What does it mean to be the best place to be a mother?

Theresa Giarrusso is taking a few days off of blogging to tackle a couple of family and school projects. Keith Still, a mother of three, will be filling in this week.

While I absolutely love “best places” lists when it comes to traveling, I tend to get skeptical when I read articles that rate places as “the best countries in which to be a mother” – mainly because the idea of what makes a location good for mothering seems to me pretty subjective and often, political.

The lead paragraph in this Agence France Presse article yesterday grabbed my attention

“The United States has scored poorly on a campaign group’s list of the best countries in which to be a mother, managing only 28th place, and bettered by many smaller and poorer countries.”

The 2010 “Mothers Index”, published by the Save the Children organization, listed Norway as the best country in the world in which to be a mother, followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Here’s what the AFP article reported on the United States’ ranking of 28.

“Even debt-plagued Greece came in four places higher at 24.

 “One factor that dragged the US ranking down was its maternal mortality rate, which at one in 4,800 is one of the highest in the developed world, said the report.

“…It also scored poorly on under-five mortality, its rate of eight per 1,000 births putting it on a par with Slovakia and Montenegro.

“…Only 61 percent of children were enrolled in preschool, which on this indicator made it the seventh-lowest country in the developed world, it said.

“…And it added: ‘The United States has the least generous maternity leave policy — both in terms of duration and percent of wages paid — of any wealthy nation.’

“…Save the Children compiled the index after analyzing a range of factors affecting the health and well-being of women and children, including access to health care, education and economic opportunities.

“…Thus Norway came top because women there are paid well, access to contraception is easy and the country has one of the generous most maternity leave policies in the world.”

High marks seem to go toward countries with lengthy, government-mandated or subsidized maternity leaves. Points also appear to go toward nations with universal or government-run health services, high preschool enrollments, high levels of maternal education and economic opportunities.

While the report shows areas in which the U.S. clearly needs improvement, I’m just not sure you can really quantify a country’s “motherhood quality” this way. There seem to be too many other factors at play.

Are long maternity leaves, economic opportunities and access to health care good for mothers? Sure, as long as these programs are sustainable. But many of the countries that rank higher on the list are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or in the process of being bailed out.

“Debt-plagued Greece” which comes in four places higher than the U.S. is not exactly a model for stability and quality of life – for mothers or their children — at the moment.  

What does it really mean to be “the best place in which to be a mother”? What do you think of rankings like this one? Is it possible to make a concrete assessment about something as subjective as the best countries for mothers?

Have any of you lived in any of the top-ranked countries for mothers? How did mothering life there compare?

If you were ranking countries on “motherhood quality”, where would you put the U.S.?

 

89 comments Add your comment

Jeff

May 5th, 2010
7:20 am

You’re right, it sounds pretty political. As a parent, my happiness is almost always what I make it, not what I depend on others to make for me. I would imagine that works for all people regardless of self-description.

lakerat

May 5th, 2010
7:32 am

The whole key to this propaganda article is summed up in this paragraph:

“High marks seem to go toward countries with lengthy, government-mandated or subsidized maternity leaves. Points also appear to go toward nations with universal or government-run health services, high preschool enrollments, high levels of maternal education and economic opportunities”.

Does that sound like “Obamaspeak” or what? More “junk” by the liberals to make this great country seem like it is falling behind UNLESS more government is involved in everyday activities…

Andrea

May 5th, 2010
7:34 am

There are too many variables to constitute a “best place to be a mother”. The article seems to focus a lot on maternity leave and if that was a major factor, then a more appropriate title would be “The Better Places to Have Your Child, Take an Extended Leave & Still Have a Job when You Return”. While I do think maternity leave should be longer, I don’t think countries extended leave policies are necessarily better than the USA.

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
7:43 am

Well…I enjoyed being a Mother of my then toddler son more than my daughter. This has nothing to do with my daughter, as I love her dearly.

We lived in a SMALL town in Texas and the pace was MUCH slower than here in Gwinnett County GA. There was really NO keep up with the Joneses. I rode my bike with my son 3-5 times per week. We took leisurely strolls. No car trip was more than 10-15 minutes. My job was 5 minutes away, with no stop lights, and that eliminated lots of commute time. We visited with neighbors and had picnics and “over the fence’ chats. We knew everyone in our little area, which was called Birdland, because all the streets had bird names.

That being said, the schools were not good. There were no cultural activities….no malls either. I do not even remember a movie theatre. We were out in the middle of no where. The folks were genuine and card for one another.

I am happy that we moved here to GA but whenever I am in a small town, I remember the days where the pace was not hectic.

We moved here in 1989 and have been able to give our kids a good education and they have seen and done a lot, that would not have happened then. My daughter was born here and this is all she knows. She has lived in Gwinnett County her entire life but has traveled from Boston to Anchorage…just not been able to jump on a trampoline ( LOL previous post).

I think I was more relaxed, as a Mother, in the small town and perhaps a better Mother.
I am pleased at the opportunities my children have had here.

I have lived in 6 states but never out of the country, so I have no answers there but will be interested to read what others have to say!

We do have clean water, food, shelter, education and so many opportunities like libraries and parks. That should count for something.

Andrew

May 5th, 2010
7:55 am

Haha, what nonsense. You point out that Greece is failing, but don’t mention that the top 10 countries are doing *great*?! What about Norway and Australia, both did great during the “recession”. And the other countries are also doing very well.
You are the one that seems be talking about politics… nevermind that all of the Scandinavian, Nordic and Northern European countries are all social-democracies, that’s socialism to you.
You don’t know what you are missing in terms of healthcare.

Read this experience for example:
http://mylittlenorway.com/2009/06/having-a-baby-in-norway-maternity-ward-tour/

Andrea

May 5th, 2010
8:08 am

@MJG: I agree with you about the small town. I grew up in rural GA and moved to Cobb County recently and while I do enjoy the cultural experiences and conveniences of the city, I definitely miss the slower pace and calming atmosphere of a small town. I am sure the people personify every cliche you could imagine but they are such good people and until you experience small town living and leave for a more urban setting, you really can’t appreciate it. Disclaimer: The aforementioned comment does not suggest that there are no good people living in the city. :-) Have a wonderful day guys. (This one may turn into a health care debate so I am checking out early – LOL)

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
8:21 am

@ Andrea…oh yes, we know lots of great folks here but the small town folks are sometimes a bit more genuine…i.e. of course we can run our lawn mower over ( so you can use it)…since yours is not working…OR…just dig up a few flowers from my yard and put them in yours….it’ll brighten things up!

DB

May 5th, 2010
9:00 am

I find it interesting that kids being in pre-school are part of the weighting in this survey — does it take into account the number of kids who are at home with mothers who exercised their right to choose to stay at home and provide an enriching childhood themselves?

When I first read the title of the survey, my thought was that it was going to investigate support for families, etc. in a less political manner, i.e., nuclear families vs. “village raised” kids, etc. I do think that the insularity of families in this country tends to make it harder on moms psychologically , especially new moms.

The inference that higher mortality rates mean “worse” health care needs to be looked at more carefully, though. An analysis that made sense to me a couple of years ago was that one of the reasons that the U.S.’s rate was higher was that U.S. healthcare tended to be far more aggressive in attempting to save babies that, sadly, may never have had a chance in other countries. The statistic is based on the death of an infant after birth — even if they take one breath, they are considered “live”, and if they die an hour later, they are part of the statistics on mortality. A miscarriage is not considered infant mortality — so think of all the high-risk pregnancies where miscarriages were averted, or staved off until a child could be born, often prematurely. Outside the U.S., many of those miscarriages would have simply been allowed to terminate — but in the U.S., they are treated extremely aggressively. A premature baby in the U.S. has a much higher survival rate than in any other country in the world because of the U.S.’s aggressive treatment — but still, premature babies DO die at a much higher rate than full-term babies. Also, the exponential growth of fertility treatments in the U.S. contributes to a huge blip of multiple births, which are also much higher risk — they tend to be born earlier, with correspondingly lower-than-average survival rates.

JATL

May 5th, 2010
9:40 am

It IS entirely subjective, and SO much is up to the individual as far as the best place to mother or grow up or anything. I DO think the USA should take a beating for its maternity policies AND for its vacation policies. More maternity/paternity leave and mandated weeks of vacation would greatly help people spend more time with their children and have less stress. Of course when you compare being a mother in the U.S. with being a mother in, say, Darfur -well, we come out smelling like roses!

As far as the point of how many kids are enrolled in preschool -this irks me. I think preschool is wonderful and my oldest has been in preschool since he was 1. That is a 1/2 day preschool two or three times a week. Why do kids HAVE to be in preschool? Sure, it can give them a leg up if their parents aren’t going to bother to teach them anything, but kids don’t really have to been in school their whole lives to be successful. That whole point really irked me. My youngest has gone to preschool for two months twice a week. I was home and there was no reason to send him! He is around tons of kids on a weekly basis, so he gets his socialization, and he’ll start in August because I’m working full time again. However, without those stipulations, why would he need to be in preschool?

TT

May 5th, 2010
9:51 am

I agree with this article. I lived in Europe and i know that US in at the end of the list. And i am not talking about the economy – i am talking about motherhood. Maternity leave would start at 6 month of pregnancy, so a mother can prepare for a comming baby and could last as long as 4 years. First year is paid in full, than compansation decreases with each year. Now, if you had such options in US, would you still choose to go back to work and give a 6 week old baby to a daycare?

FCM

May 5th, 2010
10:00 am

I think the best place to be a Mom is in the life/lives of your child/children. Think about it….you have seen them, the ones who are Mom in title only.

To all Women (Mom, Aunt, Friend) who take the time to make a POSITIVE difference in the life of a child. Thank you.

(Yes men do it too but Father’s Day is next month).

TT

May 5th, 2010
10:04 am

lakerat – the whole point is that many governments cover these programs from the taxes that they collect. If compared apples to apples, people in US pay high taxes, but do not get any benefits, like free college education, cheaper daycare, free healthcare, maternity leave, etc.

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
10:13 am

@ FCM…that would have been my mom….I know what you mean. She told us frequently how she could not wait until we were grown and moved out as she had been a Mom most of her life…from 19-50, with children in her house.

ZachsMom

May 5th, 2010
10:16 am

@TT It is not the governments job to provide FREE college education, cheaper day care, free health care, maternity leave, ect. Nothing is FREE…someone has to pay for it. Personal responsibility has to come into play some where. Part of being a good mother, IMO, is teaching you child about responsibility, saving for what you want and making choices.

Can’t afford day care? healthcare, maternity leave….its simple… don’t have kids.

We only have one child even though I would have loved to have more. WE COULD NOT AFFORD IT so we made a responsible choice.

lakerat

May 5th, 2010
10:25 am

Thanks for responding for me, ZachsMom – could tell that TT was “not from around here” by her underlying Socialist slant on government dependability (plus, she told us – see, I am quick sometimes…)

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
10:31 am

@ ZachsMom, to me…the scary thought, is that responsible adults are having 1 or 2 children….maybe 3.

The ones who think everyone else should take care of them….have a whole slew of kids. When they are old enough to vote, of course they will out number the ones who are prudent and have learned how to pay for themselves.
Seems to me, this is what happened with our current situation.
Everyone who thought they could get a better life, without paying, stepped up to vote. Are things actually better now for everyone?

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
10:32 am

catlady

May 5th, 2010
10:36 am

I agree with Andrew. Which of those top 10 countries is failing or needing to be bailed out? I await your answer.

What other things do the top countries have in common?

TT

May 5th, 2010
10:38 am

ZachsMom – wait until your kid gets leukemia and requires 2-3 MM treatment. Then you can go about personal responsibility all you want. Since nothing is FREE you can pony up the money or you can watch your kid die.

Many of you do not see this point and probably never will. I am not saying government’s job is to provide free services. I am saying that based on the amount of taxes collected, there should be some benefits available to people. Where and how does government spend your money? Ever asked that question?

ZachsMom

May 5th, 2010
10:41 am

MJG-I wanted to comment on you “small town” story. We moved FROM Gwinnett county to Habersham to get more of the small town feeling. It has been hard. You always hear about how friendly small towns are and it has been for the most part but it has been really hard moving to a place where everyone has “always” lived here and is related to 1/2 of the county either by birth or marriage. They are polite to outsiders but still really trying to find a group of friends.

On the plus side….its easy to save money because there is no MALL, TARGET or KROGER.

Its challenging to be a mom no matter where you live.

TechMom

May 5th, 2010
10:45 am

As usual, anyone can dig up statistics to support something they believe to be true. I agree with DB on how these infant mortality rates can be skewed to show that the US doesn’t have “good healthcare”. They also don’t look at the attitude of contraception and abortion. It’s simply not as widely accepted here as some other countries and therefore I do think we have a higher pregnancy rate.

As far as the US policy for maternity leave, I do think it’s cruddy that women are expected to return to work after 6 weeks and are only legally protected for 12 weeks but I also believe in free will, capitalism and a small government so I understand why we don’t have these generous maternity leave policies. If you were a small employer would you want to have to guarantee a woman her job back after she took a year off and you had since hired a replacement for her? Would you want to pay higher taxes in order for the government to give women paid maternity leave? Isn’t it simply our individual responsibility to live within our means and plan for mom to be able to stay at home? I’m not saying it’s easy but the alternative is for everyone in society to pay for this type of program and I don’t think that’s fair. Of course my attitude about this means that I would rank the US higher than someone who was born in Europe and thinks it is quite normal for a mother to get a year of paid maternity leave and anything less is barbaric.

ZachsMom

May 5th, 2010
10:49 am

TT-that is an extreme situation, out of anyones control and you know it. That is what the $50 dollar a month payment planis for? I have been when my child or my husband was sick and sometime it took YEARS to pay it off but we did.

Being responsible to me means saving to have health insurance, budgeting to have the co-pay and perscription money and planning to take the time off from work. All of which are my responsibility to take care of.

DB

May 5th, 2010
10:51 am

@TT — I’d say that people in the U.S. have a very good idea of how their government spends their money. The question is: Do they LIKE the way the government spends their money? There is always going to be dissent on how money is spent. Just like a marriage, when the partners disagree on how money is spent — you will never have 100% agreement on how money is spent in a government.

The thing about maternity leave and child care — part of the problem is that economics are such that both parents feel that they must work in order to enjoy a certain standard of living. I chose to stay at home with my children and to forgo a fairly lucrative career BB (before baby). By making that choice, I chose to forgot a new car every few years, new furniture, new carpet, etc. etc. That was MY choice. My issue comes with mandating workplaces to support non-producing employees in enjoying a standard of living that they are not earning, simply because they made a personal choice to have a child.

lakerat

May 5th, 2010
10:53 am

TT – do you really want to go here –

“I am not saying government’s job is to provide free services. I am saying that based on the amount of taxes collected, there should be some benefits available to people. Where and how does government spend your money? Ever asked that question?”

Surely, you jest if you really want an answer on this site to that question!

Stephanie

May 5th, 2010
11:08 am

Oprah used to say a girl born in the US was already one of the luckiest girls in the world and I agree. I think the fact that my children have easy access to healthcare, food, shelter and learning makes this a good place to raise a child.

Maybe We're Not the Best

May 5th, 2010
11:12 am

Denmark does well in almost every “best of list”.

You can argue subjectivity on several of the weighted items, however, some you cannot. Infant mortality rates are not subjective.

We were all raised with a constant message that “This is the greatest country on Earth” and while that may or may not be true, the constant drumming of the message has had a strange effect. It seems that due to that repetition that any suggestion that America may not be the best in every list, is met with a gutteral resistance. The mere sight of the USA in any spot besides number 1 confuses our reality.

TechMom

May 5th, 2010
11:20 am

@Maybe We’re Not the Best… infant mortality rates still have a reason behind them. The US supports more high-risk pregnancies and women are able to try more methods to get pregnant and go to great lengths to stay pregnant (as DB stated- fertility programs give us older moms and more multi-birth pregnancies) and as such, that lends to higher infant mortality rates. Does that mean the US is wrong for allowing women that opportunity? Maybe we need another study that suggests the best places to simply get pregnant.

Or think about it, Denmark has a lower teen pregnancy rate. Does that mean teenagers are less promiscuous in Denmark? Have you thought about the fact that they simply have easier access to contraceptives and abortions so there are less births? Does that mean Denmark is a better place to be a teenager or raise kids? Sure the number might be objective but that certainly doesn’t explain why or mean that it’s better simply because it’s lower.

Polytron/E2M Sucks

May 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Keith Still, a mother of three, will be filling in this week.

Keith is a woman’s name now? :(

Maybe We're Not the Best

May 5th, 2010
11:51 am

They say that denmark is the happiest country on earth too.

Our test scores lag behind in addition to these other categories.

South Korea, Denmark, Japan, all are consistently top 5 in education lists. The US is consistently 15-25 range.

Its not unpatriotic to think that we could improve and that maybe some other countries do something better than we do.

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
11:56 am

@ ZachsMom…I completely agree with you that some small towns will ALWAYS exclude an outsider. This is why I usually tell city folk who are escaping…”I hope you like it…”

I am not saying I would now move to the country…I just know my life was simpler then.

Many small town folks do not want to embrace anything new. they typically do not like city folk coming into their area. When we moved to Arkansas, from Chicago, my Dad was all over the fact that northerners knew more than southerners. At the time, I thought he was right. Now, not so much. They each know different things and some things that are important in Chicago do NOT important in Arkansas and vica versa ( sp?).

I read an article about relocating to North Dakota. There are many small towns that are dying there and schools are literally closing up. They were some perks offered to those who would relocate.

A tanned couple from Florida ( with tatoos, bleach blonde hair and multitudes of gold chains on the husband…per the photo) decided to try it. They were not embraced and had to leave. I mentioned this to my daughter and she could not understand it.

Her Dad and I tried to explain that some small towns do not want anyone living there unlike them, who perhaps did not buy their car from the local Ford Dealer and drove in to town, on a Toyota. She was amazed and we laughed. Yes, she has grown up in a diverse community called Gwinnett County Ga…that perhaps was a good thing.

When I first moved here and for 9 years, I worked in Buckhead with wonderful people. It always amused me, that some folks put on airs about living and being from Buckhead. Has anyone told them that perhaps 90% of the world has no idea what or who Buckhead is? ( Wayne and Tiger are you with me?) Now if you are talking NYC, someone may know or care.

As previously mentioned, I know folks from coast to coast who are delightfull and have certainly enjoyed meeting them and learning from them!

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
12:00 pm

@ Polytron..catch up…I think this has already been covered…on Monday?

RE my last post…do NOT seem important

delightful

sorry!

TechMom

May 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

No one is saying the US can’t improve- our education system certainly leaves a lot to be desired. But using certain statistics to support a subjective matter (happiness) isn’t exactly scientific and therefore the results of this study are anything but conclusive. I’m sure there are women from Denmark who would be happier raising children here in the US just as there are women from the US who would be happier in Denmark.

I had a chance to visit Sweden for 2 weeks last summer. I do think that people in general are less stressed there. There isn’t a big corporate rat-race or keep-up-with-the-Joneses attitude like there is in the US. Some of it is really nice, makes life seem more relaxing. I mean I’m sure there is still some of that going on but for the most part, everything is acceptable so people are generally more content. Don’t have a job? No problem, the government will support you. Want to grow up and be a painter? No problem, we don’t really need that many Electrical Engineers anyway AND you’re guaranteed a job (or at least unemployment if you can’t find one at the minimum rate deemed for that position). Want to go to college to be a dancer because it seems ‘fun’? No problem, the “government” will pay for it. Need an MRI? Oh wait, we can’t see you for 4 months. Your child make you mad? Better not spank them, you’ll go to jail. There are definitely some things about the Swedes that I appreciate: they take care of the environment and recycling/reducing waste is the norm, they aren’t as materialistic (tho they do love fashion), children are much more independent (not a lot of helicopter parents), they get WAY more vacation than us – all very nice things. But does that mean I’d be happier there than in the US? Not necessarily (in fact, highly doubtful from my perspective) because I have ideals based on having been born and raised in America and value those higher than a couple of extra weeks of vacation. Plus, it’s stinking cold there in the winter!

Wayne

May 5th, 2010
12:09 pm

Buckhead – isn’t that a beer??

David S

May 5th, 2010
12:15 pm

You can tell a lot about an organization by the criteria it uses to evaluate statistics around certain subjects. You can also tell a lot about people and their understanding of economics, individual freedom, and liberty in the same manner.

One might also evaluate good places to be a mom by other criteria.

For instance, how high the taxation rates are – lower rates allowing only one parent to be forced to work to achieve a higher standard of living; liberal homeschooling rules and a large private sector educational infrastructure to allow more non-government educational opportunities; sound monetary system so that inflation is curbed and household finances are not subject to political whims and long-term planning for the future is possible (the US would obviously rank very low in this category); significant health freedom where alternative medicine can operate safely and freely alongside allopathic medicine thus providing greater opportunities for health, rather than just disease treatment; personal health freedom so that issues about vaccinations, medical treatments, and the like are restored to the parents and not politicians and pharmaceutical special interests; extrememly low regulations and barriers to business entry so that home-based and other businesses could be redily started should additional income be required by the family; sound property rights so that businesses or other options for land use would abound rather than be restricted by government or political whims; religious freedom so that children can be raised as their parents wish without fear of government reprisal. I think you get the point.

Too many groups extol the virtues of government manipulation of the economy in favor of their special group as if it actually benefits them in the long run. Of course the truth is that government involvement is the enemy of freedom and hurts everyone in the long run, including in this case mothers and their families.

Its all how you look at it.

Gram

May 5th, 2010
12:16 pm

The best place to be a mother is wherever I am. I’m a fantastic Mom, Grandma, mentor…etc. Not bragging. Just stating a FACT. You HAVE to be sure of yourself to be a mother/grandmother, and be successful at it.

Mel

May 5th, 2010
12:20 pm

Ahh, another survey slanted toward countries with socialisitc policies of cradle to grave government programs.

Our problem here is the US with mortality rates is the numbr of crack and meth addicts bearing children. Unfortunately, Obamacare isn’t going to make any of them put down the pipe.

June Cleaver

May 5th, 2010
12:21 pm

How does “access to contraception” make motherhood so much better in Norway?

What standard of living do these other countries have?

Sounds like liberal, mumbo jumbo.

Barack Hussein Obama

May 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

6 months of employer-paid maternity leave will revolutionize motherhood in America. Our illegal mothers can also participate in this new program that Congress will be proposing.

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
12:26 pm

@ Wayne….you go!

WE are getting excited about our 3rd trip to Boston, this summer. Anything we HAVE to see? My 18 year old daughter loves it! We will ride the Ducks this time as we have done the Trolley Tour before. Too bad you cannot come in and meet up with us for lunch…LOL…bring your family…you can then vouch that I am not a nutcase….

Minnesota Dawg

May 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

No other place on earth than America has the freedom for a mother to be her best and on the other hand her worst. No other place has more spiritual help from a Biblical basis for mothers. Look at the statistics on how happy women are. They are the most happy when they are fulfillig their role as mothers and keepers at home. Why? It’s the way our creator, Jesus Christ, made a woman to be fulfilled! Feminism has done more to harm a woman’s true role than any other thing. Abortion on demand, contraceptives, equal rights, etc. are the standard by which all these silly studies are base on!

VERITAS

May 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

Countries that consistently finish in the top brackets for education, low crime, quality of life, age expectantcy, etc. also have few, if any minority populations to deal with. America has become a third world toilet about to runneth over.

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

@ Barack….even if they did not have a job here before having their baby…how exciting!

WTHIIN

May 5th, 2010
12:31 pm

lakerat and MJG how is this Obama’s fault??? Why is EVERY story no matter the subject Obama’s fault??? Why do you people always feel someone is looking for a FREE ride instead of a CHANGE in government and don’t bother calling me a liberal or a socialist because I’m neither and both I believe in fairness and sharing and making money too bad you labelers don’t think the same. Our problems are because of MOST of our past and present Presidents, NOT just one! Spread the blame but not the hate!

FCM

May 5th, 2010
12:36 pm

“Keith is a woman’s name now?” Yes and it was 30+ years ago when HER parents named her.

@ TT about the questioning of GOVT spending. UH-yeah there are several around here who have asked repeatedly where the money goes. Where is it spent?

As a STATE we rank in the bottom 5 year:year in education. Yet to save money the STATE is going to boot 1500…This will HARM our STATE (unemployement), our SCHOOLS (over crowding, good teachers leaving for better venues) and ultimately our CHILDREN. (BTW did they ask if the teachers would go from $55K to $40K for 2010-2011 to retain them and keep class levels down?)

With higher unemployment you get higher CRIME. (I do not have the latest statistics). That means you need MORE public services police, fire, etc. Yet we ask them to make big cuts.

Less people working also means less health care. So instead of a trip to the Dr office, people go to the emergency room where they cannot be turned away. Then you get places like GRADY going under.

Yeah, we do ask….problem is what we really want to know is what are VIABLE solutions to turn this around?

Question

May 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

TT at 10:04 am — try personal responsibility and living within your means!! The federal government is, and should not be, responsible for your care and feeding!! Generational government dependency and entitlements are not a lifestyle!!

motherjanegoose

May 5th, 2010
12:42 pm

Every story ( to me) is not Obama’s fault.

I have built my own business and have paid taxes.

My children never ate free lunch and cannot qualify for college aid as we are both working and earn too much….that we pay taxes on. I would bet that Lakerat would be in the same boat.

My husband and I started out making less than $30,00 together….27 years ago. We did not whine and look to anyone else to help us out. We just did it ourselves. I see LOTS of people who are not only looking for a FREE ride they are riding the ride as I type here and their ride is a BMW or Lexus….while their kids are on free lunch.

I do not believe in sharing, when the government strongarms who I am sharing with…those who sit home and have no plans for the future. I do not believe in sharing with those who drive through the Pharmacy in a Hummer and pick up free acne prescriptions paid for by me ( per my son) . I will happily share with anyone who has truly made an effort and needs my help. I share nearly ever week of my life, by choice ( giving to others) and every hour ( not by choice) through taxes.

If you need something to eat and you are doing the absolute best you can…let me know. I will help you. This does not mean I will give you the steak, pork chops or salmon in my fridge and that I will eat the soup and rice…although it may come to that.

Did anyone else read that our Vice President Biden gave less than $5000 to charity, per his 2010 tax return? Guess he prefers to share our money and not his own.

lakerat

May 5th, 2010
12:44 pm

WTHINN – nobdy said this was Obama’s fault – I only mentioned that the article was biased toward the countries that depend of the government to take care of everything, much like the “gimme” folks who make up the majority of those that put Obamacare in office.

I target Obama because he is the one in charge NOW that brought the change from which no one but the “hand out” people are benefitting. And I just heard on the radio news, that for all of his bravado about how BP is going to pay for the clean-up of this oil spill (that was not their fault), that Obama is the single largest recipient of BP campaign contributions of ANY president in the U.S. – and yes, that includes the past “oil based” president.

Keith

May 5th, 2010
12:49 pm

Hey guys — I’ve been out all morning, enjoying being a mother here in the US and only have a quick minute to type right now. Someone asked for examples of countries that in economic trouble that also rank higher on this list than the US.

Iceland has been struggling with a huge financial crisis and went bankrupt more than a year ago. Greece, obviously. And as Greece goes, so goes the danger for so many of the eurozone countries, whose taxpayers are now having to pay more than 80 billion euros to bailout their neighbors.

At the same time that Germans and others in the eurozone are about to shell out these billions of dollars to help, union members, etc in Greece are shutting down hospitals, schools, transport etc to protest spending cuts designed to help get the country back on some kind of financial footing.

Clearly, people can and do disagree over the value of government-run plans. I am certainly no fan of them. My point, however, in this whole thing was that having a government-mandated health care or maternity-leave, etc. policy appeared to weight heavily toward a country being “a good place to be a mother” — and to me, if a country is going bankrupt, experiencing rioting and unable to borrow money from other countries to pay for these programs (which is possible), that’s not the best indicator of a good place to be a mom.

CJ

May 5th, 2010
12:52 pm

Remember the peace dividend? Anyone here remember that?

Addendum

May 5th, 2010
1:28 pm

The one little thing (surprise surprise) about most of the top-rated countries is their lack of lower latitude populations, i.e. African-Americans and Hispanics. And you talk about politics affecting reporting…the irony meter is pegging!