International Development Indicators & You

A “World Demographics UNFood For Thought” blog with no ending. The ending is yours to post.

The Brief
Since you are reading this post, I can comfortably expect you to be aware of relatively recent austerity policies in first world countries.

In previous posts, I speculated the possibility that some of these austerity measures were in fact aimed at correcting overpopulation, rather than towards buffering the effect of the economic crisis.

A few months on, I can further develop that idea into something a bit more complex:

There is no aim or focus to the decisions being made. Simply, those in power are drafting policies and reacting to events by taking an easy “way out” firmly based around the maxim of “personal gratification”.

Without any further research and with the help of the live data graphics at, provide a short answer to “The Question” below.

The Question
What is the best life-plan a first world, 30 years old, single graduate should take to secure his/herself a comfortable future?

The MaterialWorld HDI and Health spend UN
The data graphics in this article, and at the United Nations Development Indicators website are the only tools you are requried to combine with your ingenuity and present mindset.
The images below link to larger size ones.

Good luck! : )



8 thoughts on “International Development Indicators & You

  1. your blog refused to accept my comment, so I will not again try to comment on it, too much trouble.

    What I said was, and you may add it if you wish:

    You will never find the answer by watching politicians, economists, accountants or other folks who believe that humans are in charge of the living earth.  These people — and you — cannot survive on this earth without air, water, food and shelter, and those things cannot be created by human ingenuity.  They are produced by mostly the micro-organisms and all the other organisms (humans excepted) that inhabit the network of life that is earth.  You are right that the politicians, economists, accountants and most of the other folks are only doing whatever seems expedient at the time, which mostly is not expedient because they can’t even be bothered to take the time to try to understand the thing with which they are in competition.  (And yes, they admit they are in competition with the living earth as I commented on in my own recent blog.)  So long as we try to kill the thing that feeds us there is not a happy future for you.

    Sorry, but some of us did try.

    Lynn Lamoreux


    • Hi there, I had to set my blog to block all comments until I approve them. Most blogs have this setting on to keep spammers from boring us to death with the “free-viagras!” and “half-rpice-valiums!” : ). Thanks for your comment Lynn, much appreciated. Alex

    • “folks who believe that humans are in charge of the living earth”

      Well, humans -are- the caretakers. We have the capacity to heal the earth, the capacity to destroy the earth, or the the worst capacity of all, to do nothing.

      The amazing and most elegantly simple realization is this: We have the capacity to decide, to act.

      But little happens.


      • In the few (to some) years I have been on this earth, I’ve found we easily learn to:
        * be scared of asking questions
        * make our thoughts and feelings known
        * acting on our positive thoughts and ideas for change.

        One of the main items holding us back seems to be: distractions (in plural). We are constantly encouraged to look at other people, read someone else’s work, buy someone else’s products… How often have we heard or read an advert that tells us “Draw me!”, “Publish a paper.” or “Sculpt something out of a candle.”? Very rarely… I can only think of Innocent Drinks (subscript TM) and other _coincidentaly quality concerned_ companies that use this regulalry as marketing and engagement campaigns. Still then, they encourage creativity, as opposed to opinion, thinking or acting to demand information, evidence of claims or results.

        Which brings me back to my post:
        what can we do, in the big context we are in, and considering our skills and limitations, to ensure a sustainable and comfortable future? The picture is already bleak for most of us young adults.

        • We do not pursue change because our Western societies (perhaps Eastern, too, but I try to only speak from experience) have formed around the “expert,” around professional administration from government. We stand by and assume that somehow, someday we will eventually elect the leaders that will take us to the promise land, not realizing most governance comes from a bloated bureaucracy incapable of real and meaningful change.

          This framework has taught us to be complacent, to assume someone else will solve -our- problems for us. I’m one of those delusional individuals who believes individuals, as citizens, understand best how to solve the problems around us at arm’s length. In the aggregate, this means real change can still occur. Yet, since very few people living in the West can remember a day in which individuals were also citizens, when we rolled up our sleeves and took responsibility for our communities, we have lost the ability to self govern. Instead, we fight amongst ourselves rather than fighting the structures that inhibit our self governance.

          But this leads me back to your question, What can we do? So how do we spark the inner citizen within us, to pull ourselves away from the trivial that consumes our lives, and pursue the meaningful, the actions that will help not only our communities, but also help us find our place under the sun?

          I wish I had an iron-clad answer, but I do not. I do know, however, that the structures of our societies – government, economic and community – will have to change first, so that individuals can start visualizing themselves as citizens that are capable of enacting change. But it’s a Catch-22: The responsibility for that structural change has to come from us, which means change before the social restructuring begins.

          Perhaps just a few particularly insightful individuals are all that will be required to overcome the inertia. Attending local council or public school board meetings are two places to start, particularly with the public oversight of budgets, which is where we find so much waste in tax revenues. Local waste management issues, while not particularly sexy, are also critical, since little interest is shown and officials do their best to keep this out of the public eye.

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