A new report called the Global Peace Index says that America is one big, violent place. So what exactly is taken into account when deciding which countries are the most peaceful, and where does America stand? Let's take a look.
The report, issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace and the Economist Intelligence Unit, says that America ranks 85th—behind China, but still way ahead of Sudan at least! Iraq, unsurprisingly, comes in last place at number 149—just ahead of Somalia and Afghanistan. How does America stack up against the upper ranks of the list, countries like New Zealand and Iceland? According to the study, "The most peaceful societies share the following social structures and attitudes:"
- Well functioning government. Just ask the Tea Party.
- Sound business environment. Just ask Goldman Sachs. Or BP.
- Respectful of human rights and tolerance. John Yoo knows a little something about that. Or how about the plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero?
- Good relations with neighboring states. Ask the Mexican authorities in Ciudad Juarez what they think about relations with the US.
- High levels of freedom of information. Steve Jobs loves freeing your personal information.
- Acceptance of others. See: Arizona.
- High participation rates in primary and secondary education. School is overrated anyway.
- Low levels of corruption. Blago. Charlie Rangel. Shit... anyone in a position of power, really.
- Equitable sharing of resources. It's called recessionomics, people.
Since 2007, almost two thirds of the the world has become more violent. The full report can be read here.