Monday, August 13, 2007

Life Expectancy Rates

Our Sunday newspaper included and Associated Press (AP) article entitled, "U.S. slips to 42nd in Life Expectancy".

I have to admit one of my first thoughts when I saw this headline was -- " doubt the folks who run the U.S. Social Security Administration are smiling today............" -- since a decrease in life expectancy (now protected to be 77.9 years for babies born in 2004) will help balance the "trust" fund if we all die sooner. That said, let's explore some good news noted in this AP article.

First, here are the top five countries in terms of life expectancy rates around the world:

  1. Andorra -- at 83.5 years
  2. Japan
  3. Macau
  4. San Marino
  5. Singapore

A few observations regarding this list include -- a.) 3 of these top 5 are located in the Asia-Pacific region. So perhaps their seafood-dominated diets providing some benefits? and b.) 4 out of these 5 are "micro-states/city-states" assuming we can still count Macau as a separate state now that Portugal has returned it to the People's Republic of China.

Personally I have always been a fan of the city-state form of government since de-centralized, local governments that are close to the governed are best. Coupled with free trade agreements with neighboring countries which respect their sovereignty the residents of city-states -- such as Andorra which sits between France and Spain -- benefit from not only quality goods and services at low costs but also via a reduced defense budget cost.

Does anyone out there fear the San Marino armed forces invading your village? No, and with good reason.

Live long and prosper :-)


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