The Fabric of America Is Fraying as the Economic Downturn Continues
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Jul. 31st, 2008 | 09:11 pm
posted by: jacksmoderator in corporatenews
By certain measurements, the U.S. economy has been quite successful in the last several decades, but the fundamental question remains: Successfully what?
We may lead the world in categories like gross domestic product, average house size, and ownership of color TVs, but we also "lead" the industrial nations in debt per capita, the child poverty rate, overall poverty rate, ratio of people in prison, rate of traffic fatalities, murder rate, carbon dioxide emissions per capita, and the per capita consumption of energy and water.
These are hardly distinctions we can be proud of. Clearly, we're not taking care of what really matters. On the upside, increased awareness of where we stand can guide a reordering of national and local priorities, resulting in a healthier and more satisfying American lifestyle.
Especially eye-opening is data compiled by John de Graaf, director of the non-profit Take Back Your Time, which advocates legislative and lifestyle changes to provide more discretionary time.
The data compares the U.S. with 14 European Union countries in key quality-of-life indicators, demonstrating that many of our economic and cultural priorities are out of step with what humans actually need. Despite the familiar aspiration to be/appear optimistic, it's clear that health care, safety, personal security, equality, education, and leisure time are faltering in America.
For example, even a need as basic as nutrition is compromised when money is poorly allocated or spent. The average American slurps 53 gallons of soft drinks every year, and now spends more in restaurants (many of the fast-food variety) than in grocery stores. "Even wild monkeys have healthier diets than most Americans," says anthropologist Katharine Milton, partly because in our fast-paced world, the emphasis is on snackability, convenience and shelf life rather than human life.
More Info: http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/9
Related Link: http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/9