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America Flunks the Compassion Test by xiuliliaofz


									                        Ron Anderson ,
                University of Minnesota, USA
           & Foundation for Compassionate Politics

Presentation at the International Society for Quality of Life Studies
                   Florence, Italy, July 23, 2009

                         Ron Anderson –                     1
     World population? 6.8 billion
     Undernourished people? 1 billion
     Deaths from hunger this year: 8 million
     Suicides this year? 580,000

     Total Children? 2.2 billion
     Children orphaned due to HIV/IDS? 15
     Deaths of children under five this year?
         6 million

     United States population? 306 million
     Prescriptions for antidepressants in USA
        in 2005? 118 million

July 25, 2011                Ron Anderson –   2
           • Compassion / Humanitarianism
           • Creative service & development
           • Cash & other resources
                Lack of resources is not
                the problem
                 World military spending this
                  year $736 trillion USD
                  ($108,000 per person)
                 World spending on illegal
                  drugs this year $214 billion
                  USD ($31 per person)

July 25, 2011                    Ron Anderson –   3
         Compassion is empathizing with the suffering of
         Active compassion (humanitarism) is taking
          action to alleviate that suffering.
         Compassion can be
               Personal
               Community-based
               Societal
         In societies (countries), compassion/humanitar-
          ianism is not so much a matter of choice but of

July 25, 2011               Ron Anderson –      4
                   Kindness not hatred
                   Generosity not greed
                   Forgiveness not revenge
                   Peace not anger
                   Trust not dishonesty
                   Responsibility not fear

July 25, 2011                Ron Anderson –   5
         Sociology of caring & compassion
               Oliners’ sociology of caring
               Wuthrow’s theory of compassion & individualism
               Bellah’s sociology of commitment
               Etzioni’s “Spirit of Community”

         Ecological economics, a guidepost
               Suggesting that we ask what are the elements
                needed for sustainability of social organizations?

July 25, 2011                 Ron Anderson –             6
         Forty-two social indicators were
          selected that reflected
               the degree of suffering in each country
               or whether the people were acting to reduce
                suffering either now or in the future.

         These 42 indicators fall into 9

July 25, 2011                Ron Anderson –       7
                     Forgiveness                       Kindness


                          Wisdom                     Integrity

                = intersection that defines a truly sustainable community or society

July 25, 2011                   Ron Anderson –                             8
           Compassion Outcomes Index

        Nine Components* (& Sample Indicators)

   Economic Equity (Percent in poverty)
   Child Well-Being (Often eating with parents)
   Human Life (Few homicides)
   Health (Low infant Mortality)
   Non-Violence (Low arms exports)
   Integrity & Social Justice (Human rights protections)
   Civil Society (Low television viewing)
   Environment (Low carbon emissions)
   Generosity (Percent volunteering for social services work)
   *For a total of 42 indicators

July 25, 2011                      Ron Anderson –   9
                Countries in the Compassion
                  Outcomes Index, 2009

                          The Twenty Most Affluent* Countries

                Australia            Germany                    Portugal

                Austria              Ireland                    Spain

                Belgium              Italy                      Sweden

                Canada               Japan                      Switzerland

                Denmark              Netherlands                United Kingdom

                Finland              New Zealand                United States

                France               Norway

                *Rich countries with tiny populations were not included.

July 25, 2011                      Ron Anderson –                    10
        of the Compassion Outcomes Index

   1.    Locate the statistic (e.g., % or mean) for each country for any
         given indicator.
   2.    Calculate standard scores (z-scores) by subtracting each county
         statistic, x, from the mean of all countries, and dividing the
         result by the standard deviation of all countries.
   3.    Re-standardize each z-score to give each set of scores a mean of
         100 and a standard deviation of 15, just like an intelligence test
   4.    After this is done for all the indicators in a component set, e.g.,
         health, then the mean of all non-missing scores is calculated for
         each country, to produce the component index score.
   5.    The Compassion Outcomes Index is the mean for each country
         of all nine component scores.

July 25, 2011                 Ron Anderson –                       11
A glimpse at the scores for 20 countries & 9 components
The colors of the bars designate the 3 tiers of the countries.
            Country clusters based upon similarity of
        inter-correlations among nine index components

      Cluster One            Cluster Two                 Cluster Three
      Belgium                Finland                     Spain (2)
      Sweden                 New Zealand                 Japan (2)
      Denmark                Canada (3)                  United States
       Austria               Australia (3)               France
      Germany (2)            Ireland                     United Kingdom
      Italy (2)              Switzerland
      Netherlands            Portugal

      Note: The numbers in parentheses show the group number of the
      country based upon their level/tier in the Compassion Outcomes Index.

July 25, 2011               Ron Anderson –                    14
                                                    Indicators of the Compassion Action Index 2009

                                   Seq. Indicator                                           No. Component Index
                                   1    Low inequality                                      1a   Socio-Economic Well-being
                                   2    Low adult poverty                                   1b   Socio-Economic Well-being
                                   3    Low unemployment                                    1c   Socio-Economic Well-being
                                   4    Adequate vacation time                              1d   Socio-Economic Well-being
                                   5    Government spending for workers as percent of GDP   1e   Socio-Economic Well-being
   This table lists all 42         6    Low child poverty                                   2a   Child Well-Being
                                   7    Low percent living in single-parent families        2b   Child Well-Being
   indicators of the Index.        8    Percent often eating evening meal with parent(s)    2c   Child Well-Being
                                   9    Few homicide victims aged 10-24                     2d   Child Well-Being
   It is not intended for          10
                                        Few births to teens
                                        Low homicide rate
                                                                                                 Child Well-Being
                                                                                                 Human Life
   reading. Each of the 9          12
                                        Low suicide rate
                                        High Life expectancy
                                                                                                 Human Life
                                                                                                 Human Life

   components will be              14
                                        Low road fatalities
                                        Low infant mortality
                                                                                                 Human Life
                                   16   Percent with health care coverage                   4b   Health
   discussed one at a time.        17
                                        Low incidence of AIDS
                                        Low obesity
                                                                                            4c   Health
                                   19   Low pharmaceutical spending per person              4e   Health
                                   20   Low crime victimization                             5a   Non-Violence
   The sources of the              21
                                        Contributions to peace
                                        Low military spending per person
   indicators are as follows:      23
                                        Low arms exports
                                        Corruption-free organizations
     30 official statistics        25
                                        Index of Corporate Social Responsibility
                                        Human rights protections
                                   27   Protection of citizens from surveillance            6d   Integrity/Justice
       7 existing org. indices     28   Low prison populations                              6e   Integrity/Justice
                                   29   Democracy Index                                     7a   Civil society
       2 time use questions        30   Turnout in national elections                       7b   Civil society
                                   31   Low television viewing                              7c   Civil society
       3 other survey questions    32   Freedom of the press                                7d   Civil society
                                   33   Percent of Women Members of Congress/Parliament     7e   Civil society
   ------                          34   Low carbon dioxide emissions                        8a   Environment
                                   35   Low water consumption                               8b   Environment
     42                            36   Low municipal Waste Per Capita                      8c   Environment
                                   37   Low energy consumed per capita                      8d   Environment
                                   38   Kindness & helpfulness of peers                     9a   Generosity
                                   39   Volunteering time                                   9b   Generosity
                                   40   Refugees hosted per citizen                         9c   Generosity
                                   41   Government aid to developing countries              9d   Generosity
                                   42   Government social spending as percent of GDP        9e   Generosity

July 25, 2011                Ron Anderson –                                                                      15
                      Economic Equity Indicators

                Indicator                       Data Used                              Source

                                       Inverse* of ratio of income of         United Nations Development
      Low income inequality
                                       richest 10% to poorest 10%             Program
                                       Inverse of percent of adults
                                                                             United Nations Development
      Low adult poverty                living below 50% of median

                                       Inverse of adults out of work
      Low unemployment **                                             International Labour Office
                                       annualized as of August, 2008:

                                       Average number of vacation            Economic Policy Institute, The
      Adequate vacation time           weeks taken by employed               State of Working America
                                       adults.                               2008/2009
      Government spending for                                                Pontusson, J. Inequality and
                                       Includes services and retraining
      workers as percent of GDP                                              Prosperity,
      *Inverse calculated as: largest data value minus data value
      **Boldface signifies lower inter-correlations with other indicators.

July 25, 2011                           Ron Anderson –                                            16
                Child Well-Being Indicators

                Indicator                  Data Used                          Source

                                   Inverse of percent of children   United Nations Development
      Low child poverty
                                   living below poverty line        Program

      Low percent living in single- Low percent of children age 11, UNICEF Innnocenti Report
      parent families               13,15                           Card, 2007 and OECD PISA.
      Low % of children often
                                                                    UNICEF Innnocenti Report
      eating evening meal with     Age 15 self-report
                                                                    Card, 2007 and OECD PISA
                                                                    World Report on Violence &
      Few homicide victims         Murdered males ages 10-29

                                   Inverse of births per 1,000      UNICEF Innnocenti Report
      Few births to teens
                                   mothers age 15-19                Card, 2007

July 25, 2011                       Ron Anderson –                                   18
                   Human Life Indicators

                Indicator           Data Used                        Source
                                                             Home Office Statistical
      Low homicide rate      Inverse of homicide rate
                                                             OECD, Health at a Glance,
      Low suicide rate       Inverse of suicide rate, 2006
                             High life expectancy            OECD, Health at a Glance,
      High life expectancy
                             Inverse of road fatalities per
      Few road fatalities                                   OECD, Factbook, 2008.

July 25, 2011                Ron Anderson –                                  20
July 25, 2011   21
                              Health Indicators

                Indicator                    Data Used                          Source

                                                                       OECD, Health at a Glance,
      Low infant mortality           Inverse of infant mortality

                                     Percent of population covered     OECD, Health at a Glance,
      Percent with health coverage
                                     by any health insurance           2008

                                                                       OECD, Health at a Glance,
      Low incidence of AIDS          Inverse of AIDS rate

                                     Inverse of percent obese age      OECD, Health at a Glance,
      Low obesity
                                     15+                               2008

      Low pharmaceutical spending    Inverse of rate of spending for   OECD, Health at a Glance,
      per person                     pharmaceutical products           2008

July 25, 2011                        Ron Anderson –                                    22
                      Non-Violence Indicators

                Indicator              Data Used                      Source
      Low crime victimization   Inverse of percent
                                                             OECD Factbook, 2009
      rate                      victimized by crime
                                Index of Contributions to
      Contributions to peace                                 Economist Intelligence Unit
                                Global Peace
      Low military spending     Inverse of per capita
                                                             CIA World Factbooks.
      per person                spending for defense
      Low arms exports per      Inverse of arms exports per Federation of Amer.
      person                    capita                      Scientists

July 25, 2011                   Ron Anderson –                                 24
            Integrity & Justice Indicators

                Indicator                     Data Used                            Source

                                      Index of Corruption-free
      Corruption-free organizations                                       Transparency International

      Corporate Social                Index of Corporate Social           Scand. J. of Management 25
      Responsibility                  Responsibility                     (2009), 10-22.

                                      Inverse of privacy violations by
      Human rights protections                                           Guardian Observer

      Protection of Citizens from
                                      Privacy Index                      Privacy International

                                      Inverse of prisoners 100,000
      Low prison populations                                             OECD Factbook, 2008

July 25, 2011                         Ron Anderson –                                       26
                      Civil Society Indicators

                Indicator                     Data Used                        Source

                                                                     Economist Intelligence Unit,
      Democracy Index                 Democracy rating by nation

                                      Percent voting in last        International Institute for
      Turnout in national elections
                                      parliamentary elections       Democracy and Electoral Assist

                                      Inverse of adult average weekly
      Low television viewing                                
                                      time viewing television

                                                                    Freedom House, Global Press
      Freedom of the press            Index
                                                                    Freedom, 2008

      Women members of                Percent of members who are
                                                                    UN Statistics Division
      Parliament/Congress             women in 2007

July 25, 2011                         Ron Anderson –                                     28
        According to time use research, over the past 50
        years average television viewing time has been
        mostly about the same, except for Canada and the
        UK, where it steadily rose to 2.5 hours per day.

July 25, 2011           Ron Anderson –         30
                      Environment Indicators

                Indicator           Data Used                      Source
      Low carbon dioxide      Inverse of emissions per     UN Environmental
      emissions               capita                       Indicators, 2004
                              Inverse of water
      Low water consumption                                OECD, Factbook, 2008
                              consumption per capita

      Low municipal Waste     Inverse of waste per capita OECD, Factbook, 2008

                              Inverse of energy consumed
      Low energy consumed                                OECD, Factbook, 2008.
                              per capita

July 25, 2011                 Ron Anderson –                          31
                       Generosity Indicators

                Indicator                   Data Used                           Source

      Kindness & helpfulness of     Percent of children age 11, 13,   Health Behavior of School age
      peers                         15, who reported kind peers       Children study
                                    Percent who reported
                                                                     Dekker and Halman and
      Volunteering time             volunteering for social services
                                    work in past year

                                    Refugees hosted per citizen       UMHCR Statistical Yearbook,
      Refugees hosted per citizen

      Government aid to developing Index of Aid to Developing         Center for Global Development,
      countries                    Countries                          Commit. To Development Index

      Government social spending    Government social expenditures
                                                                   OECD Factbook, 2008
      as percent of GDP             in 2003

July 25, 2011                       Ron Anderson –                                         33
   One indicator is amount
   of “Aid to Developing
   Countries” without
   strings attached.

   The index takes into
   account the quality as well
   as quantity of the aid given.
   For instance, military aid is
   weighted much less than
   unencumbered economic

July 25, 2011                      Ron Anderson –   34
A Glimpse at the Scores for 20 countries & 9 Components
 1. Quality of life differences among affluent societies can not be
    explained by economics alone. How people, and their
    politicians, view their responsibilities for generosity,
    compassion and altruism also determines to what extent all
    have an opportunity for social well-being.

 2. Consistent with Lindert (2004), Pontusso (2005), and
    Kenworthy (2004) the Nordic countries and Netherlands
    topped off the Compassion Outcomes Index, but a diversity
    of counties landed at the top of component indices, including
    Spain, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. In some areas
    such as health, human life, and “integrity and social justice,”
    the majority of countries clustered around the middle of the
    distribution. Countries like the USA, where “income transfer”
    is an anathema, did very poorly on the Compassion Outcomes
    Index. Given that American economists like Lindert and
    Pontusso argue for emulating the direction of the Nordic
    nations, new reflection and action are needed.

July 25, 2011           Ron Anderson –               37
 3. It may be surprising to some that the United States falls at or
    near the bottom of each of the component indices. One
    possible explanation is that the quality of life overall in the
    United States deteriorated over the past two decades under
    the influence of policies that allowed the welfare of the
    wealthy to grow while the well-being of the lower income
    people declined. This casts doubt on the theory that
    individualism and compassion are fully compatible in a

 4. Most of the countries clustered around the middle range of
    the continuum of compassion or non-economic attributes of
    well-being. That none of the countries scored at an extremely
    high point suggests how difficult it is to implement
    compassionate policies while attending to economic and
    other political considerations.

July 25, 2011           Ron Anderson –               38

July 25, 2011      Ron Anderson –   39
                  In September, 2009, look for
      will feature:
      • International Advisory Board
      •   Technical details on Index 2009
      •   Articles by various authors
      •   Forum & blog for open dialog
      •   Polls and surveys
      •   News and newsletters

                Slides and charts from this presentation can be found at:

                         CONTACT: Ron Anderson –
July 25, 2011                                                               40

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