Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quality Of Life In A Socialist And A Capitalist Country

United Nations statistics on child welfare and longevity in Cuba and the USA, for the last year available, 2012, show what many people have known for a long time, that by many measures Capitalism isn't really delivering the goods to most of the population any more. Despite the crippling commercial, economic and financial embargo the US has imposed on Cuba since Oct. 19, 1960, which it has strong-armed many of its allies into honoring, Cuba beats the US on quite a few quality of life measures.

The position of the US on many quality of life issues has declined steadily since Reaganomics took hold in the 1980s. We now don't use the term Reaganomics and instead talk of austerity budgets, budget crises, government shutdowns, debt, but it's all the same thing. It's the notion that government social programs must be reduced in size, taxes must be all but eliminated for corporations and the rich, and the wonderful free market will lift all boats.

Our news media used to trumpet statistics showing that the US ranked at the top of many statistical charts. You no longer hear those statistics mentioned. Because the rich and corporations don't pay but a fraction of what they used to in taxes, government, government services, and education at all levels, are always being talked about as if they are having a funding crises.

Meanwhile, as corporate profits and the US stock markets keep setting record highs, and the embargo of Cuba continues, more American children are dying than Cuban children are, and US citizens are living shorter lives than the citizens of Cuba.

I've cut and pasted charts from the UN's Cuban and United States statistical summary web pages so you can see them side by side. You can also go to the UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) home page and get this set of stats for any country.



  1. Interesting, sad and not surprising though the print on the charts was too small for me to read

    1. Thanks for reading and for your comment, and for pointing that out! I have reposted the chart after splitting the file into three sections, which lets each one display larger. Some of the data is still hard to read or covered up, but if you are interested, the links "Cuban" and "United States" in the last paragraph are to the original UN charts.