Originally Posted by tonton
Have you been to Europe, MJ? Seriously. Have you been to a social democracy? Ever?
Is this your attempt at mis-direction from dealing with a perfectly reasonable, logical and sensible question: Are the claims of "no poverty" based on the same, objective measure for every area where this claim is made?
Originally Posted by tonton
I'm interested in this. Have you got a link? Preferably not one by a self-proclaimed "conservative think-tank". Thanks.
I trust what you say might be true to some extent, but to an extent like maybe 10% difference. Show me how this is not the case.
I don't have a link handy and don't have the time at the moment to Google it. But I've read this multiple times. Basically the US declares a live birth at an earlier point in time...basically as soon as the baby exits the womb...no matter how premature, and even if there are very slight signs of life. Then, if this baby dies it is counted as a live infant death.
Many other (developed) countries have a different standard where pre-mature that die are not counted in the same statistic...or a baby that dies within several days are not counted.
I have no idea how much of a difference this would make in the overall statistics. It would be impossible to know unless you were counting all of this and looking at how different the statistics look. But I can say this the US infant mortality rate is around 5 or 6 per 1000 live births compared to the best in the world which is about 2 or 3 per thousand live births.Comparing infant mortality rates
However, the method of calculating IMR often varies widely between countries, and is based on how they define a live birth and how many premature infants are born in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a live birth as any born human being who demonstrates independent signs of life, including breathing, voluntary muscle movement, or heartbeat. Many countries, however, including certain European states and Japan, only count as live births cases where an infant breathes at birth, which makes their reported IMR numbers somewhat lower and raises their rates of perinatal mortality.
The exclusion of any risk infants from the denominator or numerator in reported IMRs can be problematic for comparisons. Many countries, including the United States, Sweden or Germany, count an infant exhibiting any sign of life as alive, no matter the month of gestation or the size, but according to United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researchers, some other countries differ in these practices. All of the countries named adopted the WHO definitions in the late 1980s or early 1990s, which are used throughout the European Union. However, in 2009, the US CDC issued a report that stated that the American rates of infant mortality were affected by the United States' high rates of premature babies compared to European countries. It also outlined the differences in reporting requirements between the United States and Europe, noting that France, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland do not report all live births of babies under 500 g and/or 22 weeks of gestation.
Another challenge to comparability is the practice of counting frail or premature infants who die before the normal due date as miscarriages (spontaneous abortions) or those who die during or immediately after childbirth as stillborn.
The whole point of this is if you are trying to compare "poverty rates" (or any other statistic) among regions or countries, you need to be sure you're measuring it the same way in all areas. I'm not confident this is happening.This
might give you some perspective on what I'm talking about> Just one example:
The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
I'm not a statistician or demographer, but if I were trying to create an objective measure of poverty I would start with some things like:
- earned income equal to or higher than personal spending
- ability to afford from self-earned income (i.e., without charitable or government assistance) enough food to satisfy basic housing, clothing and nutritional needs
Note that this doesn't necessarily mean they are actually spending their money well, it merely means that they could afford to have the things they need from their income. For example there might be some who don't appear to be able to afford food, clothes, housing, etc. but have XBoxes, cell phones and iPods. There's soda and chips in the house but not good, nutritional food. Like that.
This issue of poverty is much more complicated with many facets and many causes (some external, some internal) than many seem to realize. Comparisons are especially difficult. All of this is made much more difficult by the sloppiness and looseness with which this subject is discussed in the media and political realms.