Monday, March 19, 2012

Democracy and Indicators of Well-being

This interesting video by Hans Rosling demonstrates that democracy does not have a monopoly on achieving high standards of well-being, such as life expectancy and income levels. A problem with the video and analysis is that it relies on data on democracy from the American University, in which throughout the twentieth century, for example, the USA receives 100 percent scores. These scores reflect bias and deficiency in the methodological approach of the American University. In 2011, the FDA scored the US federal electoral system with a failing 30 percent score due to an overemphasis on freedom through electoral finance and media laws. So based on FDA global democracy scores, there is even less correlation between democracy and high standards of well-being. Although as Rosling states that freedom, fairness, equality ect. are well-being (social) indicators as well. The danger is to focus solely on freedom as an indicator of democracy, because freedom alone likely leads to a plutocratic state.

2011 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report on the USA

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