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.


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.


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. McQuestion

    The empire is decaying. It's corrupt. It's being run as a hybrid plutocracy/theocracy. Corporations now run the country. Money = status. The country is waging a war on health, education, worker's rights and the environment while simultaneously trying to edge out minorities before they become the majority.

    Progressive, secular thought is considered anti-patriotic. Ignorance is valued and seen as a virtue. Education and the experience of professionals is viewed with skepticism and outright distaste.

    All these things must be addressed before America returns to its place as the number one country in the world.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • blogreader555

      You got it completely backwards.

      This country used to be the greatest country on Earth, including in social indicators, before you "progressives" went to work on it.

      April 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • radar8

        IT's people like you that are killing this country. Your blind hatred for anything that you disagree with. Take healthcare, for example. Even before the ACA, the United States was around #70 in the world. That was with corporations running the show. That had nothing to do with "progressives". But keep railing about them even though you make no sense.

        THe corporations that you love to defend are raping this country and people like you defend them. They even get you to blame others when it is the corporations that are destroying our way of life.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • john/kc

        Conservatives are the ones that want to eliminate health care for the poor, but the poor are many Americans. The conservatives say go to school to get a good job, but it takes money to go to school which many families cannot afford. We seem to spend too much on defense of the world while cutting education, health, and infrastructure spending, which is what the conservatives push. A minimum wage of $10.10 would only increase the total amount paid in salaries in the United States by .003% according to a Harvard study, but to hear the conservatives claims, everything would go up by an astronomical amount, which is all lies.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • fekt

        those are progressive countries with liberal leaning governments beating us now. It was liberal policies that put us on top to begin with. We're dying a slow death that began somewhere around reaganomics led by the mccarthy crowd leftovers.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Nodack

        More like we have waged war on ourselves. You hate half the country and blame everything wrong on them with out exception and of course your side is perfect and has never do e anything wrong. Obama doubles debt fighting the second worst recession in US history. You hate him for that. Bush doubles the debt and is the one at the helm when the recession hits and of course you didn't care about the debt or the recession when your guy was in charge.

        You hate Obamacare and are mad that prices have gone up now, but couldn't care any less before Obamacare that prices were skyrocketing and we paid twice as much for health care while being the only industrialized country on earth without universal health care.

        FOX News has done a great job in dividing the country and making you guys blame everything on Democrats.

        Remember this phrase? "United We Stand" We need to take that phrase out of our slogans because we are divided and the whole world knows it. Putin can d whatever he wants because he knows that his biggest ally will be Republicans who will attack Obama on every stance he makes out of spite.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Harry

        Your are misinformed. It all comes down to a general lack of the implied social contract. We live in a plutocracy now. The 1%, instead of being pleased with their wealth, finds it's not enough. They make up fairy tales about the poor even the working poor. They just don't give a darn. Write off the 47% (which is mis-characterised (47% may not pay income tax, they certainly pay sales tax, property tax, even it's the property owners, ad valorem taxes, and federal excise tax).

        The countries that are most ahead, also have a better benefits package and the top CEOs don't earn 40x what their average worker does. The big banks and a handful of billionaires own congress. As Mark Twain said, we have the best congress money can buy.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • glauber

        And all of those countries mentioned as having higher standards of living than that of the US have had post-WWII governments that have been WAY more liberal than anything you've ever seen in the US. Even their "conservative" governments have been more liberal than any US government where the Democrats have held the White House and/or Congress.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • powder99

        Well, those progressives are kicking some serious butt these days. Perhaps we should have a medical pep rally and people can chant "We are #70!"

        April 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • blogreader555

        You can't compare America to Europe. America is unique. It was great before because it was unique, and it is STILL great today because it is unique. All those "enlightened" Europeans are buying American technology and American culture, are coming here for advanced medical treatment, etc. because it is (still) strong. Now, if we continue on the path of turning America into a poor man's Europe, then you can kiss all of that goodbye. I am talking here about contemporary Europe, of course. Not the great European culture, especially German and British, which no longer exists in Europe but still clings on in the US.

        April 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
    • Sashatree

      You're absolutely right!!! Hit the nail on the head!!!

      April 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Sashatree

        To be clear, I am responding to McQuestion's post!! With regard to blogreader555's response – I find it interesting that "progressives" were the ones responsible for MOVING ALL THOSE OTHER COUNTRIES AHEAD OF US!! If true "progressives" really had any say in politics, we'd be far, far, far ahead of where we are now.....an oligarchy that kisses the backsides of the likes of the Koch brothers!

        April 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • mountainlady5281

      Excellent post! Sad but so so true. And blogreader555 below is a perfect example of why it's gone so wrong. Blame everything on the other guy. Never take responsibility for your own actions. No constructive ideas, just whine, whine, whine. We've sold out as a nation to money, to consuming rather than conserving. Until this changes we can't catch up. The only way to change it is to start doing what's right rather than only what is profitable. On this day that Christians celebrate.....what a country we could build if we lived as Jesus taught. Not a Christian myself but....just saying.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • PeterDM

      You're delusional. For decades the US reaped the advantages of being on a a huge continent full of natural resources & a constantly growing population, while its economic rival Europe struggled with two devastating world wars & the collapse of empire.

      Now the situation is different & the US is forced to compete in a global economy where its initial advantages are no longer so significant. Looking back to the past is not the answer, looking forward – progressivism – is the only hope that the US can maintain its pre-eminence.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  2. Jon Barr

    The reason why America lags behind is, to be frank, because no other developed country on the face of the earth celebrates ignorance and mediocrity to the same extent as does the great US of A. The fact that John Kerry when he was running for president in 2004 was criticized for being fluent in French... The fact that people actually take Sarah Palin seriously....The fact that Rush Limbaugh is the most listened-to and perhaps most celebrated radio personality in the country... The US has to stop embracing stupidity before it has the opportunity to compete with the rest of the world once more.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • esta

      Right on the mark. America should celebrate the common man, not the mediocre man. Also, America must realize the extent to which it is controlled by big business and reign it in.

      April 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Reply
      • .

        American needs to get control of its public sector unions. A unionized government can do what it wants with impunity.

        April 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • FastBoat

      Yea well, ignorance is bliss isn't it. Lots of Americans aren't interested in finding the truth.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  3. vespev

    Here's an observation – in many of the countries that have a higher quality of life than US, you'll find towns and cities that devote large areas of land to public spaces that cater to kids. Just about every town is Australia has several public parks with kids swings and bbq areas. Most towns have trotting tracks and greyhound tracks that the older generation use. I belive there's a difference between quality-of-life and standard-of-living...US has a high standard-of-living but a lower quality of life....

    April 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • MattD

      I have a beautiful park with baseball and soccer fields, swings, BBQs, etc a 5 minute walk from my house. Most middle class Americans do. I am a short drive or rail trip from downtown, with cultural amenities, major league sports, etc.

      April 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  4. Thom

    With corporations running everything and only worried about bottom line....that's what you get.... #16 .... at least it's better than our quality of healthcare the last 10 years, #38. But for consolation prize....we are #1 in COST of healthcare for 30 years running.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  5. Poor US

    Our problem is that we spend billions of dollars helping other countries in this huge world with natural disaster, food, security etc... If something goes down who do they call? New Zealand, Switzerland and so on concentrates on their citizens and don't mess a whole lot with other countries. If the US just concentrates on the welfare and well being of it's citizens we will be the happiest country in the world. Too bad we spend billions on unfortunate countries every year and continue to neglect US citizens....tough love. Keep up the good work!

    April 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • esta

      The amount we spend on foreign aid is miniscule compared to the waste in health care.

      April 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Sashatree

        TY Esta! It's nice to read the TRUTH about how miniscule the % of foreign aid we give out is!!!!!!

        April 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • PeterDM

      That's just a myth – the US may spend more because it's a lot larger country, but per capita the US spends less on foreign aid than many other countries. You also have to remember that a lot of that "aid" is military assistance – ie. welfare for the military/industrial complex.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  6. Thom

    We headed for the movie like scenario, where the corporations are all in 100 story high security buildings where they rule from the sky, as more and more people are homeless and in rags down in the street.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  7. notaboblehead

    The person being interviewed and forwarding the facts happens to be a republican conservative who is educated and has an open mind. America is falling behind on many different fronts not only health care, but education and economic standing of the citizens. We should take a close look at those who are the leaders.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Thom

      The president can only sign things into law that the House gives to him....which is not a whole lot this past 4 years......couldn't even give him a jobs bill.

      April 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  8. Thom

    CORPORATION = GREED ....as the rich get richer and have more of the money supply.....what does that mean for the middle and poor ?? First correct answer gets a Teddy Bear. HINT: 2 sided Scale

    April 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • .

      I agree with you on corporate greed, but don't forget the greed of the public employee unions. The pension benefit plans are driving cities into bankruptcy and raising property taxes from the middle class.

      April 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply

        omfg when are people going to stop blaming unions for everything?

        Less than 8% of the workforce is unionized.

        The damage is being done by those with big money lobbying Congress for loop-holed laws with friendly names that do nothing for the people.

        Every bill that passes through Congress is geared towards the big money interests long before the people who voted them in get their due.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
      • .

        The public employee unions are far more powerful than you know. Look at what they've done to cities like LA, Chicago and Detroit, not to mention countless smaller municipalities whose pension plans are absolutely unsustainable. And when the towns go Chapter 9, the greedy union bosses abscond with lump sum payouts from the broke pension plans.

        And do the public section union members care about your well being?


        April 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • radar8

        Not true. Unions are not bad. Some ask for too much, but can be reigned-in. Many workers ask for too much and the bosses say no. Germany, the country that produces some of the the best cars and has great industry has many, many unions. THe auto-industry is unionized there.

        Even with those unions, the people make more money, produce better products, have better health care than the united states. So don't go saying that the problem is unions. That's a cop out.

        THe US auto industry floundered due to poor management, not unions. Unions are the scape-goats. The lack of unions in most retail thiese days has led to companies lie Walmart and McDonalds paying so little that the taxpayers have to help out with foodstamps. I'm tired of subsidizing Walmart. They make billions of dollars. The Walton children each have more money than most countries, yet they still pay their workers so little that they mostly have to get government assistance.

        Let companies like Walmart pay workers more or raise their taxes so that we can afford to give their workers assistance. Unions would help to solve this problem, but people like you are ignorant and just parrot the GOP party line of "down with Unions"

        April 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • john/kc

        Didn't we just read about some guy from Yahoo that had worked there less than a year and got a 58 million dollar severance, and he wasn't even the CEO? You name me any union boss that gets 1/3 that amount of money!

        April 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  9. ES

    US priorities are elsewhere. It would rather spend money conquering the world than spend it on its own citizens.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Sashatree

      The reason the government spends so much invading/protecting other countries is SOLELY because they are, in actuality, protecting CORPORATE INTERESTS and CORPORATE PROFITS in those regions! Our government is OWNED by CORPORATIONS and the likes of the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. THROW THE GOP OUT!

      April 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • radar8

        IWhile I agree that corporatins own our government, the problem is not solely with the GOP. IT's mostly with the GOP, but you have many Democrats that are on the take from lobbyists, too.

        Get the money out of politics. Of course, the recent decisions byt the GOP dominant SCOTUS give corporations more power than ever. The GOP/SCOTUS passed/upheld laws that give corporatins the same rights as citizens, even though they are mostly multi-national companies. They allow unlimited contributions (let's be fair, they're bribes).

        No group is perfect. They all have their place, but unregulated companies will destroy America. Germany figured this out and tightly controls corporations and has unions. That country has a much higher standard of living than the US. So when you hear the GOP rail on about Unions destroying America, they are lying to hide what is truly going on. We sold out to corporations.
        The corporations (including very rich citizens) decide which candidates will run for levels of government. THey give money for primaries. We, the citizens, only get to vote for these pre-approved politicians. Those politicians arealready beholding to the corporatins and the rich for funding their elections.
        Now, with the new GOP laws allowing unlimited funding and CItizens United giving rights to corporations, only a few very rich people can literally fund an entire election. The citizen is no longer is relevant. The rich can fund both ems and GOP so that no matter who wins, they get what they want.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • ES

        Obama is the president now. The military spending is still out of control.
        He almost got us into war in Syria. Now this mess in Ukraine.
        Both parties are the same, they don't care about Americans, only the power.

        April 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
  10. skytag

    The Declaration of Independence lists three unalienable rights: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Somewhere in our history, and I believe it was in the decades following WWII, America decided the Declaration of Independence was wrong and that the three unalienable rights are actually life, liberty, and the pursuit of unlimited amounts of wealth and its symbols, material possessions.

    It is a cancer is that it has eaten away at Americans' quality of life regardless of economic status because quality of life is not measured by how much stuff you own.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • countingdown

      What a load of crap.
      Pursuit of what can I get from the government, is a better assessment.

      Every generation since our country began had more, gained more, desired more than the previous generation. This is the American dream. A real American would know they don't have to be wealthy to have richness in life. They would also know that gaining wealth is a benefit of freedom. I have some question for you! What would you do if you won the lottery?

      April 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
      • john/kc

        If I won the lottery, I would pay my taxes, not like corporations that would park their money overseas and cook the books to avoid paying their American taxes.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • skytag

        The reason I call it a cancer is that it has eaten away at Americans regardless of economic status.

        – It drives those with little income to squander what little money they have on goods the can't really afford.

        – It's driven our middle class to take on frightening levels of household debt to buy stuff they can't afford. How many people realize that average household consumer debt doubled in the seven years starting in 2000? How many people realize that the size of the average new home doubled in the decades after 1950?

        – It's driven many a person who was already quite wealthy to pursue even greater levels of wealth through means that were illegal, unethical and harmful to others. Examples would be monopolies, predatory lenders, the financial gamblers who brought down the economy in 2008, ponzi artists like Bernie Madoff, CEOs like Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial and Kenneth Lay of Enron. These are not the pseudo-rich, these are people who already had more money than they could spend who destroyed people's lives to accrue even more money they'd never spend.

        So this is not an attack on the rich, this is an observation that our obsession with wealth and its symbols has gone beyond a healthy incentive to work hard and innovate to become a cancer hurting Americans at all economic levels.

        We now value wealth and the material goods that symbolize it more than we do happiness, and that's not crap. That's what the evidence says.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
      • skytag

        "Every generation since our country began had more, gained more, desired more than the previous generation."

        That trend was not sustainable indefinitely. In particular, we had a boom after WWII that was an unsustainable anomaly.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • countingdown

      2 previous post didn't go through so I will do this

      Still crap!
      skytag The reason I call it a cancer is that it has eaten away at Americans regardless of economic status.
      The reason you call it cancer is because you don't understand free market enterprise.

      – It drives those with little income to squander what little money they have on goods the can't really afford.
      Still crap. I have several generations, all do and did the same thing.

      – It's driven our middle class to take on frightening levels of household debt to buy stuff they can't afford. How many people realize that average household consumer debt doubled in the seven years starting in 2000? How many people realize that the size of the average new home doubled in the decades after 1950?
      Still crap! You apparently don't see the cause/effect of social programs on the middle-class, the government give away of our lives.

      – It's driven many a person who was already quite wealthy to pursue even greater levels of wealth through means that were illegal, unethical and harmful to others.
      Still crap! In every society people have done harm to others. Doesn't help that we have become so hell bent to eliminate the moral compass the help form our why of life. Religion!

      Examples would be monopolies, predatory lenders, the financial gamblers who brought down the economy in 2008, ponzi artists like Bernie Madoff, CEOs like Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial and Kenneth Lay of Enron. These are not the pseudo-rich, these are people who already had more money than they could spend who destroyed people's lives to accrue even more money they'd never spend.
      Total bs, people have been screwed in every known country in the world, ever since man began living in societies. Ours is no different, yes there are bad people doing harm to people but like Madoff, they get caught eventually. You can never be 100% protected against everything or everyone.

      So this is not an attack on the rich, this is an observation that our obsession with wealth and its symbols has gone beyond a healthy incentive to work hard and innovate to become a cancer hurting Americans at all economic levels.
      Still crap! Every generation looks for something different, better, newer, to identify with! The preceptive look at wealth changes as well. Example. Cell phones 2 generations ago would have been a super wealthy persons item!

      We now value wealth and the material goods that symbolize it more than we do happiness, and that's not crap. That's what the evidence says.
      Still crap! That perception of wealthy people has been told by ever generation, and will be the same in the future.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

      skytag "Every generation since our country began had more, gained more, desired more than the previous generation."

      That trend was not sustainable indefinitely. In particular, we had a boom after WWII that was an unsustainable anomaly.
      Total bs, economics has a way of correcting itself. Example: the great depression, the housing bubble explosion in 2008.

      Yes, we are a society of things but that is why people come to our great country from all over the world. The freedom to gain wealth, to have things that make ones life better, to try to make life easier for their families and themselves. Your hatred of the super wealthy and corporate America, is childish and unwarranted. People in countries like the Congo would say you are one of the supper rich even you aren't rich. So I still say your full of crap!

      April 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Reply
      • countingdown

        Sorry for type-os, this supper rich persons gadget tablet with its auto correct doesn't like my fat fingered typing.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
  11. nl_sp

    Where is the rest of the article? Did it get cut off? Or is this just lousy reporting?

    April 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  12. fweioff

    This "article" could have been done in about three sentences.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  13. Jerry Okamura

    If people put a very high value on individual freedom and liberty, where would the us Rank? If people believed that our safety is more important than our freedom, where would the US rank?

    April 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  14. .

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I think this generation gets it. You'll see some real changes come November.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  15. Patrish

    Findings don't surprise me at all. We are run by special interests groups. It' s not all about political groups, it's more about American's mind set. I lived in another country for 10 years and then returned to the US so I have a difference perspective. Just look how hard some groups are fighting against healthcare reform. Most modern countries already have a health system in place.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • .

      I agree with you on healthcare, but Obamacare is a failure. 8 million people signed up, 7 million of which had their policies cancelled and were forced to purchase more expensive policies with higher deductibles, not to mention the fact that they couldn't keep their doctors as was promised.

      I am all in for single payer!

      April 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • radar8

        People like you declared it a failure even before the ink was dry on the bill. You've been doing everything to stop it. You eaven went as far to shut the government, wasting billions of dollars for nothing.

        Now the truth comes out and the ACA (ObamaCare for you h8ers) is costing less than expected. The number covered is around what was projected. People can't get kicked off of their plans for being sick or having pre-existing conditions. Children can remain on parents plans until 26. MIllions are now covered that were not covered before. Premiums are going up slower than before.

        Yet, people like you call it a failure. Simply calling it a failure doesn't make it one, as much as you would love everything that Obama does to fail. Repeating your lies thousands of times doesn't change the fct that they are lies.

        The CBO says it costs less and is projected to cost even less moving forward, but Fox "News" and RUsh Limbaugh tell yo differently, huh?

        Why don't you Tea Party and GOP fold try to improve on it instead of just trying to obstruct? You have no plan except to get rid of ACA. Then what? GO back to the double digit yearly premium increases? Go back to no coverage fro pre-existing conditions? What is wrong with you?

        April 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • radar8

        btw.... Obama tried to pass single payer, but adopted ACA because it was originally a GOP plan and he thought that the GP would support their own plan. Obama didn't realize that the GOP would disagree with Obama if he said the sky was blue.

        Do you really think that anyone in the GOP/TP would allow single-payer? That anyone in the GOP would forego the bribes from the insurance industry that get them into office? Really?

        April 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
  16. sheila kind

    The leaders are clearly the Koch brothers and their ilk. Oil and gas men who want to corral the government, economy and all others to do their bidding. As long as things remain so, quality of life and society will suffer greatly. BTW, we very likely spend far less helping other countries than is stated here. That's just another bit of misinformation/myth promoted by the far right. Statistics actually show that the U.S. doesn't even provide that much foreign aid when compared to other nations.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • .

      Not really true unless all you watch is MSNBC. There are many powerful special interests on both sides of the political fence who are only looking out for their own pocketbooks. The public employee unions have created a pension crisis in many cities like Chicago, Detroit, LA, New York, and many other smaller towns. To support these bloated union plans, towns and cities will either have to go into bankruptcy or raise property taxes on the middle class to unsustainable levels.

      When you vote Dem or Repub... you choose your own poison. Big corporate interests versus public employee unions. Either of them could give a rat's rump about you.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • radar8

        THe public employee unions didn't create the problems. The politicians not only agreed to the union proposals, they proposed many themselves. but the politicians didn't set aside the funds that they should have. Don't blame the unions for the greedy politicians actions.
        IF the p[politicians had not spent money that was originally meant for pensions, there would be no problem.

        But, go ahead, listen to the liars that shill for the corporations against unions. Corporations hate unions. Unions make corporations act responsibly. Corporations hate that.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  17. sheila kind

    Yes, the real changes will come in November, alright. But what then - a bunch of far right wing nuts taking over. Wow. That's only going to speed up the despair and deepen the quagmire we're in. Those guys will make sure that everybody, except the very, very rich suffer. Can't wait! Idiots abound and they are the ones who vote in midterm elections. Better tighten your seat belts because it's gonna be a rocky ride.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • citizen5

      Sheila...sounds like you have bought into the Obama propaganda....."it's the fault of the rich". Well, why don't you invest your life savings in starting a company, work 80 hours per week for the next 20 years, and when you make your first million after 20 years of hard (and smart) work, you can give it to the folks that don't want to work for a living. Let us know how that works for you.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • amusedbyyou

        you like most small businessmen and big businessmen probably stole more that you "earned"

        April 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • radar8

        Give me a break. Nobody is against the rich. We're against the rich buying our politicians and gaming the system for themselves.

        It sounds like you think that you shouldn't pay as much in taxes now that you are rich. You're likely one of those that tells everyone that you had no help, which is almost always a lie.

        Most people want to work and support their families. People like you make the rich look bad. You denegrate the poor and tell them that they are lazy. THe truth is that most poor people work harder than most rich people. I know quite a few poor people and most of them work multiple jobs to survive. Yeah, they work 80 hours per week, too .

        April 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
  18. my10cents

    Initially when the Fed froze wages in the 40s to control war time costs providing health insurance to workers was a great perk and cost effective for the employer because it was mostly a not-for-profit model. Later on however as the model turned into a for-profit growth area the traditional capitalist trends of greed and litigation began to appear. Combined these started the ever rising vortex of costs and crashing spiral of usable benefits. Due to the complex nature of cost balancing within the insurance model, it also created the almost unbreakable binding of employment and health insurance but as pointed out health insurance is not necessarily healthcare. This is because the for-profit nature of insurance does not place the beneficiaries at the forefront of their efforts because profit is what drives business not payouts. If you really dig into the numbers from the countries that provide lower cost and higher benefit healthcare you will discover that most do not believe in unbridled capitalism or do not believe that it should trump the social welfare of its citizens. Perhaps this is the real lesson the US needs to learn but I doubt it because we have too many forces that rely on this imbalance as the basis of their power.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  19. Greg

    Why are all you poor people bagging on us rich people? Just learn to become one of us, the ultra rich, its great!! We can buy the best medical care, the best food, the most secure places to live, play on the most green golf courses (draught ha ha) why dang, we have it pretty darn nice here even if most people are getting the snot kicked out of them every day lol! So please stop questioning things and just get back to work, you have put it off this long, why start now?

    April 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • amusedbyyou

      didn't buy you much of an education you cannot spell

      April 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply

    Kinda funny how it was the so called "progressives" who ran the country during it's greatest heyday from the mid 1930's to the early 70's.

    It wasn't until Nixon, Reagan, and the Bush family took over that things went to hell.

    Granted Jimmy Carter was no economic Saint, but what did you expect from a president who inherited the debt from the Vietnam war?

    April 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • .

      You mean Ronald Reagan, who gave us 30 years of prosperity and growth until Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act caused the economy to tank so we elected Barack Obama who said he was going to make everything "fair" but so far has only managed to wreck the healthcare system and inflict economic malaise on college students who are graduating and finding out the only jobs they can land are pouring coffee at Starbucks?

      You mean that Ronald Reagan?

      April 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
      • amusedbyyou

        that Ronald Reagan is the main reason for those poor jobs you talk about

        April 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm |

        That 30 years of prosperity went to the 1% while the rest of our wages stagnated or actually went down if you consider real inflation.

        April 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • radar8

        IT was 30 years of prosperity for the rich and Wall St. Since Reagan, the rich got richer and everyone else got poorer.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
      • skytag

        Your understanding of these those things is woefully misinformed in a way that reflects a strong Republican bias. I recommend The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David Stockman, Republican and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Reagan. You worship of Reagan is misguided.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  21. citizen5

    The problem is that the U.S. is no longer a country of producers. We have become a country of parisites. We expect someone else to provide everything for us......health care, food, cell phones, housing, etc. The democrats are the party of parisites. Living off the work of others. Maybe some folks in this country will wake up and elect a statesman during the next election. Someone who will actually think about the long term future of this great nation, not simply about his/her political future.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • amusedbyyou

      you are confused how much have ceo salaries gone up, how much is stolen by doctors and hospitals and defense corporations, $25 aspirin, $1000 hammers

      April 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • amusedbyyou

      how greatly you are confused how much have ceo salaries gone up, how much is stolen by doctors and hospitals and defense corporations, $25 aspirin, $1000 hammers

      April 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • skytag

      All pretty standard right-wing whining, with no real analysis or factual data to back any of it up.

      April 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • radar8

        It's really difficult to back up lies with facts, but watch them try.

        Unfortunately, we have many ignorant people in this country. Repeating lies over and over again will convince a lot of those people. They think, "you know, I didn't believe it was true, but I keep hearing it so it must be true."

        April 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
  22. Name*jay mueller

    gee I don't know maybe it's the Rebloodlicans and Democrips running the country for the last hundred or so years

    April 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  23. sheila kind

    I'm with employee unions in general. We wouldn't need the unions, if the powers that be took care to treat people a little better. Unions have been responsible for people having weekends off, vacation days and sick days in the past, not to mention better pay. Otherwise we'd all be working 24/7 and our kids would be working too or aren't you aware of the history of unions v. big bosses. They aren't perfect but they have brought about a better workplace/retirement for many people. I watch lots of news, including FOX, on occasion. MSNBC gets more things right and backs them up with facts, at least. Most news media is owned by a few men anyhow or haven't you heard? I say those who don't vote are as responsible as any politico for their state of affairs. You get the government you choose or FAIL to choose, either way. In a democracy, you can't expect things to be perfect any more than you can expect perfection from any form of government but if you delegate your vote to others, you deserve to be disappointed when the outcome isn't what you wanted. If you dislike your politicians, go live elsewhere. You may find that you don't get everything there either.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  24. Bob

    We lag as a whole because third-world immigrants have flooded our country and bring their third-world ways.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  25. wrm

    My quality of life is great, thanks.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  26. sheila kind

    Yes, Ronald Reagan - who would be considered almost a lefty by today's Republican party, did some decent things but also some awful things. Oh, he also raised taxes more than once to help better control the budget when it became apparent that was a necessity, something republicans seem to have forgotten in their hazy memory bubble. Nah, I don't think our current prez always gets things right but he's hardly as bad as a few just before him either, like
    paint-by-number GWB.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  27. sheila kind

    Oh, here comes the "immigrant card". But wait, isn't this a nation of immigrants? Where did I hear that? I think they've also been known to pay taxes, too.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  28. David

    Since 2007, our government has had a democrat majority and we will continue to fail.
    We are flooded with a naturalized immigrent every 30 seconds.
    We are losing are culture and our values.
    We are taxed higher than ever as our government spends one trillion dollars yearly then they tax us.
    We will be a third world country eventually.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply

      Someone needs a lesson on congress and the filibuster.

      As for high taxes, someone also needs a lesson on the history of taxation.

      Exactly where are you getting these facts from?

      April 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • amusedbyyou

      too late for you, your lack of education is revealed by your spelling

      April 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  29. Anon

    I can't believe how many clueless idiot republicans who aren't rich and are being denied basic rights and opportunities just like the rest of us still defend their party's systematic destruction of the American way of life in favor of the rich and large corporations. They are truly the ones who are brainwashed. I guess their war on education in places like texas and the deep south is really working. They are completely ignorant morons but then any one who watches duck dynasty or any of the other "reality" shows which glorify the uneducated has to be of sub standard intelligence. No wonder those types of shows are so popular, the majority of Americans are uneducated idiots.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Reply
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