Friday, August 24, 2012

Authors@Google: Howard Friedman, "The Measure of a Nation"


Interesting talk . . . . Friedman is author of The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America's Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing. Based on things like infant mortality rate, number of citizens per representative, percentage of women in national legislature, global peace index, voter turnout, and yearly days spent in school for children, we are not among the world leaders. In fact, we pretty much trail most of the other nations Friedman uses for comparison.

Here is a little of the publisher's commentary on the book:
This book focuses on how to improve America by first comparing its performance with thirteen competitive industrial nations, then identifying the best practices found throughout the world that can be adopted here in the United States. Friedman lays out some disturbing facts about America's lack of competitiveness in five key areas: health, education, safety, equality, and even democracy. Taking the approach that "data doesn't lie," Friedman notes alarming statistics, for example:
  • Americans have the lowest life expectancy among all competitor nations.
  • Americans are at least two times more likely to be murdered and four times more likely to be incarcerated than any other competitor country, including Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.
  • America shows the sharpest disparity between rich and poor among all nations on its competitor list.
Using charts that clearly illustrate the unbiased, party-neutral data, Friedman uncovers the major problem areas that the nation must address to become a leader again. Homing in on best practices from other countries than can be adapted to the United States, Friedman plots a course to transform America from a corporate behemoth burdened by internal issues and poor performance to a thriving business with an exciting portfolio of solutions.

Enjoy the talk.

Authors@Google: Howard Friedman, "The Measure of a Nation"


If America were a corporation, how would an independent analyst judge its ability to compete against other corporate giants? According to UN statistician Howard Steven Friedman, that hypothetical analyst would label America a corporate dinosaur and recommend that the nation either change or face extinction.


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