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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

The people of the United States lead the world in many categories, most of them, however, are not things to brag about. This is where the corruption of both major political parties, all three branches of the US government (that includes the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court) by the rich and their corporate dollars has brought us to during the last forty years.

All three branches of the government and both major political parties have fought tooth and nail to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent during the last four decades. The corporate news media has been complicit in this rape and plunder of their fellow citizens by the 1 percent.

Studies show that the top 1 percent of the US now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The top 1 percent stole only 8 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980, while studies show they are now robbing the rest of us blind by stealing anywhere from 23 to 37+ percent of the total income created in the United States. The shares of wealth and income of the 1 percent are still growing and at the expense of the rest of us.

Below are some of the findings from the United Nations study.

By most indicators, the US is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined.
US healthcare expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average. (OECD = Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes 37 nations)

  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation, the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average.
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one-quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD, the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league”.
  • US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

Free trade policies that have made it easy for the billionaires and their corporations to export tens of millions of United States jobs to third world nations and the pocket the difference between the old high US wages and benefits and the super low third world wages with no benefits have caused much of the US crisis outlined in the UN Report. These same trade scams also pave the legal road for US corporations to create tens of millions of jobs overseas rather than here at home with the same result of increasing income and wealth inequality. There are other culprits in the current state of US political corruption; deregulation, monopolies, lawlessness on Wall Street, a US Department of Justice unwilling to take on Wall Street corruption, unfettered campaign contributions leading to the political corruption of both major political parties, a Supreme Court corrupted by the influence of the billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers.

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A new report from the United Nations shows that Norway has overtaken Denmark as the world’s happiest nation. The study was performed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which was launched by the United Nations in 2012.

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The United States dropped to 14th this year from 13th last year. Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

US Senator Bernie Sanders had a lot to say about these issues.

“Norway,” he wrote, “is now the happiest country on earth followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, according to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the United States has moved down to 14th on the list. Why are the people in Norway so much happier than the U.S.? It’s not that complicated.

While hundreds of thousands of bright, young Americans don’t go to college because they cannot afford the cost, public college is tuition-free in Norway.

While the U.S. is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care as a right, Norway has a single-payer health care system that provides high-quality health care to all of its citizens at a far lower cost.

While the U.S. is the only major country that does not guarantee workers some type of paid sick leave, Norway guarantees 50 paid sick days.

The U.S. has the highest childhood poverty rate of nearly any major country on earth, while Norway has one of the lowest followed by Denmark and Finland.

As we strive to be a more just society, we must follow the examples of our brothers and sisters in other countries who have made better progress. What do you think?”

Click here for more on the story from Reuters.

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The largest civil rights group in America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is petitioning the UN over what it sees as a concerted efforted to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The organisation will this week present evidence to the UN high commissioner on human rights of what it contends is a conscious attempt to “block the vote” on the part of state legislatures across the US. Next March the NAACP will send a delegation of legal experts to Geneva to enlist the support of the UN human rights council.

click here for the rest of the story

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – The United States remains the fourth best country in the world to live in, but adjustment for inequality drops it into 23rd place, according to an annual U.N. ranking of nations’ development released on Wednesday.

The ranking came in a human development index, a gauge of well-being published by the U.N. Development Program for the past 21 years that combines economic prosperity with education levels and life expectancy.

The UNDP published the inequality-adjusted index for the second time this year after introducing it last year, and aims to make it a standard component of its annual Human Development Report alongside its main, unadjusted index.

A number of other rich countries also scored considerably lower when adjusted for equality.

Canada, which was sixth in the overall human development index, was 12th in the inequality-adjusted measure.

South Korea, 15th overall, came 28th out of 187 nations when scored for equality.

The inequality-adjusted index is adjusted for inequalities in the three areas of human development covered by the UNDP’s human development index — life expectancy, education and standard of living in terms of income.

The discrepancies in some countries’ adjusted and unadjusted index rankings were highlighted by some other nations whose rankings did not differ much or at all on the different scales because they were deemed to have a high degree of equality.

Oil-producing Norway, which again grabbed the top rank in the overall index — its ninth top placement in the past 11 years — was also No. 1 in the adjusted index.

Australia, second in the overall human development index (HDI), was also second in the inequality-adjusted index. The Netherlands ranked third and fourth in the different measures.

Some nations fare better when the equality of their society is taken into account. Sweden, which ranked 10th in the overall development index, was third in the adjusted index, and Denmark climbs from 16th to eighth place with such adjustment.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), torn and impoverished by more than a decade of war, was ranked worst in 187th place in the overall development index and 134th in the adjusted index.

African nations Niger, Burundi, Mozambique and Chad were just above the DRC at the bottom of the overall index and somewhat higher when adjusted for inequality except for Burundi on which adjustment data were missing.

The UNDP’s new Human Development Report focused on the relationships between environmental sustainability and equity, a term that the agency uses for fairness and social justice and access to a good quality of life.

Distribution of income has grown more unequal over the past several decades at the country level in much of the world though gaps in health and education have narrowed, it said.

Increasing evidence points to widespread environmental degradation around the world and potential future deterioration, the UNDP said.

“Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave environmental risks and deepening social inequalities threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world’s poor majority — and even to reverse the global convergence in human development,” UNDP administrator Helen Clark warned in the report.

(Reporting by John Acher Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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