Comments: Switzerland is at the top, Nigeria at the bottom.... Obviously
I'll give them first and last, maybe, but for the rest I'll just thank them for warning me that I need to mark down the reputation of the Economists.
Posted by james wilson at December 6, 2012 8:39 AM
This list is BS. I've just visited Australia and New Zealand. Nice places, decent people, but when you look under the economic hood, they've got problems that can tip them into recession/depression fairly easily. Australia is dependent on agriculture and mineral wealth for capital. In New Zealand it is agriculture - period. Our economic base is so much wider and deeper than that. (If only the enviros would get out of the way.) Nice places to visit, but I wouldn't want to move there.
Posted by Jimmy J. at December 6, 2012 8:43 AM
I've lived in Australia, and while I liked it well enough, I'd rate it a little below the U.S., certainly not 15 places above it. There are just some things that Oz doesn't do well, such as anything that requires customer service or an economy of scale. And it is very expensive to live there.
I've also lived in Singapore, and that's much more of a mixed bag. It's great if you're an expat (like me), don't care about the politics of the place, and don't touch illicit drugs. Everything works, it's clean, it's easy to get around, and it's easy to have fun there (contrary to its uptight reputation). But it is also very expensive, and if you're a local who wants political freedom, well, sorry, the People's Action Party isn't giving up its grip on power anytime soon.
Two of the other places I've lived, Thailand and Indonesia, are ranked about right.
Posted by waltj at December 6, 2012 10:53 AM
The list is not about what it has been like, but what it will be like when someone born now grows up. The US is down so low because of the basic insolvency of the financial system. Those at the top (Switzerland, Australia) have a very healthy financial system, in fact according to a recent Zero Hedge article, Australia's banks are worth more than all of Europe's combined.
Posted by Brett_McS at December 6, 2012 5:35 PM
Yeah, Brett, I got that. It still seems a tough sell that, say, a declining Cuba, with its crumbling infrastructure, impoverished populace, and sputtering economy, would be a better place to be born in 2013 than Colombia, which while not a paradise, has at least been moving in the right direction for the last decade.
Posted by waltj at December 7, 2012 8:47 AM