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 (1,080 Responses)
  1. timoteonu

    It has been a long time since sneakers were considered "American."

    April 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
  2. Terry

    So if it's so bad here in the U.S. and better in Switzerland, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, and Britain etc. why do most people in the world want to come HERE and nobody is leaving? I just don't listen to this crap from these kinds of people and most of you shouldn't either. Most of us are doing quite well here AND are better off here. Give it a rest people.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • bergus

      free s--tuff.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • Al_Satan

        The truth is most people that come here work and prosper. It's the American trash that sit around wanting free stuff.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
    • Sam

      Well, you only see how many people are coming, do a google search to find out how many are leaving the country.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • Lee

      You are right! Exactly like that!
      I'm from Europe and I lived in the U.S. for many years and had the best feeling
      ever there in the U.S. with the American people! I'm back in Europe but not
      because I so like to!
      There's something really great about America and I hope Middle Eastern people won't make it there
      and won't show up in Europe either!
      Seems like every place outside the Middle East is better for them than their own miserable countries
      in the Middle East!
      They must be kept out of America, they hate the American people but are there because their own countries suck,
      I love the American people but I'm in Europe because.....I don't even know!

      April 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • PK

      Most of the people coming here are coming from nations worse off then we are or they come here on green cards to conduct business. At one time, yes, we were better off socioeconomically but that has changed as wages have gone down and the cost of living has increased.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • Brian

      Well that's dumb, and you're basing this off what? Look, people who want to come here come from a crappier place than the U.S. Mexicans, Central America, etc. And its not even about being poor, many Chinese come here because they live in a oppressive country. which makes China even for the rich over there, much crappier.

      Trust me, been to Europe a few times, no one wants to come over here from there.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • counterww

        The problem being with Europe is that they have societies that are not sustainable.Slowly but surely their social safety nets will have to be curtailed. I agree it is better for now. They also have no means to defend themselves, and are totally beholden for instance to Russia for energy.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
      • tallulah131


        Please provide data to support your claim.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • .

        @tallulah... the data is already there. Haven't you been paying attention to the European debt crisis? Italy, Spain, Portugal, GB and France are all broke. This is what happens when you have government of, by and for the public employee unions. It's a kleptocracy. In Europe, if you work for the private sector, you are a peon - a Euro-peon.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
    • smdahl

      They are trying to escape our military & drone bases in 120 of their nations.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
    • Tucson Dean

      It's not people from those countries, or many more like them, who are coming here. People who come here are folks that aren't making it where they are.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Paul

      Really? People want to come here. Last time I checked more wealthy Americans are now abandoning their citizenship than ever, more are retiring abroad because of a higher quality of life and fewer are looking to immigrate to America. So, you'd better get you facts straight. As for me staying in America – I have no intention of pandering to a tax system that exploits without giving anything back and that's unfair. I've had it with America.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Chuck


        April 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • counterww

        Don't the door hit you on the way out.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
    • sleepysf123

      Yeah, you clearly didn't either understand or listen to anything he said. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that your comprehension skills aren't terribly high.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Boston Guy

      Ever been outside the country??? Or the "We're Number One" slogan so embedded in your mind that you can't see reality??

      April 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
      • Chuck

        Actually I travel all over the world and yes I would rather live in the United States than anywhere else. These kinds of studies are a joke.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • Ronin

      Most people come here or don't leave for the same reason many women stay in dysfunctional relationships or marriage. They either don't have the means to leave, they don't know any better, are too afraid or they have something or someone holding them back as in a child or family member.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
    • John686

      It is because this is the only place America will not attack

      April 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
      • Chuck

        First thing other countries do when they get into trouble....what is America going to do to help. I for one would be happy if we just gave the one finger salute and let you suck on it.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
    • Olaf Big

      From the annoyed tone of your post, it sounds like you just don't know any better, and don't care to find out, which is why your life indeed is not going to get any better.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • Rick

      Because too many people think making more money will make them happier when that obviously is not the case.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
      • .

        In the Obamanation people are just happy to be employed, let alone making more money.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Many countries with much better standard of living do not have the more open immigration policy US has. This is the main reason that people from over the world do not go to Switzerland or Denmark, for example. Quality of life is US is fairly low compared to many other countries – but Fox News watchers have no idea about that.

      April 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
      • PaulinCanada

        This is totally false...and the opposite of the truth. It's far easier to immigrate to Europe or here in Canada than it is to the US. In fact...the countries among us that are doing the best are those with a high rate of immigration.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • ES

      They want to come here because it is even more difficult to immigrate to all the other places you listed.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • ES

      > This is totally false...and the opposite of the truth. It's far easier to immigrate to Europe or here in Canada than it is to the US. In fact...the countries among us that are doing the best are those with a high rate of immigration.

      You are very wrong. Yes, it is easier to immigrate to Canada. But about the only way to immigrate to Switzerland, Germany, Denmark etc.is to marry their citizen, or get a refuge status, which most people wouldn't qualify for.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
    • Freduardo

      Because the US has immigration laws that allow anyone in the world to immigrate here. Those other
      countries that are ahead of the US won't allow everybody and his dog to immigrate. The US had smart
      immigration laws back in the 60s but Congress passed the 1965 immigration act that sealed the doom
      of this once great country and began our decline.

      April 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
  3. the dude

    Most of the CNN's readers will jump on an article such as this. Most of CNN's readers won't bother to educate themselves on how the "social progress index" weighs and grades in order to get a score. Is this surprising? Not really.

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

      Absolutely, right on. The article itself contains zero information on how the index gets its grading system. For all the bantering about how intelligent many of the posters think they are, they are full of hate and spite. Something akin to, "if you don't see the world through my eyes, your an idiot". How open minded and reflective.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
    • rcj22001

      don't be so obtuse

      April 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
      • Chuck

        A month in the hole for you!

        April 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • steveo

      right! there arent reams of details and besides, its done by some pointy-headed guy who uses things like "facts". heck with him. lets all be like you and trust your big "gut"- even tho you too know ZIP about how it was conducted either. good ol' fauuxx nooz and its fat white "guts" and their narrow minds. ignorance IS bliss on that propaganda masquerading as "news"

      April 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • rdvogt

        What news? What information? A few questions and responses now qualify as quality information from which a whole lot of suppositions can be made.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
  4. miguel

    Look at Detroit and you have all your answers.

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

      Actually Detroit is far better off than the vast majority of the south when it comes to education and prosperity. The south is what brings down the USA. They are also the lowest education, highest obesity rate and take the most from the federal government. They are also working for lower and lower wages taking jobs from the higher paid and redistributing to the futur poor and poorer sheep that live there. Quality of life issues. There is one word for that – Republicans

      April 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • counterww

        You paint with a wide brush. What you say is not so. Detroit is a massive failure and is a indication of what can happen if you mix far left policies with lack of economic expansion.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
  5. w

    And the best part of all is that when the founding fathers wrote "and the pursuit of happiness" in the us declaration of independence they were actually talking about this exact kind of guality of life for the society as a whole that other countries enjoy and the united states lags in so badly!

    April 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  6. glauber

    The countries mentioned as having higher qualities of life than the US

    April 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  7. mr. x

    ok, go and live in Switzerland for a while. You'll get bored way faster than you might think, it's a very small, quiet, stable, extremely conservative and boring country. If you're used to the basic American way of life (and even more so if you live in one of the major American cities like NYC, LA, Chicago etc) you won't make it there much longer than a year or so. That said, yes, health care, public schools and many other social benefits (at least 5 weeks of paid vacations per year, hello!) are much better in Switzerland than here and they pay even less taxes than we do (in general). Still, depending on what you do for a living and if you're used to a fast paced international environment as I am in NYC, Switzerland won't be the place you want to be. It might be good for retirement though, I call it the "Florida of the Alps". I'm Swiss by the way, have been in the US for over 12 years so no one can say I don't know what I'm talking about.

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

      I'll take that nice, slow laid-back approach to life any day. You can keep your fast-paced, big city hustle-and-bustle lifestyle for yourself. I'll take that quiet serenity 365 days a year for the rest of my life.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • Silvana

        You must be a boring person!!

        April 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Glenn Hoddle


      April 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • Boston Guy

      Fast paced international environment? Try London. Or Paris. Or Berlin. Or Hong Kong. Or Singapore. Or Shanghai.

      Sure, NY as well. But NY is not the US. The US is far behind in pretty much every thing that matters – technology (except defense), quality of life, education, health, obesity, longevity. The one thing we're NOT behind on is sloganeering and gun-slinging. And waving the flag and screaming "Freedom!" while the rest of the world laughs at us.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • Chuck

        They only laugh until they need our help.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • counterww

        Technology we are ahead and the innovators , still. You are incorrect.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • MattD

        Yep, NY is not the US. Just like London is not the UK, Paris is not France, Hong Kong is not China, etc.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • PeterDM

      Really? Yes, NYC is an exciting, dynamic city ... but it has has almost nothing in common with most of the rest of the US. Perhaps you need to travel around the US a bit & see how life is for the majority of Americans.

      April 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      • MattD

        Maybe you need to travel around to see what life is like for the majority of Europeans, Asians, Australians outside the tourist meccas and business centers.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
  8. glades2

    The problem is that we've turned our back on God and instead have been taught to worship capitalism. But that's nothing new – recently I happened to see a Hollywood silent film from 1921 that was about "the child who is left alone because the father is out chasing the almighty dollar". We have to accept the fact that we've abused our freedom and have become materialistic and no society in this history of the world has done that – and turned their back on God – and survived. If there's any hope in a strange way, it's that the rest of the world has also turned it's back on God to worship materialism (considering Canada's sterile government that calls Christmas the "winter holiday" and Europe, where most churches are now empty on Sunday – unlike here in the US, so there's hope that we can once again become the shining light to the world, if we accept some hard truths and turn back to God..

    April 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • Boston Guy

      Every country that's ahead of us in every single metric (health, education, technology, transport, infrastructure, you name it) abandoned god a long time ago. The only countries that WE are ahead of are the ones that are more religious than us.

      But what has thinking got to do with posting comments??

      April 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • Silvana

      How does believing in a fantasy help any of us?? It's like going to Disneyland and saying help us live better! It's stupid and ridiculous. God has nothing to do with this mess. We are the greatest country in the world, were just too stupid to know it!!

      April 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • BrianL

      This said from someone who I bet votes Republican – the very party that brought us Corporate Fascism and bestowed (via the right wing Supreme Court) personhood to corporations......yes, as Romney said, "Corporations are people too:. THAT is your problem, having nothing to do with God. It's the corporate greed that has been brainwashed into Americans since Reagan as being a good thing.
      And by the way, church attendance is NOT indicative of religiosity. I will NOT go to church yet I pray often and have an excellent relationship with God. One does not have to attend church at all.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • counterww

        You cannot have an excellent relationship with God and avoid other believers. Scriptures suggest to not avoid assembling with other believers.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tucson Dean

      Meanwhile, those European nations that are very religious – Ireland, Greece, Spain and Italy, are the ones doing the worst, just like our most religious states are the ones doing the worst right here in America. Maybe depending on God isn't as good a strategy as you think.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • JC

      Wrong.. We do not practice Capitalism in the US. We practice corporate welfare. Same premise as the French but with a different suit.

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

        That is just leftist rhetoric. Our corporate tax rates are higher than the other G8 countries. Get a grip.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
  9. glauber

    The countries mentioned as having higher qualities of life than the US never imported the massive numbers of labor hands that the US has. It allowed a few people to become massively wealthy, a sizeable handful to move into the lower and mid-middle classes, and a huge underclass of poor people whose kids don't graduate high school, who end up drunk and criminal, and who procreate more. And their poverty is considered their fault. All of this braying on about how "we" produce so much more than anyone else, really needs to redefine that use of "we".

    April 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • bearly

      we produce and consume too much stuff that does not contribute to happiness. we should take care of the planet and of each other for a change…

      April 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
  10. steve-o

    We are lagging because of two words-Tea Party(and all it's previous names)

    April 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Dr veruju

    The reason America lags on quality of life is because it is run for the benefit of huge corporations and the.1%.
    The US is being rapidly turned in to a slave labor camp.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  12. Larry L


    "Obama, duh."
    The Affordable Care act is one of the President's efforts to fix the rising healthcare costs and declining quality we've seen over the past 15-20 years. Costs have been increasing 7-10% per year – a fact ignored by the Republicans and Koch brothers with their $200 million spent on a dishonest smear campaign. Republican fat cats are too much in bed with the HMOs and insurance industry to create a health-based healthcare system – happy instead to profit from the unnecessary tests and procedures of an illness-based system.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
  13. jimsoutlook

    The decline of the USA began with Ronald Reagan.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
  14. Mark

    Quality of life is to be measured by one thing....the middle class and the ability to attain it.

    Wahoo...Disqus is dead.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
  15. srcactus

    Well I guess we just need to become more liberal. We must become more dependent on government. We could speed this along by becoming more submissive to elected directors sooner and bend more deeply down in our adoration Washington. NOT!

    April 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tucson Dean

      Or we could all become Republicans and be submissive to corporate directors and bend deeply down in adoration of the dollar instead.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  16. littlepeaks

    U.S. is lagging on quality of life because of excessive oppressive regulation brought on from our liberal lawmakers and burgeoning bureaucracy.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
    • Rick

      You've never been out of your trailer park have you?

      April 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • Dr veruju

      European countries have a better quality of life in large part because of much more rigorous regulations and a sense that we are all in this together.

      April 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
  17. ericpone

    None of this should surprise us as a country. We have chosen the approach of individualism versus community. This is exactly the opposite of our roots. One guy couldn't make it easily in the early country without others helping with building housing, farming, etc. We knew this and built systems to repeat success. Those systems however have not been updated for the times, technology or diversity of the country. Our free market capitalism system is about to collapse in a way similar to the USSR. We can fix this though but it will take us deciding to win as a group, a community, and not as individuals. We need a new vision for America. Neither party has a vision. But....maybe a group of people may decide to buck the trend and change how we go about things in this country.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
  18. Subnx

    It's rediculously expensive to live in Europe. I've been there. It's pretty but the real quality of life sucks. Teenie houses. Teenie cars. Expensive food. Terrible weather. Old grubby buildings. Most of America (other than New York, San Francisco, Chicago and other crowded places) is much better.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Boston Guy

      Quality of life does not depend on the size of one's house. When we realize THAT is when we are going to get better.

      The "terrible" countries that you talk about are ahead of us in healthcare, education, technology, infrastructure, transport, cleanliness, infant mortality rates, longevity, pretty much everything that matters.

      We are ahead of them in house-size, girth-size, car-size, gun-size, burger-size and tongue-size.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • jimsoutlook

        Right on! Thank you!

        April 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • Boston Guy

      Oh, you've BEEN there, huh? How grand!

      April 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tucson Dean

      What a silly rant. You obviously know nothing about the quality of life in Europe. Those tiny houses have nothing on our trailer parks (or our homeless,) those tiny cars are made by Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Ferrari and Lamborghini, most of Europe's weather is the same as ours, and many of those "old grubby buildings" have been there for a thousand years. Meanwhile, Europeans get great and inexpensive health care, free high quality educations, have fabulous public transportation and infrastructure, they eat healthier, less toxic non-GMA food, and don't spend the majority of their discretionary income starting wars against other nations, because they aren't willing to bury their children just to support their MIC.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • Rick

      You sir are clueless. Are you trying to say nall the weather in Europe is the same and all the weather in the USA is the same? Really?? Wow. I'm a Canadian living in France and even with the drop in our $ vs the Euro in the past year the price of living in France is about the same as in Vancouver Canada. Some things cost more, some things cost less, on average it's the same. And if you consider the Doges Palace in Venice or Versailles or any of the other 1000's of magnificent buildings in Europe "grubby" then I honestly feel sorry for you.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Bill Davis

    Wait till the rich move out, the rest of the welfare rats will starve..,

    April 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Brian

    Our health care mess is part of the problem. Health insurance is so expensive it leaves some people with no disposable income.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • Jv

      It's also the best in the world. Personal health is a.personal journey. No amount of Health care will ever change that.

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

        Stupidest... statement... ever.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • WasamattaU

        Best in the world? Obviously, you have never been outside the CONUS Jv. Chest thump all you want, but the US has seen its eclipse. If I ever need medical attention, I hope I am in Northern Europe or Taiwan. US? No way!

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

        How in the world can it be the best in the world if so many can't afford it?

        April 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
  21. Jv

    What a ridiculous piece... life is much easier and the quality of life is much better than 99 percent of the world. These self haters need to stop doing their polls.from the inner city. There is no easier or cheaper place to live.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • powder99

      There are places that are worse than the US to live – many places. However, citing that the US is better than 99% of the world is part of the problem. Some have been chanting we are #1 for so long they have not checked to see if it is remotely true or not.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  22. MalcomR

    So, for all of you insisting that the US really is right up there for awesomeness, where are all of the opposing studies that DON"T say we are 52nd or 70th or whatever in any important category? I couldn't find any. Maybe because there aren't any. We will continue to bury our collective heads the sand (one of the rare things we can actually do collectively) to the increasing detriment of increasing numbers of Americans.

    1) Balance taxation and make it fair across the board. No corporate BS loopholes – they'll survive just fine.
    2) Use some of the extra income to fix our decaying infrastructure, thus creating jobs and circulating money through the economy (duh)
    3) Free health care.
    4) Free education.

    (not actually free but funded via a fair tax that benefits everyone. Oh Noes! Socialism!!!)

    All of the above are actually vital national security interests, and our government (OUR government – get it?) should be held accountable on charges bordering on treason for not recognizing and acting on these issues.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  23. Tom McEuen

    I've been paying taxes for the past 53 years and I still don't know what I personally receive in return for this annual contribution. I earn my own living. Served proudly in the US Navy. Paid my own way through college and graduate school by working 40 hours a week and attending classes every day. I paid for my health care insurance. I currently receive social security benefits however, I'm only receiving back that which I contributed. I subsidize my retirement income with savings amassed, by me, over my work life. Again, my questions is, how do I personally benefit from having paid taxes for the last half a century????

    April 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • MalcomR

      You don't because they are spent on an ridiculous military budget, a "war on drugs", and giving corporations a free ride.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rick

      You don't know what you get for your taxes? Do you think roads and bridges and schools etc etc etc just pop out of the ground after a spring shower? Another clueless American

      April 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • MalcomR


        Roads? Worst in the world. Once great, now worst.

        Bridges? 10,000+ ranked D- or F by every Civil Engineering association you ask.

        Schools? Yep, the best – buildings maybe. Content? You know the answer to that already.

        Who's clueless here?

        April 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
  24. Rick

    It's because so many of you are focusing on the wrong things. It's all about the $ in the USA really, thus all about the corporations. Yes, some socialist countries have problems, but so do many more capitalistic countries. And excessive socialism is not good, but neither is excessive capitalism. There needs to be a balance between what is good for companies and what is good for employees. The countries with the best balance you will see are the happiest. Frankly, the liberals in the USA are FAR less left wing than those in most other countries and the conservatives are far MORE right wing than those in other countries, that should tell you where the lack of balance is right there.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  25. KMTAL

    I think that this article only focuses on one aspects of quality of life and the author believes that we all share the same views. What is great to one American might not be great to another. If I feel that having the protected right to own a handgun is important to one person, that person would see this as a social plus. If I were anti-gun than I would view this as a social negative.

    Personally, I see quality of life from growing up at the end of the Cold War and not having to worry about Russia blowing us up and us blowing them up. My quality of Life is in the Jack Nicholson speech of being able to not worry about enemies actually "at our gates" because someone is standing on that line.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
    • MalcomR

      Talk about some low standards...

      April 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
  26. Jeff

    I have a CPA who does my taxes ... he is complaining ... turns out that a large part of his clientele WERE Eurorpeans living in the USA ... a very large percentage went home, saying the USA is not what it used to be.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
  27. chrissy

    SPOT ON @ Radar8!

    April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
  28. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Why do citizens of other countries want to come here?
    Often, my European friends come to my city, New York, to shop because their money is worth more than our money.
    Then they go home.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
  29. Harlon Katz

    The issue of the US vs those other countries is that we are FAT as a nation. That has a major impact on "quality of life" and healthcare costs / outcomes.

    April 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
  30. Roo

    America doesn't care about others, especially the poor. We are a country of "me, me, me"

    April 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • maggieheyoka

      And that, folks, is the real opinion of the 1%. Their flag is the dollar and they are quite prepared to flee to whatever island they can hoist it on freely. They worship freedom. The freedom to choose to keep themselves free of others who aren't in their service. They will step on you as you crumble with the rotting infrastructure they've left behind them, and they will not give so much as a glance back.

      April 21, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • maggieheyoka

      Roo, sorry, I have no idea why this posted under your comment. It was intended for Paul, way above, who can't wait to flee with his money bags.

      April 21, 2014 at 9:19 am |
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