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Best place to be born.

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The Economist has come up with a list of the best countries in world to be born. Switzerland ranks number one, the usual socialist suspects and Australia make up the other top 5. Canada is only number 9. US is only number 16 tho - ha ha, we beat them again.

People born in Switzerland will tend to be the happiest and have the best quality of life judged in terms of wealth, health and trust in public institutions.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240002/Switzerland-best-place-born-world-Britain-27th.html#ixzz2Jg7Acfxk

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We should be able to do better, IMO, with all we've got. What would it take to move us up? Less income inequality? Our health is pretty good actually. Trust in public institutions would be a big one, IMO. If Switzerland can score high here with 4 official languages and cultures, surely we could learn from them. Their participatory democracy seems worth emulating, except with our vast distances we'd have to do it electronically.

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Switzerland is an interesting country with an interesting system:

Gun politics in Switzerland
are unique in Europe. Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a people's militia for its national defense. The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.

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Guest American Woman

The Economist has come up with a list of the best countries in world to be born. Switzerland ranks number one, the usual socialist suspects and Australia make up the other top 5. Canada is only number 9. US is only number 16 tho - ha ha, we beat them again.

If you need the Economist to tell you that being born in Canada is better than being born in the U.S., then I feel sorry for you. As for me, I don't care less what the Economist says - I know how fortunate I am to have been born where I was - and for the record, my ancestors came from "the usual socialist suspects."

Edited by American Woman

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It would seem that the Swiss, like many similarly minded Canadians, were not that impressed with where they were born and chose to come to the USA instead:

According to the 2007 American Community Survey,[6] the states with the largest populations of Swiss Americans are as follows:


  1. California - 117,700

  2. Ohio - 86,147[7]

  3. Pennsylvania - 73,912

  4. Wisconsin - 61,134

  5. Illinois - 42,194

  6. Indiana - 41,540

  7. New York - 40,113

  8. Florida - 39,001

  9. Texas - 37,258

  10. Washington - 36,697

  11. Oregon - 33,234

  12. Utah - 30,606

  13. Missouri - 25,809

  14. Michigan - 25,533

  15. Arizona - 24,485

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If you need the Economist to tell you that being born in Canada is better than being born in the U.S., then I feel sorry for you. As for me, I don't care less what the Economist says - I know how fortunate I am to have been born where I was - and for the record, my ancestors came from "the usual socialist suspects."

Exactly. It's all subjective anyways. They attach more significance to government run programs than individual liberty.

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Guest American Woman

Exactly. It's all subjective anyways. They attach more significance to government run programs than individual liberty.

Yep. It is subjective, and that is what they put more significance on - as if the same things are the most important to everyone, everywhere. Ridiculous.

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It would seem that the Swiss, like many similarly minded Canadians, were not that impressed with where they were born and chose to come to the USA instead:

According to the 2007 American Community Survey,[6] the states with the largest populations of Swiss Americans are as follows:


  1. California - 117,700

  2. Ohio - 86,147[7]

  3. Pennsylvania - 73,912

  4. Wisconsin - 61,134

  5. Illinois - 42,194

  6. Indiana - 41,540

  7. New York - 40,113

  8. Florida - 39,001

  9. Texas - 37,258

  10. Washington - 36,697

  11. Oregon - 33,234

  12. Utah - 30,606

  13. Missouri - 25,809

  14. Michigan - 25,533

  15. Arizona - 24,485

That's how it works. The losers who couldn't make it in Switzerland all left for the US, leaving behind the ones that are doing well. It's a good system. Probably all the psycho killers left too, since Switzerland is big on gun culture yet they don't seem to kill each other with them at nearly the same frequency as the land of opportunity.

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That's how it works. The losers who couldn't make it in Switzerland all left for the US, leaving behind the ones that are doing well. It's a good system. Probably all the psycho killers left too, since Switzerland is big on gun culture yet they don't seem to kill each other with them at nearly the same frequency as the land of opportunity.

People have little control over where they are born...but they can vote with their feet. More Swiss (and Canadians) have voted for the USA.

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Thirty thousand Swiss in Utah? I'm shocked! Are they nutz? You can't get a good martini if you tried.

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Guest American Woman

I've been to Switzerland. It's an amazingly beautiful country, in a surreal, "Stepford Wives" sort of way. One better make good money to make it in Switzerland; and one better care more about aesthetics than personal freedom, imo. Again, it's a matter of what's most important - and the Economist doesn't decide that for me. smile.png And for the record, NYC has a higher population than Switzerland. On that note, I've heard it's better to be born in Mayberry than in Toronto. tongue.png

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I don't trust these lists. I continuously find Vancouver close to or at the top of best cities to live in.

I think the people who make up the lists don't actually live in the places they pick.

Edited by bcsapper

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I don't trust these lists. I continuously find Vancouver close to or at the top of best cities to live in.

I think the people who make up the lists don't actually live in the places they pick.

you live in vancouver?

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The list is bunk.

Norway belongs high on the list, as does Sweden and Denmark, but the USA is in the wrong place. If you are born in one of the blue states you should be very high on the list. Being born in a red state however should put you lower on the list. Australia should not be that high for one simple reason: spiders. Do you want to be a newborn in a place where a spider is as big as your torso?

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Guest American Woman
...the USA is in the wrong place. If you are born in one of the blue states you should be very high on the list. Being born in a red state however should put you lower on the list.

Good Lord. biggrin.png

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The list is bunk.

Norway belongs high on the list, as does Sweden and Denmark, but the USA is in the wrong place. If you are born in one of the blue states you should be very high on the list. Being born in a red state however should put you lower on the list. Australia should not be that high for one simple reason: spiders. Do you want to be a newborn in a place where a spider is as big as your torso?

Sure, and if you're born in Kansas a tornado can abduct you to Oz. Sheeesh.

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you live in vancouver?

I lived in Richmond and Surrey for 22 years, and worked in Vancouver.

I couldn't wait to get out.

But maybe I'm being unfair when considering one of the reasons, which was the traffic. It's second only to Los Angeles in horror and torment when it comes to North America. But if I had lived and worked in the same area of Vancouver I might have felt differently. Still, I visit twice a year or so, and it still takes far too long to drive anywhere, even on a weekend.

Then there's the rain.

And then there's being stuck in traffic in the rain...

I do enjoy the visits though, as the area has a lot to offer someone who's just there for a week. I just couldn't live there again.

I'm not saying it's down there with Kabul and Bamako. Just that I never regarded it as a contender for best city to live in.

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But maybe I'm being unfair when considering one of the reasons, which was the traffic. It's second only to Los Angeles in horror and torment when it comes to North America. But if I had lived and worked in the same area of Vancouver I might have felt differently. Still, I visit twice a year or so, and it still takes far too long to drive anywhere, even on a weekend.

I've lived in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and Vancouver traffic isn't as bad as Toronto's, IMO. The QE is close to insanity, I have no idea how people do that commute every day.

Montreal, in spite of having crazy drivers (which is not a stereotype) actually do well with their traffic. Almost all the streets are one-way, which is annoying at first until you get to know the city, but it really helps in preventing gridlock. And cars get a right-turn signal before pedestrians which makes a lot of sense. Downtown Vancouver a few intersections have that but it should be more prevalent. The bridges though... oh the bridges. I hear you on that one.

As for Vancouver ranking high on the list, it's just because of the mild temperatures and the surrounding nature. I think the price of real-estate is enough to keep Vancouver off any type of 'most liveable' city' but if money were no object, this city really is amazing. I grew up here yet the scenery takes my breath away all the time. Not to mention the year-round cycling, skiing, yachting...

Edited by BC_chick

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Exactly. It's all subjective anyways. They attach more significance to government run programs than individual liberty.

The Economist is a right-of-centre publication. Their editorials continually criticise government programs so I'm afraid you're wrong on this.

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The bridges though... oh the bridges. I hear you on that one.

I used to live in South Surrey and drive to UBC to work. The Massey Tunnel followed by the Oak Street Bridge. Luckily my job was such that I didn't have to do it every day.

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The Economist is a right-of-centre publication.

Sure they are.

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The Economist has come up with a list of the best countries in world to be born. Switzerland ranks number one, the usual socialist suspects and Australia make up the other top 5. Canada is only number 9. US is only number 16 tho - ha ha, we beat them again.

I thought North Korea, Egypt, Mali or Syria would top the list.

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The Economist is a very neo-liberal magazine and therefore I am inclined to believe that to listen to what they say and do exactly the opposite and you can't go wrong.

However, as for the survey itself, it is a very subjective matter which one of the world's wealthiest countries, around 20 of them, is the best place to live. Depends what you emphasize.

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The list is bunk.

Norway belongs high on the list, as does Sweden and Denmark, but the USA is in the wrong place. If you are born in one of the blue states you should be very high on the list. Being born in a red state however should put you lower on the list. Australia should not be that high for one simple reason: spiders. Do you want to be a newborn in a place where a spider is as big as your torso?

Seen the spiders in Hawaii? Or Arizona?

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