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#142 An Assessment of Current Global Conditions

Global risks are intensifying but an overall perspective of well-being is lacking. Instead, daily conflicts are now hardening. The world appears to be moving into a new phase of state centered politics. The  idea of “taking back control”—whether domestically from political rivals or externally from multilateral or supranational organizations—resonates across many countries. The energy now expended on consolidating control is weakening global challenges.

What we are lacking is an evaluation from a historical perspective. How far has mankind progressed so far as compared with conditions over a generation ago?

What we know about the current status is received from the TV and newspapers. However, what we see is only improvised turmoil. How can we judge what are the current the conditions of human progress while the advent of a post-industrial civilization is supposed to be taking place?

Is there a "clock" that would keep a record of human progress? Perhaps the best we can do is to measure current conditions that depend on public metrics such as wealth, health, life expectancy and a newly developed index of happiness.

The best data we have presently (2018) available are available from a series of annual reports that were co-authored by the United Nations ( and the World Bank (

1. Only the U.S. holds the highest happiness score, the highest GDP/adult and the highest wealth/adult.
2. The next GDP/adult ranking countries, Brazil, Russia and Mexico have on 18% of the U.S. GDP/adult.
3. Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria have low happiness scores and low GDP/adult.
4. India, Central Africa and Bangladesh are impoverished.
5, China is rising in Wealth/adult, but not enough.

The dominant position of the U.S. by every metric we have examined confirms it unchallenged global position. There are small countries such as Norway, Sweden, Monaco or Switzerland that show superior ranking as compared to the U.S. but we have omitted them from a scoring of global conditions.



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