Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Does the US Rank Below Cuba?
Mona Charen | Nov 15, 2013

The World Economic Forum has issued its annual report on the gender gap
worldwide, and it has received respectful notice from the usual places
(PBS, CNN, The Washington Post). But any report that places the United
States below Cuba, the Philippines and South Africa deserves a little
skepticism. In fact, the WEF places the U.S. 23rd in the world, below
the Scandinavian countries, and those just named, but also below Lesotho.

What the heck are they measuring? Well, for one thing, the report
examines the difference between men and women within countries, not the
absolute welfare of women in one country compared with another. Still,
the study has been received as a report card on women’s well-being. Rubbish.

One of the gender gap measures is the number of women in national
political leadership. The U.S. ranked 60th for equality in political
leadership. Only 18 percent of the members of Congress are women, and
countries like Germany and Bangladesh that have (or have recently had)
female chief executives get extra points. Do you believe that the WEF is
telling us something useful when it reports that women in India,
Mozambique and Senegal have greater “political empowerment” vis-a-vis
men than American women?

Counting up the number of women in parliament or the executive mansion
doesn’t tell you much. Some countries have laws requiring a certain
number of women to serve in the parliament. The WEF questionnaire
specifically asks whether nations have imposed such quotas. India has
one for village councils and has attempted to pass another for its
Parliament, though it has yet to be ratified. But why should the World
Economic Forum extend garlands to nations that deny to women (and men)
the freedom to choose the best candidate, even if it happens to be a man?

Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and again
from 1980 to 1984. Call it a great milestone for women if you like, but
at the time, brides were still commonly bought and sold in India (many
of them children), female infanticide was widespread, and women were
barred from many sports, schools and other activities.

The U.S. ranked sixth in “economic empowerment and opportunity” due to
the high percentage of women in managerial and professional work, yet
still below Mongolia, Burundi, Malawi and the Bahamas. Really? Yes, it
seems that you get ranked based on the number of women participating in
the labor force, even if they’re doing menial labor. So all of those
women making beds and emptying trash at hotels in the Bahamas move their
country above the U.S. in “economic empowerment” because fewer American
women are in the paid labor force.

The U.S. ranked 53rd on “healthy life expectancy” — an artifact of our
lack of socialized medicine, an NYU professor helpfully explained on
PBS. But life expectancy in the U.S. for both men and women varies
tremendously by income and region. One of the chief causes of diminished
life expectancy is violent death, which has little to do with the
medical system. Another is obesity, which increases the risks of
diabetes, cancer and heart disease. America is second only to Mexico in
obesity rates, and, you guessed it, women outrank men in the fat department.

The WEF study reinforces the usual myths about women’s wages —
reproducing, for example, the widely discredited “fact” that women earn
70 cents on the dollar compared with men in the United States. The study
is also heavily weighted in favor of the sort of social welfare policies
practiced by the northern European countries — plentiful childcare
subsidies, generous family leave and so forth.

The U.S. ranked high on “educational attainment,” but frankly, while
this boosts America’s ranking on this international gender gap
comparison, it’s a mixed blessing. According to the National Center for
Education Statistics, women earned 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 62
percent of master’s degrees, and 53 percent of doctorates in 2010.
That’s fine, except that 80 percent of women say that getting married is
an important life goal, and most women prefer to marry men who are their
equals or superiors in education and income. As women outstrip men in
educational attainment, the pool of marriageable men shrinks, leading to
more, not less, female unhappiness.

That brings us to the main problem with surveys like these performed by
ideologically zealous western academics. True well-being for women and
men relies on the flourishing of both. Strong families and other social
supports are probably more central to women’s success and happiness than
the arbitrary metrics chosen by the WEF.

If the U.S. ranks below Cuba on anything — except statistics like
political prisoners — you know there’s a problem with the survey.

Source: “Does the US Rank Below Cuba? – Mona Charen – Page full” –

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