THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

         8/28/17…  15.667.47

8/21/17…  15.680.37

6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

 (THE DOW JONES INDEX: 8/28/17… 21,813.67; 8/21/17… 21,674.51; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for August 28, 2017 – LOVING LIFE more than DEATH!

 

Our next Lesson will be a little late, coming, as it does, on the week between Labor Day and the sixteenth anniversary of 9-1-1.

Alongside the Franklin Files, those categories most useful (to Americans, at least) in differentiating pleasant versus unpleasant nations are those ideals expounded by slaveholder Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, asserting that all men (not women or coloured people) should be entitled to “life”, “liberty” and the “pursuit of happiness” (if not necessarily happiness itself).

So – we turn to life.  Where does one go to experience the full measure of life… not necessarily simply its Expectancy, but along with other qualities that may advance or hinder it?

Life expectancy is, of course, important (as it was also considered in Mr. Franklin’s “healthy” considerations).  Were expectancy alone the sole criteria for this Lesson, the gold medal would have to go to the Japanese, who live longer than any other men or women on the planet.  But do they live well?  And do their lifestyles advance the habitability of their nation and their world?

Let’s see.

The Lesson might be especially appropriate in that the zombie Hurricane Harvey, which was thought to have played itself out in the mountains of Mexico, turned back into the Gulf and regained strength as a Category 4 hurricane.  Such strong storms often reap a terrible toll.

How terrible?

“On September 8, 1900,” according to History.com, “a Category 4 hurricane ripped through Galveston, Texas, killing an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people. At the time of the 1900 hurricane, Galveston, nicknamed the Oleander City, was filled with vacationers. Sophisticated weather forecasting technology didn’t exist at the time, but the U.S. Weather Bureau issued warnings telling people to move to higher ground. However, these advisories were ignored by many vacationers and residents alike. A 15-foot storm surge flooded the city, which was then situated at less than 9 feet above sea level, and numerous homes and buildings were destroyed. The hurricane remains the worst weather-related disaster in U.S. history in terms of loss of life.”

That was only because the hurricane which destroyed the town of Indianola, Texas, fourteen years earlier, struck at a less populated time (and also followed an unmeasured, possibly stronger storm that hit the town in 1875, killing 400.  Many of Indianola's residents relocated farther inland after the storm. Five weeks later, in September 1886, another hurricane hit the Texas coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. Indianola was again flooded by rainwater and storm surge from Matagorda Bay. The remaining residents were evacuated. Following this storm the post office at Indianola was shut down, marking the official abandonment of the town. The old town's ruins sit just offshore under 15 feet of water in Matagorda Bay.

Says History.com…

“The storm ended the rivalry between Galveston and Indianola as the chief port of Texas. With the abandonment of Indianola and the unwillingness of the former residents to rebuild close to shore, Galveston became the most important Texan port until the 1900 Galveston Hurricane led to the rise of Houston as a major port.”

So, while we ponder the potential loss of life in Houston, here are our categories – together with their winners… and losers…

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

As mentioned, Japan’s 83.7 years places it atop the rankings.  As is to be expected, most of the leaders come from what we consider to be the “developed” countries of the world, where adequate quantities of the other categories are available.

The United States ranked 31st.  Factors that experts consider to be responsible for the lower rankings include diet, drug and alcohol use, gun violence and, despite the relatively clean air (in most places) potential carcinogens.

CLIMATE CHANGE (as ranked by CCIP, the Climate Change Performance Index)

The CCPI ranks countries according to their emissions, efficiency, development of emissions, renewable energy and climate policy.  One of the more self-righteous and scolding bureaucracies we have consulted, their mission statement begins…

“While the positions 1-3 were not awarded, because 'no country is doing enough to prevent dangerous climate change' we have listed countries from 1-58 for ease of reading. A country's score is shown in brackets.”

It must be re-asserted that some of the data used is old.  Old!  Most assuredly, the listing were compiled before the present administration gave the boot to the Paris Climate Accords, joining a chaotic Syria and an even more self-righteous Nicaragua.  Nonetheless, we also ranked 31st.  The proper and conservationist Danes win this category… the United Kingdom finishing a rather surprising second given London’s coal and steel history as gave it the nickname “The Smoke” back in the day.  So, things do change.

FOOD SECURITY

The Global Food Security Index, sponsored by DuPont, “considers the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality across a set of 113 countries. The index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures these drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.”

“This index is the first to examine food security comprehensively across the three internationally established dimensions. Moreover, the study looks beyond hunger to the underlying factors affecting food insecurity. To increase the ongoing relevance of the study, the index will employ a quarterly adjustment factor for food price fluctuations to examine the risk countries face throughout the course of the year.”

OK – what did they discover?

We’re Number One!

That’s right, America is the most food-secure nation on the planet.  (There might be some misanthropic doctors who would say that we have too much food security, but let’s brush these aside for the moment as we wallow and gloat.)

Because…

WATER STRESS

Of particular interest this week, “water is the basic necessity of mankind” states the World Resources Institute (WRI). To assess the water situation in 167 nations by 2040, the World Resources Institute ranked and scored the future water-stress in these countries. WRI gave the nations a score between 0 and 5. While 5 was the greatest level of water risk, 0 was the least.

“It is needed for every activity whether it is in agriculture, commercial purposes or domestic consumption. However, the population across the globe is increasing at a fast pace and the stress on water resources has already begun to show. In fact, in some nations water has almost become a luxury and it is estimated that the next few years will see a rise in the demand for water. Further, people are migrating to cities in search of better opportunities and this will further strain water resources. So, what will be the situation in 2040?

“According to the data, the situation is dire in 33 countries. These countries, which have scores of 4 and 5, will face extremely high water-stress by 2040. Domestic users, businesses, as well as agricultural farms will face much more scarcity than what they are facing in the current times.”

But, as you can see from the data, the WRI primarily considered drought to be the overriding factor in water stress.  Flooding is noted in other WRI reports, but even a 500 (or 800) year flood is an anomaly, here and gone.  Katrina was twelve years ago.  Who remembers that Galveston flood of 1900 which killed between five and seven thousand?  Yet there are places, not only worldwide but in America, that would like nothing so much as to have some of that Texas water.

Who has enough water?  The tropical oil sheikhdom of Brunei, that’s who… the island paradise of Fiji, the kingdom of Bhutan high in the glacial Himalayas and a few otherwise unlifely spots in the African rainforest.  America?

121st

Not so good!  If there was only a way to capture the water from our oversaturated locations and transport it to the dry spots (like Arizona, Vegas and… sooner than we might wish… Los Angeles).  Some, you know, infrastructure?

INFANT MORTALITY

In order to keep our data under control, we counted only those countries that posted results in at least 4 of the 7 categories and have been recognized as discrete and self-governing civilizations (as opposed to the outlier provinces of larger folks, like Hong Kong and Macau).  Consequently, the leader of this pack… the tiny gambling mecca of Monaco… did not make the cut, moving the Japanese up to the top spot.

The United States also did poorly here, relative to the rest of the developed world… 57th.

DOCTORS

Another micro-state, San Marino, has such an outstanding number of physicians, it’s a wonder that anybody else is left to do any other jobs.  Monaco finished third in this category and Number Two… much to the shame and disgrace of the free-market world… is Cuba.  Perhaps, after 2016, Havana will become a destination spot again… not for its casinos, but for medical tourism.  America did a little better here, 52nd.

HOMICIDES

Compiler Theodora.com states: “Intentional homicide is defined as unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person. Where only estimates were available, we used the highest UN estimate in the ranking table. Countries and regions are ranked highest to lowest score.”

The United States finished almost in the middle… 82nd in the world, better than such wild west places as South Africa and El Salvador, but far behind the law-abiding (or sword-wielding) Japanese.

 

Japan, finishing first in two of the seven categories and a virtual winner in another, should have been deemed the most “lifey” nation on earth, but its large population and island status renders its food and water situation rather dicey (not to mention the North Koreans and their missiles).  So, they did not win.   Who did?

Here's the results…

 

 

 

Country

Avg.

Life Expectancy

Climate Change

Food Security

Water Stress

Infant Mortality (Per C.I.A.)

Doctors/1,000 (Nationmaster)

Homicides/1,000 (Theodora.com)

 

 

Yrs.

Rank

Score

Rank

Score

Rank

Score

Rank

Toll

Rank

Ratio

Rank

Ratio

Rank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Iceland

11.3

82.7

7

57.25

24

0.00

8

2.10

3

3.62

16

1.0

10

2

Norway

22

81.8

15

54.65

33

81.0

12

0.51

51

2.50

5

3.1

t34

0.8

4

3

Malta

23.2

81.7

16

61.82

12

3.50

23

3.18

32

1.7

33

4

Denmark

25.6

80.6

27

71.19

1

80.0

t14

0.47

49

4.00

33

2.9

40

1.1

15

5

France

26.6

82.4

9

65.97

5

82.5

t6

2.28

96

3.30

14

3.37

25

1.6

31

6

Germany

27

81.0

24

58.39

19

82.5

t6

1.70

88

3.40

21

3.4

t23

1.0

8

7

Sweden

27.1

82.4

10

69.91

3

81.3

10

1.53

82

2.60

8

3.3

t26

2.4

51

8

Ireland

28.9

81.4

19

62.65

9

84.3

2

1.75

87

3.70

28

2.79

41

1.1

16

9

Bermuda

29

81.3

T26

2.50

7

1.77

69

1.1

14

10

Italy

29.7

82.7

6

62.98

8

75.9

t22

3.49

129

3.30

15

4.2

8

1.2

20

11

Switzerland

30.7

83.4

2

62.09

11

80.9

13

1.13

75

3.60

27

3.6

17

2.9

60

12

Netherlands

32

81.9

14

54.84

32

82.6

t4

1.86

91

3.60

24

3.1

t34

1.4

25

13

Belgium

32.2

81.1

23

68.73

4

77.4

21

3.59

132

3.40

19

3.9

12

2.1

42

14

Brunei

32.4

77.7

39

0.00

1

9.90

88

1.01

111

1.4

23

15

New Zealand

33.1

81.6

17

52.41

39

81.1

11

0.62

58

4.50

43

2.2

t55

1.5

29

16

Japan

35

83.7

1

37.23

55

75.9

t22

2.32

101

2.00

2

2

63

0.5

1

17

Czech Republic

35.3

78.8

33

57.03

26

73.9

25

1.60

85

2.60

9

3.5

22

2.2

47

18

Finland

35.4

81.1

22

58.27

20

78.9

t17

1.86

80

2.50

6

2.6

46

2.8

57

19

Austria

36.1

81.5

18

50.69

42

79.3

16

0.43

44

3.40

17

3.4

t23

0.8

3

20

United Kingdom

37.1

81.2

20

70.13

2

81.9

t8

2.58

107

4.30

36

2.2

t55

1.6

32

21

Slovenia

37.2

80.8

26

56.87

28

 

 

0.35

39

4.00

32

2.25

53

2.1

45

22

Cyprus

39

80.5

29

65.12

6

8.10

73

2.34

51

1.8

36

23

Portugal

39.6

81.1

21

59.52

16

80.0

t14

3.05

118

4.40

41

3.3

t26

1.8

38

24

Luxembourg

40.5

82.0

13

62.47

10

2.82

114

3.40

16

2.7

43

1.1

17

25

Greece

40.6

81.0

25

55.06

30

71.5

31

3.77

137

4.60

46

4.4

6

1.0

9

26

Canada

41.1

82.2

12

38.74

53

81.9

t8

1.01

71

4.60

47

2.1

57

2.0

40

27

Spain

42.6

82.8

5

 

 

 

 

0.00

138

3.30

13

3.2

t30

1.4

27

28

Hungary

43.6

75.9

57

60.76

14

69.3

34

0.56

53

5.00

49

3.2

t30

2.2

48

29

Slovakia

44.4

76.7

47

57.83

23

67.7

40

0.74

67

5.20

50

3.1

t34

2.3

50

30

Croatia

44.5

78.0

36

58.43

18

0.31

37

9.50

85

2.4

50

2.0

41

31

Australia

44.7

82.8

4

36.56

56

82.6

t4

3.43

126

4.30

38

2.5

t47

1.5

28

32

Serbia

45.7

75.6

60

 

 

59.4

52

0.74

66

5.90

58

2.06

t58

1.4

26

33

Singapore

45.7

83.1

3

42.81

52

83.9

3

5.00

155

2.40

4

1.4

t81

1.3

22

34

Israel

47.8

82.5

8

 

 

78.9

t17

4.97

155

3.50

22

3.82

13

4.7

72

35

Korea, S.

47.9

82.3

11

37.64

54

73.3

28

2.63

109

3.00

11

5.81

73

2.2

49

36

Taiwan

49

80.1

T30

45.45

49

 

 

1.91

93

4.40

40

 

 

 

 

37

Venezuela

49.2

74.1

85

 

 

56.9

t60

1.97

95

12.50

110

1.94

t65

37.0

180

38

Bosnia/Herzeg.

50.8

77.4

42

0.29

35

5.60

56

1.34

t86

1.9

39

39

Uruguay

52.7

77.0

44

 

 

68.4

36

0.65

61

8.50

76

3.65

15

6.0

84

40

United States

53.6

79.3

31

54.91

31

86.6

1

3.16

121

5.80

57

2.3

52

5.9

82

41

Qatar

55

78.2

35

 

 

77.5

20

5.00

155

6.20

61

2.22

54

0.8

5

42

Cuba

55.6

79.1

32

2.86

116

4.50

45

5.91

2

6.0

83

43

Bulgaria

58

74.5

81

53.85

34

60.6

50

1.59

84

8.50

77

3.56

19

3.1

61

44

Latvia

58

74.6

79

61.38

13

 

 

0.92

59

5.30

53

3.01

t37

10.2

108

45

Romania

60.3

75.0

67

60.39

15

65.5

t42

1.28

78

9.60

86

1.9

67

3.3

65

46

Estonia

61.2

77.6

40

47.24

48

 

 

2.91

117

3.80

29

3.16

33

8.9

100

47

Belarus

61.7

72.3

98

51.18

41

63.1

46

1.13

76

3.60

26

4.55

5

10.2

107

48

United Arab Emirates

64.3

77.1

43

 

 

71.8

30

5.00

155

10.30

94

2.02

62

0.7

2

49

Montenegro

65

76.1

53

 

 

0.73

65

4.30

T36

3.6

68

50

Panama

65

77.8

37

 

 

64.4

44

0.00

19

10.10

91

1.5

t78

13.4

121

51

Costa Rica

66.2

79.6

30

68.3

t37

1.04

74

8.30

75

1.32

t88

7.3

93

52

Lithuania

66.7

73.6

89

 

 

2.30

92

3.80

31

3.97

11

10.3

110

53

Botswana

67.7

65.7

138

57.8

54

2.51

106

8.60

81

0.4

140

21.5

158

54

Kuwait

70

74.7

76

73.5

27

5.00

155

7.10

66

1.53

75

1.4

24

55

Bahrain

72.3

76.9

45

70.1

33

5.00

155

9.20

83

1.09

t105

1.1

13

56

Chile

72.3

80.5

28

74.4

24

3.72

134

6.70

64

1.09

t105

5.5

79

57

Ukraine

73.4

71.3

104

49.81

43

55.2

63

2.82

115

8.00

72

2.95

39

12.0

118

58

Poland

74.7

77.5

41

56.09

29

72.4

29

1.78

89

4.50

44

2.5

t47

1.7

34

59

Lebanon

75

74.9

72

4.97

152

7.60

69

3.25

29

2.5

53

60

Russia

76.4

70.5

110

44.34

50

62.3

48

1.60

86

6.90

65

4.25

7

29.7

169

61

Mexico

77

76.7

46

57.04

25

68.1

39

3.76

135

11.90

104

1.5

t78

11.3

112

62

Oman

79.5

76.6

48

 

 

73.6

26

4.99

155

13.20

116

1.32

t88

2.1

44

63

Bolivia

79.8

70.7

108

51.6

70

0.41

42

36.40

171

1.22

95

5.3

75

64

Egypt

80

70.9

107

56.96

27

57.1

t57

1.36

79

19.70

141

0.54

128

1.3

21

65

Fiji

80.2

69.9

113

 

 

0.00

1

9.70

87

0.34

t144

2.8

56

66

Georgia

80.2

74.4

82

 

 

 

 

2.75

98

15.60

126

4.09

10

6.2

85

67

Argentina

81.9

76.3

50

48.34

45

68.3

t37

2.60

108

10.10

92

3.01

161

5.5

78

68

Saint Lucia

82

75.2

66

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.20

101

5.17

4

21.3

157

69

Mauritius

82.5

74.6

78

 

 

 

 

10.00

90

1.06

108

2.7

54

70

Brazil

82.6

75.0

68

51.90

40

67.6

41

0.93

68

18.00

132

2.06

t58