Norway tops the Social Progress Index

Gross Domestic Product has become the yardstick by which we measure a country’s success. But, says Michael Green, GDP isn’t the best way to measure a good society.

His alternative? The Social Progress Index, which measures things like basic human needs and opportunity. …

The Social Progress Index determines what it means to be a good society according to three dimensions: Basic Human Needs (food, water, shelter, safety); Foundations of Wellbeing (basic education, information, health and a sustainable environment); and Opportunity (do people have rights, freedom of choice, freedom from discrimination, and access to higher education?) …


Some countries over-perform on social progress relative to their GDP per capita. Costa Rica is the biggest aggregate over-performer, showing strength across all the dimensions. The key lesson here is that building social progress takes persistence. Costa Rica has had strong education, health and welfare systems for a long time, as well as a long democratic tradition. SPI measures outcomes — life expectancy, literacy rate — not inputs, like laws passed or money spent. There are no cheats or quick fixes



Saudi Arabia is the biggest underachiever. I’ve just arrived … Actually I’m scheduled to get to San Jose, Costa Rica May 1st, my first visit.

American politicians are liars

And many, in the past, were able to get away with it. It’s getting tougher now due to an increase in fact checking.

Bachmann was a fact-checker’s dream because she was prominent, she got lots of attention, and she didn’t mind throwing out easily disprovable statistics. …

Why Fact-Checkers Find More GOP Lies


Gov. Scott Walker is a leading candidate, right now, for the title of the candidate who lies most.

“More than eight in ten Americans (84%) say they have a favorable view of fact-checking …”

Rapid Growth

A second study found that fact-checking stories increased by 300 percent in the four years between the 2008 presidential election year and 2012. … – Fact-Checking Is More Popular than Politicians

Here are three of the best sites:

PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter

Washington Post Fact Checker

• is my favourite.

running Panama City

I’m back in Panama City for a Gymnastics coaching course. My exercise while on the road is jogging.

So far I run-toured the Cinta Costera waterfront …



… and a big city Park. Nice. :-)



Panama City is a boom town. A LOT of construction.



The new WIDER set of locks on the Panama Canal are scheduled to open sometime in 2016.

trickle-down #voodoonomics

Nonsense perpetuated by the rich. :-(

Trickle-down economics“, also referred to as “trickle-down theory”, chiefly and originally in United States politics, is the idea that economic benefits provided to businesses and upper income levels, or money appropriated by government via taxation, will indirectly benefit poorer members of society when the resources inevitably “trickle down” to them.

The term has been attributed to humorist Will Rogers, who said during the Great Depression that “money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.

In more recent history, the theory is most closely identified with critics of the economic policies known as “Reaganomics” or laissez-faire. David Stockman, who as Reagan’s budget director championed these cuts at first but then became skeptical of them …

See this cartoon on Facebook.

gundamentalist child

Some children grow up in poverty, lacking food and sanitation, while others are born in countries where basic necessities are taken for granted. Photographer James Mollison came up with the project when he thought about his own childhood bedroom and how it reflected who he was. Where Children Sleep – a collection of stories about children from around the world told through portraits of their bedrooms – stemmed from his ideas.

16 Powerful Photos Of Children And Their Bedrooms From Across The World

I’m most worried for Joey, age-11, from Kentucky.

Joey Kentucky

Joey Kentucky2

What could go wrong for this kid? :-(