We don’t know how lucky we are

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, October 31st, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: International, Media - Tags: , , ,

There was in interesting snippet in The Herald on Thursday:

NZ scores fifth place in world prosperity stakes

New Zealand has been ranked the world’s fifth-most-prosperous country, with the highest level of education and civil liberties, by an international think-tank.

That plays well to our patriotism, we all like to think that NZ is still a great place to live, a great place to raise a family and so on. But there wasn’t a lot of detail in the article, making it hard to know what the assessment was based on, or how much credence to give it. So it was great to see, on Saturday, a follow up with a lot more detail. If you feel so inclined, you can go and check out just how this “think-tank” rates and ranks us under the headings of:

  • Economy – 17th
  • Entrepreneurship and opportunity – 14th
  • Governance – 4th
  • Education – 1st
  • Health – 19th
  • Safety and security – 7th
  • Personal freedom – 3rd
  • Social capital – 3rd

Or, since it’s a Sunday, you could save yourself the reading, and just cut to the chase. Put on your dancing shoes, and get down with your bad self, in the company of the one and only Mr Fred Dagg:

27 comments on “We don’t know how lucky we are”

  1. Stan 1

    We sure don’t know how lucky we are – after Tolley has finished with education, we will drop rapidly down the ranks.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Actually I think its probably true. We’re always scoring high on all sorts of ratings with very few negatives (are a few as in how we rank on inequality, prison incarceration and child deaths) but on the whole we’re actually very good country. only trouble is Australia is an even better country. Though I actually think a political party could get a lot of support if they just talked about what was so good about this country instead of going for the negative all the time.

    • ianmac 2.1

      I liked Australia and the Australians, but I have no envy of their “better” life. I bet Canadians still love their own country and would hardly envy the USA, and yet the Americans appear to be so much wealthier. What is it with this Must catch up with Australia nonsense?

      • dc_red 2.1.1

        Good question. In general, I’d say Canadians do not envy the USA. There is occasionally mention that the cost of living is cheaper there, although even that depends on the exchange rate at the time. But then, Canadians do not have the right to live in the United States. In contrast to the common labour market in NZ-Aus, Canadians have to apply via US immigration channels. Which are … unpleasant.

    • Jeremy Harris 2.2

      Too hot, too many out and out racists, great to visit…

  3. felix 3

    But the righties keep telling us we’re a 3rd world nation (lol) with the worst education system and no personal freedoms and way too much red tape.

    I don’t get it.

    • William Joyce 3.1

      We shouldn’t knock red tape – it has its uses.
      I wonder how much red tape would we need to wrap around Brownlee so he couldn’t move or speak?

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        Good question.
        Given their rhetoric in opposition about red tape (recently shown not borne out by internationally conducted comparative surveys), the wrapping would need to occur at a higher rate than he eats them .. and his words.

    • freedom 3.2

      why is it the governments who say there are no personal freedoms are always the ones hell bent on removing whatever freedom is left?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        It’s the normal distraction, look over there so you don’t see me doing this method of control.

  4. William Joyce 4

    I remember some ad company (Colenso?) in the 90s conducting a study that showed that NZdrs had suffered “emotional abuse” at the hands of its own politicians (invariably the Friedmanite right) with the constant berating of NZ and its people for being lazy, uneducated, unproductive, failing, consumed by the politics of envy, overspending, and that we didn’t know what was good for us and we should shut-up and take what economic medicine was coming to us via those who were enlightened to the way and the truth.
    A relative returning to NZ (in around 2000) after some years away was surprised at how depressed we were and how oblivious we were to how better off we were in quality of life and opportunity.
    Yes, we have issues but we should never let these issues blind us to the fact that this is a bloody great country with a lot going for us.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    New Zealand is a truly wealthy country.

    After all 10% of the population controls almost 6/10ths of the country’s wealth. So from their point of view it looks bloody prosperous.

    The other 90% – meh, you lot can fight it out for the remaining 4/10ths while they watch and throw you leftovers.

  6. joe90 6

    Touch Of Grey

    Must be getting early
    Clocks are running late
    Paint by number morning sky
    Looks so phony

    Dawn is breaking everywhere
    Light a candle, curse the glare
    Draw the curtains
    I don’t care ’cause
    It’s all right

    I will get by / I will get by
    I will get by / I will survive

  7. Fabregas4 7

    NZ 1st for Education? How can that be – all these years with no standards!

  8. Vicky32 8

    Now, Fred Dagg is singing in my head – earwormmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    • felix 8.1

      Easy fix: Just hum “Baby Elephant Walk” a couple of times. Cures* all known earworms.

      *May become a superworm, no cure is known for this.

      • Craig Glen Eden 8.1.1

        Its all good as they say but didn’t Fred move to the luckyier country?

        But hey maybe we are lucky because we have a piss poor PM who is always on holiday, we dont know how lucky we are !

      • Vicky32 8.1.2

        In this case, cure worse than disease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

  9. Jones 9

    I lost quite a bit of trust in this ranking when I saw that the USA was ranked number 1 for health care .

    • William Joyce 9.1

      That’s the problem. It is #1. It seems you can’t be #1 and have universal health care.

    • Jeremy Harris 9.2

      The WHO hasn’t done ranking for Health Systems for almost a decade so they probably just used Health spending as a ratio of GDP, the USA is at about 16% – 18%, we are around 8.5%, most industrialised nations are in the 8% – 11% range…

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        There are quite a few countries out there spending a tonne on pharmaceuticals who wish they had our Pharmac.

      • Jeremy Harris 9.2.2

        I don’t really know much about Pharmac, a bulk buying deal from memory…

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Pharmac is one of the barriers no doubt to a free trade deal with the US. Pharmac do an excellent job reducing the cost of medication from the American drugs companies through real negotiation/

          Without em our health bill would also be much higher but we wouldn’t be any healthier.

        • Jeremy Harris

          Co-op’s economies, purchasing and selling power is a beautiful thing and we do them well here: Foodstuffs (4 Square), Fonterra, Zespri, etc…

          The Yanks will just have to get used to our ability to organise “businesses” and get over it and the Nuclear issue…

          • KJT

            I hope you all realise that the price of an FTA with the US would be dissolving Pharmac and cutting up Fonterra into a shareholder business. The farm lobby in the States would still not allow us free access.

          • Jeremy Harris

            Well then we don’t sign it, we must insist on our right to voluntarily organise our businesses and our Health system however we choose and we have the right to allow only ships that meet our criteria into our waters…

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