THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

         8/14/17…  15.680.37

           8/7/17…  15,687.07

6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

 (THE DOW JONES INDEX: 8/14/17… 21,858.32; 8/7/17… 22,092.31; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for August 14, 2017   CAN’T FIX STUPID!

 

Pundits and patriots, perverts and poets have all espoused on how book-learninain’t necessarily the same as life-learnin’ and that wisdom is as wisdom does.  There have been plenty of great men (and women) who achieved lofty heights on only a sixth-grade education… or less.  High-tech entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen and Mark Zuckerberg were all college drop-outs.  (Today, politically correct administrators would probably make them throw-outs!)

Still and all, education must have some value.  We hear all sorts of experts saying that more and better education is the key to solving unemployment and the problem of too many hands and too few brains in America today.  We envy the Asians (justifiably?  See below) and big-ticket universities wrestle over how and how much to limit their access to admissions that ought to be going to legacy candidate and victim minorities.  This week, children and adolescents are traipsing off to school once again while their parents and grandparents struggle to remember trigonometry or the War of the Roses and why they mattered in the first place.

But Ben Franklin included wisdom on his three valued consequences of early to bed and early to rise.  And since the vast majority of employers and corporations choose to reject the centuries old practice of apprenticeships and learning on the job, legions of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed graduates flood the market every June, eager to bring coffee and make copies as they fret over how to pay off their hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt as was supposed to grease their way into the elite (or at least prevent them from falling behind their parents).

Education matters.  (Sort of.)

So – here is the DJI index of education (if not necessarily wisdom) as calculated by persons and institutions who, themselves, claim to be smarter than the average American (if not necessarily the average Korean).

The obvious hallmark of national prowess is its literacy rate.  What the people read doesn’t matter, the fact that they can read does.  North Korea did not respond to a sufficient number of categories to be included in the study, but they did report a national literacy rate of 100% - tied for first place with several of the usual suspects.  Everybody reads… even if it’s just the boy-dictator’s collected speeches.  (And who is going to tell him that he’s lying?)

Literacy is assumed to be the signal factor in determining a national intelligence so, out of four categories… or six… we have given it a double score.  There were several other nations tied with the North Koreans at 100% literacy, some of which might be questionable (that doddering old reindeer herder in Lapland, for example, or that walrus hunter in the Arctic Sea), but those were the facts, and into the hopper they went.  Perfection was attributed to Norway and Finland, as well as to Luxembourg… small enough that a 100% literacy rate is feasible… and several microstates that did not make the cut: gigantic but thinly populated Greenland, mini-euros Andorra and Liechtenstein and the Vatican City (population one).

Speaking of who got in and who didn’t… we also gave a double score to the pretentious and catch-all Human Development Index, an individual score to the quantity of teachers per 1000 population and to each of the three categories in the PISA testing program: Science, Math and Reading.  Liechtenstein was also number one in reading but, since it was not included in the human development or teacher lists and had not been included in the previous Healthy and Wealthy indices, out they went.

The DJI also eliminated five nations which were in either of the above… the Marshall Islands, San Marino, South Sudan, St. Lucia and Tuvalu.   We also continued to exclude the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau (high scorers) but did include Taiwan, probably to Beijing’s dissatisfaction.  Certain other conflict ridden places like Somalia and the North Koreans probably proved to hostile to the international question people, so bye-bye, man.

Every year, the United Nations publishes a Human Development Index which includes life expectancy statistics and an Education index (EI), calculated from "Expected years of schooling" EYS (Number of years a child of school entrance age can expect to spend in a given level of education) and "Mean years of schooling" MYS (Average number of completed years of education of a population [25 years and older]). "Expected years of schooling" is indexed by dividing by 18 and "Mean years of schooling" is indexed by dividing by 15. Education index is obtained by averaging these two indices. The maximum for "Mean years of schooling", 15, is the projected maximum of this indicator for 2025. The maximum for "Expected years of schooling", 18, is equivalent to achieving a master's degree in most countries.

Got that?

Anyway, it seems to be a fairly comprehensive study of who drops out and who stays in school and, again, it was the rich, white nations leading the pack with Australia on top.  The HDI produced America’s best score: 5th in the world.  The losers were, as usual, African plus the chaotic Yemen and Afghanistan where so many students in the Muslim madrassas are dropping out to blow themselves and others up with suicide vests.

The data on teachers (mostly derived from Nationmaster) suffers from being old… most dating from around 2005, some as early as 1991.  And it is not without surprises… many of the top-ranked countries are former Communist territories and satellites, not only the EU-joining, forward-looking places like the Baltics, but otherwise backwards backwaters including Belarus, Azerbaijan (trailing only tiny Liechtenstein), Armenia and a carload of “stans” which barely top Africa in most other indices.  Given the antiquity of the data, it seems that Russia was pouring education into the hearts and minds of its people in the provinces, and the result was that they became educated enough to leave.

The United States finished dismally, in 88th place.

Finally, PISA, run by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) every three years, tested around 540,000 15-year-old students in 72 countries and economies on science, reading, maths and collaborative problem-solving. “In 2015,” they reported, “students from Singapore performed the best, followed by Japan, Estonia, Chinese Taipei, Finland, Macao (China), Canada, Vietnam, Hong Kong (China) and B-S-J-G (presumably an acronym for Beijing, Shanghai and two other places, in other words, China).  The fact that OECD recognizes only the rich and powerful nations of the world probably skewed the DJI results somewhat, but sometimes you have to take what you are given and the scores of African and Latin American countries would probably have not bumped them up into the upper echelons anyway.

At least they recognized the difficulty inherent in using capital and large cities as sample populations, and detailed some of those problems here.

Put the indices together and a familiar pattern emerges… the small, cold republics of Northern Europe… with the interesting exception (or inclusion, rather) of the former Communist states like Estonia, Slovenia and three others among the top ten.  The worst scores were, as usual, in Africa.

America?  We finished 30th, just behind the Hungarians and Slovakians but ahead of the Italians.  We will leave it to others to determine whether this relative paucity of wisdom may be the cause of certain events of the past year.

The findings:

 

 

Country

3 wisdom - Indices

PISA

TOTAL

 

Literacy

Human Devlmt. Index

Teachers (per 1000)

Science

Math

Reading

 

 

Rank

Pctg.

Rank

1980

2015

Rank

Number

Rank

Score

Rank

Score

Rank

Score

 

1

Norway

1t

100.00

3

0.666

0.910

16

9.91

24

498

19

502

9

513

9.5

 

2

Finland

1t

100.00

23

0.645

0.815

5

531

13

511

4

526

10.0

 

 

 

3

Estonia

9

99.80

14

0.859

25

9.02

3

534

9

520

6

519

11.1

 

 

 

4

New Zealand

28

99.00

2

0.760

0.917

21

9.4

12

513

21

495

10

509

11.8

 

5

Slovenia

13

99.70

12

0.863

33

8.24

13

513

14

510

14

505

15.5

 

6

Netherlands

28

99.00

4

0.667

0.894

60

6.74

17

509

11

512

15

503

16.8

 

7

Belarus

22

99.60

21

0.820

12

10.64

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.8

 

 

8

Poland

13

99.70

20

0.591

0.825

72

6.34

22

501

17

504

13

506

19.4

 

9

Lithuania

13

99.70

8

0.877

5

12.23

36

475

36

478

39

472

19.8

 

10

Germany

28

99.00

7

0.590

0.884

53

7.24

16

509

16

506

11

509

20.8

 

 

 

11

Sweden

28

99.00

19

0.659

0.830

29

8.37

28

493

24

494

17

496

22.8

 

12

Australia

28

99.00

1

0.870

0.927

71

6.42

14

510

25

494

16

503

23

 

 

13

Belgium

28

99.00

25

0.626

0.812

39

7.7

20

502

15

507

20

499

25

 

 

14

France

28

99.00

22

0.543

0.816

28

8.45

27

495

26

493

19

499

25.0

 

 

 

15

Czech Republic

10

0.866

44

7.43

29

493

28

492

30

487

25.2

 

16

Kazakhstan

13

99.70

43

0.534

0.762

4

12.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

25.2

 

17

Russia

13

99.70

36

0.576

0.780

23

9.19

32

487

23

494

26

495

25.2

 

18

Ireland

28

99.00

6

0.533

0.887

76

6.13

19

503

18

504

5

521

23,3

 

19

Canada

28

99.00

16

0.749

0.850

105

4.76

7

528

10

516

3

527

26.2

 

20

Ukraine

13

99.70

30

0.581

0.796

45

7.42

 

 

 

 

 

 

26.2

 

21

Denmark

28

99.00

9

0.672

0.873

34

8.2

21

502

12

511

18

500

26.5

 

22

Iceland

28

99.00

17

0.598

0.847

17

9.83

39

473

31

488

35

482

26.5

 

23

Switzerland

28

99.00

18

0.678

0.844

120

3.69

18

506

8

521

28

500

27.0

 

24

United Kingdom

28

99.00

13

0.608

0.860

73

6.23

15

509

27

492

22

498

27.4

 

25

Azerbaijan

9

99.80

61

0.700

2

15.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

28.4

 

 

26

Japan

28

99.00

26

0.663

0.808

104

4.79

2

538

5

532

8

516

29.4

 

27

Luxembourg

1

100.00

44

0.551

0.762

46

7.41

33

483

33

486

36

481

29.8

 

28

Hungary

28

99.00

27

0.604

0.805

18

9.71

35

477

37

477

40

470

30

 

29

Slovak Republic

22

99.60

28

0.802

19

9.7

42

461

38

475

43

453

30

 

30

United States

28

99.00

5

0.790

0.890

88

5.5

25

496

40

470

24

497

30.4

 

31

Italy

28

99.00

33

0.542

0.790

54

7.17

34

481

30

490

34

485

31.8

 

32

Latvia

9

99.80

24

0.580

0.813

9

10.8

31

490

34

482

29

488

33.8

 

33

Armenia

22

99.60

60

0.701

6

11.77

 

 

 

 

 

 

34

 

 

34

Austria

59

98.00

31

0.592

0.794

27

8.8

26

495

20

497

33

485

35.8

 

 

35

Bosnia/Herzegovina

59

98.00

84

0.655

ND

 

 

 

 

 

 

35.8

 

 

36

Korea, South

65

97.90

11

0.565

0.865

110

4.3

11

516

7

524

7

517

35.8

 

37

Georgia

13

99.70

40

0.770

11

10.73

60

411

57

404

62

401

37.0

 

 

 

38

Taiwan

82

96.10

Nd

nd

4

532

4

542

23

497

39

 

39

Israel

73

97.10

15

0.675

0.854

26

8.98

40

467

39

470

37

479

39.7

 

40

Croatia

51

98.90

39

0.770

31

8.29

37

475

41

464

31

487

41.2

 

41

Tonga

28

99.00

54

0.628

0.720

15

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

35,8

 

42

Barbados

13

99.70

48

0.549

0.740

=98

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

 

 

43

Spain

69

97.70

32

0.516

0.794

70

6.49

30

493

32

486

25

492

46.1

 

44

Uzbekistan

26

99.40

88

0.651

3

14.43

 

 

 

 

 

 

46.2

 

45

Kyrgyz Republic

27

99.20

83

0.656

13

10.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

46.6

 

46

Singapore

86

95.90

41

0.768

118

3.83

1

556

1

564

1

535

46.8

 

47

Tajikistan

13

99.70

92

0.639

24

9.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

46.8

 

48

Bulgaria

56

98.40

45

0.579

0.749

47

7.4

45

446

45

441

49

432

48.5

 

 

49

Portugal

91

95.40

51

0.451

0.728

35

8.18

23

501

29

492

21

498

49

 

50

Cyprus

53

98.70

37

0.465

0.776

38

7.75

49

433

46

437

45

443

49.7

 

51

Montenegro

55

98.50

38

0.774

ND

59

411

52

418

53

427

50

 

52

Argentina

65

97.90

35

0.538

0.783

92

5.32

38

475

42

456

38

475

51.25

 

 

53

Romania

69

97.70

46

0.597

0.748

51

7.27

48

435

44

444

47

434

52.5

 

54

Moldova

28

99.00

86

0.653

37

7.98

50

428

50

420

56

416

52.6

 

55

Uruguay

58

98.10

58

0.545

0.712

55

7.08

47

435

51

418

46

437

53.9

 

56

Chile

54

98.60

47

0.528

0.746

116

3.93

44

447

48

423

42

459

56.5

 

57

Samoa

52

98.80

59

0.702

74

6.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

59.2

 

58

Antigua/Barbuda

28

99.00

73

0.681

95

5.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

59.4

 

 

59

Grenada

83

96.00

52

0.724

30

8.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

60

 

60

Malta

119

92.40

50

0.580

0.733

22

9.3

41

465

35

479

44

447

60.0

 

61

Serbia

59

98.00

65

0.695

59

6.88

 

 

 

 

 

 

61.4

 

62

Trinidad/Tobago

52

98.80

63

0.533

0.700

112

4.15

53

425

53

417

52

427

62.5

 

63

Mongolia

70

97.40

67

0.477

0.694

80

5.93

 

 

 

 

 

 

64.8

 

64

Brunei

91

95.40

68

0.519

0.692

7

11.64

 

 

 

 

 

 

65

 

 

65

Bahamas

88

95.60

56

0.714

49

7.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

65.4

 

 

66

Iran

147

85.00

71

0.309

0.683

78

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

67.2

 

67

St. Kitts and Nevis

67

97.80

94

0.638

32

8.27

 

 

 

 

 

 

70.6

 

68

Bahrain

101

94.60

57

0.425

0.714

43

7.47

 

 

 

 

 

 

71.8

 

 

69

Turkmenistan

22

99.60

74

0.679

169

1.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

72.2

 

70

Albania

78

96.80

103

0.541

0.609

52

7.25

51

427

55

413

60

405

72.5

 

 

71

Greece

72

97.30

29

0.543

0.797

41

7.58

43

455

43

454

41

467

74

 

 

 

72

Macedonia

70

97.40

91

0.642

 

67

384

 

 

67

352

76

 

73

Venezuela

90

95.50

72

0.441

0.682

56

7.06

 

 

 

 

 

 

76.0

 

74

Qatar

80

96.30

70

0.479

0.686

81

5.92

 

76.2

 

75

Costa Rica

80

96.30

85

0.445

0.654

117

3.92

55

420

59

400

51

427

76.5

 

76

Palau

120

92.00

34

0.787