April 19th, 2014
10:09 AM ET

How U.S. is lagging on quality of life

Fareed speaks with Michael Porter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, about a groundbreaking new Social Progress Index – and how the United States is lagging on many indicators. Watch the video for the full interview or on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

You were shocked at what you learned about America.

Yes, I think this wasn’t the picture of America that I think many of us Americans have – that we are a leader, a social leader, that we've advanced the ball in terms of opportunity and the needs of our citizens. And it shows anything but that.

So if you look at the Social Progress Index, on the whole, what's striking is the top countries are New Zealand, Switzerland, Iceland, these small countries. But basically then a lot of European countries and Canada beat the United States.

Correct.

The United States is 16, Ireland is ahead of it, Japan is ahead of it, Britain is ahead of it, Germany is ahead of it.

Yes.

What does that tell us? What does that measure?

So this effort tries to really, for the first time ever, take let's call it the social or community or quality of life dimensions of a society, and capture those in a rigorous measurement framework – using the best data available in the world. That's the best and objective measures of these various multiple things. But of course, social progress is a broad concept.

Right. And that's where you break it down into these subcategories. Health and wellness, Japan is number one, Italy is number two, Switzerland is number three. You have to go all the way to 70 to get to the United States.

It's an area where the U.S. – if you actually look objectively, we're just not delivering. We actually spend the most money on this of any country in the world, probably in all of recorded history, in terms of our health care budget every year. But in terms of the actual outcomes – and by the way, the Social Progress Index measures the outcomes you achieve, not how much you spend, not how much you care, not whether you have a big heart…

 

 

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Topics: Economy • GPS Show • United States

soundoff (1,077 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Why do we get our undies all in a bunch with these surveys? They don't say much, except how we rank based on criteria set up by one group, who may or may not have an agenda. Regardless of the presence of an agenda, they idea about what would be ideal may vary from others.

    It's like a live able city index... For some ideal is being able to walk to services, others rank if on the availability of public transport, while others rate it on other factors, weighted according to the groups personal beliefs.

    In the end, these are pretty pointless... But when there's no other news apparently they fill space well.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • SamB19

      Actually, they say a lot. They say how Amerians are blind and uneducated, unfortunately.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:39 am | Reply
      • nightwriter

        Your comment shows how you over-generalize. I'm American and I'm well-educated and quite happy, as are most of the Americans I know.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • theemptyone1

        If you're going to comment about how uneducated Americans are, you ought to at least spell Americans correctly.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • Me

        The Emptyone, don't let the grammar prevent you from understanding

        April 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
      • Me

        The Emptyone, don't let a typo prevent you from understanding the idea.

        April 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
    • John

      Dream on Scott...

      April 20, 2014 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • jerjones

      Agreed about studies...but even the casual observer can see some truths in this one

      April 20, 2014 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • jt

      Perhaps the results are indicative of Americans' blissful, active ignorance, which your comment exemplifies.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • David Rutledge

      I agree with you in many ways about the futility of these surveys – but they are an indicator of something. I travel a lot and have lived abroad in several countries. I thought they had more to offer in terms of health care and infrastructure – and in all of them (western Europe, UK, Mexico, people were more laid back. I don't want to hazard a guess as to why that is so and I don't know how to measure it (the laid back part) but there is a noticeable difference. The difference in health care and infrastructure is measurable – and we could improve. A lot.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • cjccja

      Yes "some criteria set by others". Criteria like what age you die at, your ability to by food, if you are educated. exposure to crime, so so on.

      Mathematically you would NEVER expect a large country to be on top of any list. The US has to be an average of any different kinds of people. But if you got to say a school on Finland, all the students are Fins. And of course if you look at a place that gives medical care to absolutely everyone that country will have better health statistics. There is no resin to think the US should be near the top of any list other then maybe spending on some items.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • Me

        This was a magnificent lack of understanding.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • Dan

      Actually, they are not "surveys" but measurements based on things like mortality rates, number of deaths, people incarcerated, how much money we spend on various things, and economic indicators. You and the rest of the ultra right in this country can continue to turn a blind eye on this information but ignorance is what got us into the mess we are in now. We now rank behind countries like Brazil and India in terms of the strength of the middle class (the most important economic indicator throughout history, because when the middle class disappears countries collapse). So keep your Fox News propaganda going and lets see where that gets the USA in 5 or 10 years... I'll be retiring in Canada by then.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Hopper

      Scott: How can we improve things if we don't know what to target? Burying your head in the sand doesn't get much done. Yes, the surveys can be tainted, but you have to start with something.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  2. outofafrika

    nickroes are the scourge on humanity...STOMP them out to get better from the fix we's in!

    April 20, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • .

      If we listened to you, your mother would've never met your father.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Bill

      We are really stupid and deserving of our declining quality of life and world status, because we keep arguing amongst ourselves. Divide et impera (divide and conquer/subjugate).

      April 20, 2014 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • justdad

        Just realize that I know two different people who told me they love to go on blogs and write totally racist stuff just to make conservatives look bad and help their pet causes by stirring racism as an issue, both people are studying to be social workers at the college near here and rely heavily on public assistance. It seems they consider it a second job a responsibility to create negative images of people who go o church, people who believe in traditional marriage and people who have money as well. I debated the dishonesty of creating posts like that but they claim the "results outweigh the lies" apparently they enjoyed the "rules for radicals book".

        April 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • theemptyone1

        That's done via the tick of "Diversity." Think about it.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • For Just dad

        Laughable. As if there was any need for anyone to post as republican!! They spread so much negativity and hate that there is no need for a liberal to post as them.

        April 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • Profile Of The Typical Republican Voter

      1. Thinks they themselves are rich.
      2. Makes less than $100,000/yr.
      3. Has a net worth less than $200,000.
      4. Primary residence is on wheels or blocks.
      5. Still has a mortgage on that residence.
      6. Thinks republicans are conservatives.
      7. Benefits directly from the ACA but really, really hates Obamacare.
      8. Thinks they are religious but they should read the book, "How NOT To Be A Republican" (a.k.a. The Bible).
      9. Probably retired and depending on SS and Medicare or will be the person most likely to need SS and Medicare.
      10. Racist.
      11. Likes to vote against their own interests.
      12. Actually thinks republicans represent THEM!!

      April 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • MK

        You forgot: "Thinks that by declaring that they are Republicans people would believe that they are wealthier than they really are".

        April 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  3. SJC

    We have completely lost our way as a nation. So consumed by the opinions of talking heads in every media arena, television, print, social media, we have become a nation of followers of opinions ... opinions created and expounded upon simply to be able to sell soap and beer and cars, to say nothing of hundreds and hundreds of over-the-counter and other "legal" drugs created by the pharmaceutical industry to "treat" every possible negative condition ever known to human beings.

    We have too much to say about every other nation, particularly too much to say about them which attempts to make us believe we are better than they are. We are not ! We were, at least at one time, richer than they were, but in the quality of life ... not richer than they were, or are now for that matter.

    We need leaders! We keep looking for one or more, but there are none. There are only pretenders who talk a good game, act "cool", go on late night TV and play saxophones, fill out tournament brackets, appear at stupid media events with moronic athletes, shove their wives out in front when the business of governing gets a little tough. Heck, some even try to pass down their exalted positions to family members ... whether qualified or not.

    We need term limits. We need common sense to be restored. I'm not convinced we will ever achieve either term limits ... or restore common sense.

    It's rather sad ...

    April 20, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • SamB19

      skewed much?

      April 20, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • outofafrika

      he might be SKEWED, but he is right on the mark...even CNN put my previous post which was a reply to the one above, far away from this so it could not be connected...Please see below!

      April 20, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Harry

      SJC: Well said. That covers most of it.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Bill

      @SJC So true.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • cjccja

      Don't blame it all on "leaders" or lack of them. We get the leaders we want. If you want something better it will have to come from the bottom up. Smart educated voters who care about long term solutions will votes for leaders who think like they do. But no, mostly people don't want "quality of life" they want more cheap consumer goods, a bigger TV or whatever. People generally get what they want.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      SJC, I agree with a lot of what you are saying about how much attention we spend on other countries, but your coded premise that its Obama and Clinton's fault is absurd. It was GW Bush and the GOP-led congress that got us into two useless and probably illegal wars (at least in Iraq) in which we spent over $5 trillion dollars (and counting). And I love how everyone is saying we have had enough of dynasties with the Clintons... but only one Clinton was president. Unlike the Bush's where we had two and a third is seriously considering a run. The bottom line is if you look through history of post WWI (a definition by most of modern times), we have had stronger economies and more stability under democratic presidents than republican. But you actually have to look at real data, not Fox News propaganda to see that. Critical thinking folks, try it and you may learn something.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • SJC

        Dan ... either I did not articulate well, or you COMPLETELY missed the point of my post. Your response, which seemed to say I was bashing certain politicians ... and absolving certain other politicians ... was TOTALLY off the mark. As a registered Independent voter, I vote for the PERSON NOT THE PARTY, and, based on your response, you apparently do NOT vote that way.

        Why are you being so defensive about "party".

        Let me put it this way. My intent was to say there are no LEADERS these days. I did not say there are no Republican leaders or Democratic leader. I said THERE ARE NO LEADERS! We keep looking in the wrong places for leaders. We keep "hiring" them FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS !

        I don't want "cool" ! The last "musician" I liked in the White House was Harry Truman ! I don't care how cute their kids are ! I don't care what clothes their wife OR their husband might wear ! I don't care which team they like or don't like in a sporting event !

        ALL OF THAT is fluff to fill up air space to sell beer and cars and etc., etc. All of it is intended to divert the voter's attention from the real issues the "candidates" are NOT able to deal with !

        I want leaders who work for ALL AMERICANS ... not just for their respective party AND THEMSELVES !

        April 21, 2014 at 7:07 am |
  4. MilitaryAF

    What got us into this mess is capitalism run amok. The only thing that counts anymore is the corporate bottom-line, at the expense of the workers. Jobs are outsourced cheaply to 3rd world countries instead of keeping them in the U.S. and paying reasonable wages that would benefit U.S. workers. Workers that are exempt work crazy overtime, instead of additional employees being hired. All this is done to continue feeding corporate greed. Corporations have a social responsibility that they've shirked for that last 30-40 years. They must be brought back into alignment with reality. If not, eventually the U.S. economy will implode and all those corporate profits will be gone, as will the U.S.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Bill

      This is just a natural progression. If you look throughout history, nations rise to the top and then come tumbling down. That's the way it's always been.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • southerncelt

        You forgot the inevitable conflict that comes from that progression. On the way down there will likely be another civil war or outright revolution. I'm not looking forward to that. One was enough.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bill2

      Bill, that was a mercenary posting. Who defends the actual situation? Only those who have an interest in maintaining it.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  5. SamB19

    This "leading scholar" is "surprised and shocked" to see the results? For those of us who have lived in multiple countires/cultures and developed objective views of the U.S. and its global positioning, their "new conclusion" is nothing new. In the US, young children are taught to blindly believe that we live in the greatest nation. If someone becomes objective enough to question that, he or she is labeled "unpatriotic." Blind arrogance, lack of education, over-confidence without corresponding skills and knowledge...these are the recipes for the American failures.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • MattD

      Which multiple countries/cultures have you lived in, and in what capacity?

      April 20, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • JJ

      And while you are at it how much is a metro ticket in London, and a hotel room in Montreal, and what was the temperature in Tokyo while you lived there. If you can't tell us we won't believe you. Hahaha

      April 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Xavier Q

      I doubt he was actually "surprised and shocked". That's hyperbole for the media.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  6. Dear Kenyan Leader

    Don't sweat it. Soon America will be a third world country by any parameter.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • .

      Detroit. Government of the public employee unions, by the public employee unions, and for the public employee unions.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • Keith

        Unions didn't destroy America, corporations and rich capitalists did that.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • Profile Of The Typical Republican Voter

        1. Thinks they themselves are rich.
        2. Makes less than $100,000/yr.
        3. Has a net worth less than $200,000.
        4. Primary residence is on wheels or blocks.
        5. Still has a mortgage on that residence.
        6. Thinks republicans are conservatives.
        7. Benefits directly from the ACA but really, really hates Obamacare.
        8. Thinks they are religious but they should read the book, "How NOT To Be A Republican" (a.k.a. The Bible).
        9. Probably retired and depending on SS and Medicare or will be the person most likely to need SS and Medicare.
        10. Racist.
        11. Likes to vote against their own interests.
        12. Actually thinks republicans represent THEM!!

        April 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • Paul

      America will neutral and non-aligned?

      April 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  7. Tom Mixx

    Because of the presence of blacks...

    April 20, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • .

      there are a lot of good black men and women serving this country and protecting your right to make a fool out of yourself.

      Shame on you.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Simone

      This is exactly the type of narrowmindedness that prevents growth in our societies.

      April 20, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • PBM

      Yeah, keep busy with the pro or con opinions, you the nasty and the good ones, you are all busy and swallowed by trivia.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Really Tom? Let's see England has almost the same percentage of blacks as the grand USA. Brazil which now ranks ahead of us in many key economic areas including their strength of middle class, has more blacks then the USA. You are obviously a republican and racist.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • justdad

      Just realize that I know two different people who told me they love to go on blogs and write totally racist stuff just to make conservatives look bad and help their pet causes by stirring racism as an issue, both people are studying to be social workers at the college near here and rely heavily on public assistance. It seems they consider it a second job a responsibility to create negative images of people who go o church, people who believe in traditional marriage and people who have money as well. I debated the dishonesty of creating posts like that but they claim the "results outweigh the lies" apparently they enjoyed the "rules for radicals book".

      April 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Profile Of The Typical Republican Voter

      1. Thinks they themselves are rich.
      2. Makes less than $100,000/yr.
      3. Has a net worth less than $200,000.
      4. Primary residence is on wheels or blocks.
      5. Still has a mortgage on that residence.
      6. Thinks republicans are conservatives.
      7. Benefits directly from the ACA but really, really hates Obamacare.
      8. Thinks they are religious but they should read the book, "How NOT To Be A Republican" (a.k.a. The Bible).
      9. Probably retired and depending on SS and Medicare or will be the person most likely to need SS and Medicare.
      10. Racist.
      11. Likes to vote against their own interests.
      12. Actually thinks republicans represent THEM!!

      April 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  8. Kenman

    Gee, Fareed, a liberal professor, and talking about something called "social PROGRESS index", where could there POSSIBLY be the usual liberal/ "progressive" bias of CNN?

    Seriously!? Who really believes that we are #70 in "health and wellness"? You can bet THAT bogus measure is from the likes of the WHO, and United Nations organization, and the UN members are less than 50% full democracies!

    April 20, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Rick

      Did you read the part about Professor Michael Porter being a Republican. Besides Americans don't need to listen to this drivel because we are exceptional. lol

      April 20, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Xavier Q

      I work in a hospital and absolutely believe we are 70th in health and wellness. We may have the best treatments in the world, but those treatments are simply priced out of range for the majority of Americans. We have a fast food culture with very little regard for nutrition. We have an incredibly high infant mortality rate for a 1st world country. That is not opinion or an agenda, that is hard numbers.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Kenman, continue watching Beck and Hanity and the rest of the Fox News goons. You'll be happy with your head in the sand. People like you are a lost cause, this article was meant for people on the bubble between ignorance and critical thinking, not for you.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  9. conoclast

    There's simply not enough money left in the middle class for it to purchase its way back to health. Wealth concentration at the top and global warming have pretty much doomed us a life of reacting-to-crises. "Forward" as a direction no longer applies.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
  10. BP

    People can throw rocks all they want at America, but it is an undeniable fact that our billionaires live as well or better than any others in the world. As for the rest, who cares?

    April 20, 2014 at 11:36 am | Reply
  11. Mike

    The problem with this Study is that it fails to look at the big picture. America is the leader in technology and education and science because the best of the world come here. America will continue to lead into the next century if we keep with making an environment where the best can thrive and realize their dreams here in the USA. That is not possible outside the USA.

    This study really points out that we are not a socialist country which is true for the time being. But that too can come to an end if we continue on this path.

    If we want to look better in flawed study's like this I would say we become the world's #1 exporter of poor people to countries that rank high on this study.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Xavier Q

      That is completely untrue. CNN ran a story a few months back about how entrepreneurs WANTED to start businesses in the US but could not due to immigration laws. The best and brightest are not coming the United States, because we won't let them.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Keith

      We have not been the leaders in Science and Technology in a long time. What universe do you live in?

      April 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  12. Linefeeder

    Check the stats of the upper 1% in this country.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • .

      I don't buy that 1 percent stuff. Sure, there are always rich people. And some of them have worked very hard to get that way.

      When you're looking for a job, where do you go? To the rich, successful business man? Or to some sloven pot smoking ne'er-do-well complaining about how things aren't fair?

      April 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Reply
      • southerncelt

        Don't bet on it. Most of the so called 1% inherited that wealth from their parents, who probably inherited it from one of their parents who actually did the work. Old Money (most of the 1%) came from generations ago. They just have a new name for it now.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • Keith

        Middle class folks, with small businesses employ most of America, not rich people or corporation.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  13. outofafrika

    Your post is a good one. Unfortunately with blacks pushing their agenda to the maximum, we will never get back to the late 1940's America...That was our pinnacle...we have been going DOWN since then!

    April 20, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Keith

      Why would you want to live in such a racists country as the one that America was in the 1940's

      April 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  14. Socrates

    The US is a very unhealthy country for the majority of the Americans. People are so focus on making money that they will eat anything that won't waste time. Time is gold.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
  15. .

    All this crap started with the Community Reinvestment Act..... force the banks to make loans to people who could't pay them back. The banks sold the loans to Wall Street. AIG insured 'em. Kaboom.

    Enter Barack Obama.

    Eight years of economic malaise.

    Reminds me of Jimmy Carter.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Occupy Wall Street for CONGRESS

      "force the banks to give loans"

      Really?

      You are still buying into that talking point, or are you the one with an agenda wanting to perpetuate it to your braindead Tea Clown masses who will repeat it ad nauseam?

      April 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • .

        Thanks for the insult, but you've just made my point.

        You can't reason with people like you because your anger gets in the way.

        The truth is Ronald Reagan inherited a far worse economy than Barack Obama did and he turned it around in 3 years. Our economy was producing 500 to 700,000 jobs a month. Growth was 5 to 6 percent. Compare that with the current economic policies of fairness: 2 percent growth, 200,000 jobs a month with 300,000 first time unemployment claims for a net loss of 100,000.

        And all you can do is call someone names simply because they've got a different point of view.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • southerncelt

      Force banks to give loans? To who? The Small Business Administration is supposed to help and fund small business. Under the current Administration (if you can call it that) you know how they define a "small business"? One with 250 employees. If I could afford 250 employees I wouldn't need a loan. Banks refuse to help too. You have to be in business for 2 years before a bank will even talk to you. This goverment does nothing for startups and usually hinders them. Try funding a new venture without help from outside the company. Only rich people can afford to start a business and have no desire to.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Keith

      no law ever forced a bank to make a loan. They made those loans because there was profit in them.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  16. Simone

    I think one of the reasons is our self absorption. Rather than innovating and seeking improvements in our societies, we are too consummed with self.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply
  17. Pithius

    It's easy to brainwash minds numbed by over-consumerism and a credit card-supported life style. "We the People" no longer have the will power to fight the root of evil. We keep whining against the consequences of this evil, but keep busy with silly things instead of rooting it out.

    We have an idea of how Wall Street - which rotates their "interns" on regular basis with the Capitol Hill - pushes laws that redistribute the wealth from the poor or middle class to a "few", but we are like a heard when it comes to doing something about it. They keep us busy with juicy subjects, so that we argue against each other, or mobilize ourselves against easy targets, meanwhile we don't notice the real culprits and the magnitude of our decline.

    We keep fooling ourselves that the poor of the world still dream to have our life standards, yet our pride does not let us accept the fact that the developed nations pity us.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
  18. jerjones

    rats on wheels are all we've become...and brothers it ain't the government...it's us

    April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am | Reply
  19. nick

    I am astonished this Harvard researcher and Fareed are surprised by these findings! Go to Walmart this weekend and you will find all the evidence you need as to the status of our country. We are a fat, sick, exhausted, chemically imbalanced and ignorant nation. And these are the people having five children with no resources to take care of them. Each generation gets fatter, sicker and dumber. And we wonder why our country is going bankrupt and our quality-of-life is so poor!

    April 20, 2014 at 11:51 am | Reply
  20. ELMO

    Most nations in the world equate to an individual state within the United States. Thats why these surveys are meaningless. Redo the comparison state by state compared to these mini nations.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • LJ

      Sorry, but that was one ignorant posting.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  21. mkuske

    "Quality" is a subjective term defined BY each and every one of us FOR each and every one of our own selves. The only true "quality of life" list would be a list based on this one simple question, asked of people in all countries: "Are you happy?" Then the country with the highest percentage of "Yes" answers has the best quality of life and the country with the lowest percentage of "Yes" answers would have the lowest quality of life.

    Any questions or parameters outside that one question are BS. They are designed and posed by people with third-party agendas trying to prove those agendas to be superior. After all the manifestation of the quality of one's life is personal happiness, nothing else.

    "Quality" - manifested by happiness - is defined subjectively by the person experiencing it, not by some social progressive trying to tell people what's good for them, what "should" make them happy and thereby what "should" be defined as "quality". This survey is useless tripe, because of this.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • southerncelt

      OK, is your "Quality" any better than it was 10 years ago? Most people know would say no. Has this President and/or Congress done anything to improve it, again most would say no.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • LJ

      You have no big picture, no clue of how these surveys work and why they are valuable tools. You can feel good about your life, but you don't live in a vacuum. Te fabric of our society changes when so many people feel trapped in a rat race where, regardless of how much effort they put, they can't make the ends meet. Keep blaming this or that social category, but the society as a whole will keep changing. When people are so desperate that can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, no one is safe, in poor or rich neighborhoods.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  22. Fizbanic

    The US lags behind because they are too busy bickering within and blaming left or right or whining over one party vs the other that what needs to get done doesn't.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • .

      Actually, Fiz.... it's how democracy works. And sometimes it ain't too pretty.

      I think this generation is finally starting to get it.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • LJ

      Actually democracy should not transform us in an easy to distract and manipulate herd.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  23. grisly atoms

    Well, the Republicans have been opposing progress in healthcare for going on three quarters of a century. That is the main reason we are so far behind (70th!). But the demographics are changing. Latinos are growing as a percentage of the electorate. Once Texas turns purple in about 10 years we can finally start working more on health outcomes and less on bombing foreigners that the GOP likes to focus on.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • .

      I dunno, grisly..... 8 million people signed up, 7 million of which were thrown off their old plans and forced into more expensive plans with higher deductibles. What's worse, many of them discovered they actually couldn't keep their doctors, either.

      I'm all for healthcare, but this just isn't working. Wait'll the employer mandate hits. They've postponed it until after the November mid term.

      I don't think it's going to help. This generation is starting to figure it out.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • southerncelt

        Don't forget the millions that tried to sign up but were refused because they didn't make enough money.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
  24. Occupy Wall Street for CONGRESS

    Pretty simple.

    When you privatize everything for profits, the quality of human life becomes secondary to the almighty dollar.

    Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

    Wealth never equaled happiness. It's what you do with the wealth that matters. And right now the people with wealth are using it to generate more wealth for themselves instead of letting it "trickle down" to us peons.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  25. LabRat14

    To quote an earlier post, "Blind arrogance, lack of education, over-confidence without corresponding skills and knowledge.."

    April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  26. Occupy Wall Street for CONGRESS

    Profits over people.

    Nothing more needs to be said.

    Other countries with better quality of life put people over profits.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  27. Sharky66

    How about a INCREASE the population of those countries, extensively, and see how they work out then. Stop comparing the US to every where else. Sheesh

    April 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  28. Terry G

    The shining beacon on the hill? Not so much anymore if it ever really was.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  29. Brian Berry

    I wonder where happiness falls into this category ....I haven't achieved allot in the USA or elsewhere for that matter but I have to admit despite my short comings I'm happy.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  30. clearly

    the problem is republicans and capitalism duh

    April 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • .

      What is the alternative?

      April 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • theemptyone1

      "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Yes, capitalists like cheap labor, but Marxists think Globalism and the destruction of nations will bring about world harmony, something completely invalidated by historic examples of empires of all sorts, monarchical, capitalist, and even communist. So they both play their game and for now, both think they are winning. But the cost is racial, ethnic groups and the cultures that took thousands of years to develop. All gone in a few generations, thanks to "Diversity/Multiculturalism> which seems okay for the West, but not anywhere else. You are only seeing one half of the problem.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
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