Monday, February 15, 2010

Quality of Life: North Korean Edition

This article is mostly not about macroeconomics, and is therefore not testable.

Having said that, it is a good introduction to how you should measure quality of life.

This is a squishy subject, about which many people BS.

They shouldn’t. It’s easy.

You just have to ask easy questions. Did you have children that should still be alive? Didyou have parents that should still be children alive? Did you have brother, sisters and spouses who should still be alive? Are you in physical pain? Do you have any unhealed injuries? Do you have all your teeth (or even better, did you have to have your wisdom teeth removed because the others didn’t rot as fast as Mother Nature intended)? Are you hungry? Do you have enough shelter? Are you warm enough in the winter? Can you avoid the heat in the summer? Can you move to improve your condition? Do you know where your friends are? Are you afraid? Of the night? Of the day? How much complete nonsense are you required to profess a belief in by people who are supposed to look out for you?

So … check out this piece in Slate by Christopher Hitchens about North Korea. In particular, the bit about height on the second page, and the link to the photo.

N.B. the photo link was bad on Monday. You can use this one of the lights of civilization at night – in particular, zoom in on North Korea and/or Cuba. These are places with 10 times as many people as Utah crammed into a smaller area.

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