Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:02:37 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Is there a "values deficit"?:  The 10 states with the highest divorce rates are all Bush states, while 9 of the 10 with the lowest divorce rates are Kerry states.  And crime stats show 7 or 8 of the 10 states with the most crime or murder are Bush states, while the bottom 10 are equally blue and red.  (In general "the high Southern murder rate is a key factor behind America's high homicide rate in comparison with other democratic, industrialized nations").  9:48:18 PM  permalink  

TaxProf Blog: Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed: WOnder "which states benefit from federal tax and spending policies, and which states foot the bill"?  8 of the top 10 net payers are Kerry states, 9 of the top 10 getting more than they pay are Bush states (and the other 2 are New Mexico, which hasn't been decided, and DC, which is a special case).   9:43:53 PM  permalink  

In some nations, the rise of 'shortgevity':  "It's an article of faith among most 21st-century humans that life is getting longer. In the last three decades, the average life span at birth has increased from about 60 years to 67 years worldwide, a remarkable achievement.  But in two dozen countries, human life spans are shortening." Article has table of several countries.  In US from 1970-2000, L.E. grew from 71.5 to 77.1 years.

"Today illicit drugs and alcoholism are still major social ills in the [former Soviet] region. But the outlook has begun to improve as those countries stabilize socially and economically, though longevity rates have still not returned to their peak levels of the 1980s.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the picture remains alarming. Experts attribute much of the problem to the HIV/AIDS epidemic there, which accounts for 25 million of the 40 million cases of HIV/AIDS in the world. According to the latest United Nations Human Development Report, life expectancy in Zimbabwe plummeted from 56 years in 1970-75 to just 33.1 today. Zambia went from 49.7 years to 32.4 in the same period, Lesotho from 49.5 to 35.1, and Botswana from 56.1 to 39.7. ..

Every year of life expectancy gained is estimated to raise per capita gross domestic product in a country by about 4 percent. That's prompted some researchers to question whether development aid to Africa, only about 10 percent of which is aimed at improving health, is being properly spent. It's in everyone's interest "to overcome what I call the 'longevity divide,' " Dr. Butler says.  While the per capita GDPs of sub- Saharan countries have not dipped as dramatically as their longevity rates, that measure can be deceiving, Hill says. The deaths of young adults have reduced the labor force, but that has allowed survivors to pick up extra work and boost their own earnings. Thus, the fall in per capita GDP doesn't look so bad."

  12:19:55 AM  permalink  

For reliable voting results, look abroad:  "Whether they use ticks on ballot papers, buttons on touch-pads, or hand-held bar code readers, foreign voters enjoy one advantage over their US counterparts: Within each country, voters cast their ballots using just one method, and those ballots are counted uniformly. ..

Even new systems in young democracies can generate trust. In Brazil, for example, which emerged from military dictatorship in 1985, all of the country's 121 million voters use electronic touch-pads in all of their elections. .. [In India] this year, 387 million voters there turned out for national parliamentary elections, all using electronic voting machines for the first time. .. Almost everywhere in Europe, votes are counted by hand, first at the polling station itself, and then at a regional center, and then again in a central office, if need be. ..

Another key difference between the US and almost every other democracy, electoral analysts point out, is the way countries from Japan to India, and from Ghana to Brazil, put their elections in the hands of independent and neutral officials. Only in the US could partisan figures such as Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have had any influence over a vote count." Neat map of US variations in article.

  12:12:34 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:02:37 PM.