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talljasperman's avatar

How do nations keep track of success?

Asked by talljasperman (21916points) March 6th, 2015
8 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

Is it the same way people keep score? Other than money and a collection of things how do you keep track of your success? Don’t include Gross domestic product if you can.

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jerv's avatar

It depends, as different cultures/societies have different measures of success.

Some, like the US, track success by personal wealth, and how unrestricted those with money are when it comes to keeping that money and making more. Others measure success by how few people are suffering from avoidable problems (homelessness, starvation…) or from problems not of their own doing (unemployment), or how much education they offer to all who want it instead of just those that can pay for it. Still others judge by how well they keep their citizens docile, scared, and obedient.

There is no one answer as nations are run by humans, and humans are a diverse lot.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s not a competition. Nations don’t keep “track” of success. We aren’t being graded.

The ones who keep track are politicians, and those in power all crow about whatever the can crow about and the opposition will criticize anything they can criticize.

jerv's avatar

@zenvelo Those politicians who fail to do whatever the nation considers “success” tend to not remain in office. Whether through being defeated in an election or more dramatic means (up to and including assassination), the ones who stay in office are those who advance the agenda. Furthering the agenda, whatever it is, is generally considered “success”.

elbanditoroso's avatar

First you have t0 define what “success” is.

To Yemen, “success” is probably defined as “not being overrun by extremists today”.

In Greece, “success” could be defined as “we paid our bills this month”.

In the US, “success” might mean “we eavesdropped on another 100,000,000 conversations”

In Canada, “success” would be “we kissed a couple of maple trees”.

There is no common yardstick of success, and therefore no way to make a rational comparison.,

dabbler's avatar

All kinds of numbers are compiled by all kinds of entities with all kinds of agendas.
Here’s a group that puts together stats they call Happy Planet Index – a measure of sustainable well-being.

We’re first in incarceration rates, and military expenditures freedom and freedom

LuckyGuy's avatar

Statisticians can always find numbers to boast about. I have The Economist, Pocket World in Figures 2015 Edition and enjoy browsing.
Did you know Belgium leads the world in robberies per 100,000 with 1806 ? Argentina is second with 974.
Macau leads the world with number of mobile phone subscriptions per person: 2.898!
Monaco leads with the number of telephone lines: 1.217 per person
Lowest infant mortality goes to Iceland: 1.8 deaths per 1000 live births.
Highest life expectancy: Monaco with 89.6 (US is 45th with an age of 78.9.)
Most tourist arrivals: France.83 million US is #2 at 67 million.
And so it goes….
That is a fun book. See if you can get it for free at your library.

rojo's avatar

I kinda like Bhutans Gross National Happiness Index

jerv's avatar

@LuckyGuy In that vein, The New York Public Library Desk Reference is also interesting, as is it’s companion The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference, even if they have more than just statistics.

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