Hansen saying we should be braced for a cooler but stormier world.

“While it might sound welcome, the temperature differences produced by the ‘iceberg cooling effect’ could lead to even more climate chaos in a world already devastated by extreme weather,” the magazine notes. “Winter storms, for instance, are powered by the temperature differences between the poles and the equator, so there might be storms of unprecedented ferocity.”

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Bocknobby

    Problem with your imbedded link for the "Where To Be Born Index" . . . should refer to Economist but goes to New Scientist . . .

    January 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Emily

      true that. :)

      January 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
  2. Timmy Suckle

    You ain't seen nothing yet. I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $600,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $113,700 level. Now I only pay 1.2% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  3. deniz boro

    This is the first year in almost a dozen that I did not read the Economist Annual before the old year ended :(.
    For the second paragraph of this article I might say its true because of a different social structure. Some countries have a closer family ties and where state social security is not well established. From the eastern side of the world I tend to see it as a strict Calvinist standing against a than more moderate Andulisia approach. The Dark Middle Ages were never recorded anyway. But it is true that the Eastern part of the world fared better in humanity issues than the Western Part who expected all from their Lords..

    For the second part... It is rather hard to understand how global warming will make the planet colder. It iseasier to explain it with a parallel to human body. In the human body there are sweat glands to adjust the body heat and the blood stream and lymphatic system carries out the transportation. On Earth we have the poles and several marine streams as well as air circulation (in many degrees, from gentle winds to storms). This is a complicated biology of MOTHER EARTH.

    However I believe people should start from here.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  4. Anish

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful blogs online. I most certainly will recommend this blog!

    February 16, 2013 at 3:36 am | Reply

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