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View Poll Results: Which 1st world nation has the worst quality of life in your opinion?
Japan 10 4.02%
South Korea 19 7.63%
Singapore 23 9.24%
United States 68 27.31%
Canada 1 0.40%
UK 21 8.43%
Ireland 3 1.20%
Italy 9 3.61%
France 1 0.40%
Spain 16 6.43%
Germany 3 1.20%
Denmark 0 0%
Sweden 3 1.20%
Poland 68 27.31%
New Zealand 4 1.61%
Voters: 249. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:08 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 53,184,843 times
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I'm watching a documentary on Japan, about suicide - specifically how the pressure, long-work hours, and obsession with status and financial security and doing well at their job drives many to suicide or at least madness. It got me thinking, it sounds like a hellish existence. For instance, wake up at 6am, two hours on the train, finish at 10pm, sometimes returning home well after midnight. Some of these Japanese workers - still largely men - do this 5 or even 6 hours a day! It sounds so exhausting! Sure they have a high GDP, low disease rates and long life expectancy, but a life of all work and no play doesn't sound like high quality of life!

Then I hear about the US, a nation with a minimum wage of $5 in some states, where the lower class is growing while the rich get rich, with no/poor health care for the poor, a relatively high violent crime rate, and where many people get barely two weeks vacation time a year, with many not even opting to take it! As somebody who works to travel, such a situation is unimaginable. They must either really love their jobs or be getting royally screwed.

Some might argue that things might not be so sunny (pun intended) in the Northern European nations, despite being lauded as examples of places with 'high quality of life.' High sales/income tax, but excellent government services, but gloomy weather and a pretty depressing climate.

There are also those at the lower end of 'first world' like New Zealand or Italy. Not sure if Poland is considered first world?

This is about the WORST...personally I feel Australia might just be tops everything considered: it has the climate, a good mix between free market and government control (the government at least cares about it's citizens while being far from socialistic), and the gap between rich and poor isn't too bad. There is a sense of community/human capital, I think the sense of social alienation is not quite as great as that in the US, UK or Canada.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:24 AM
 
634 posts, read 1,678,747 times
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Australia is maybe one of the best, but have you heard about the numbers of skin cancer?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,533 posts, read 96,995,185 times
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No, Poland isn't first world. But it's getting there.

Australia....you're biased, you realize. I would say Canada and Sweden, or just Sweden, would be at the top. I'm not sure what you mean by "social alienation". You could have a point, but please explain that. Sweden and Switzerland are rated as having the highest standard of living in the developed world. i believe that rating was done by a UN agency, I don't recall exactly.

Many jobs in America only allow 2 weeks' vacation. I haven't heard of anyone opting to not take their vacations. But there are jobs that allow 3-4 weeks' vacation, too. Those are some state jobs, university staff jobs. Teachers and university professors get 2-3 months' vacation. And now with this bad economy, Americans get unpaid vacations as well. Those who work for the state of federal governments are furloughed for a few days or a week now and then, due to lack of funds. This isn't a good thing.

New Zealand is at the "low end" of First World standard of living? Why so?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Toronto
3,337 posts, read 6,696,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
This is about the WORST...personally I feel Australia might just be tops everything considered: it has the climate, a good mix between free market and government control (the government at least cares about it's citizens while being far from socialistic), and the gap between rich and poor isn't too bad. There is a sense of community/human capital, I think the sense of social alienation is not quite as great as that in the US, UK or Canada.
I see you excluded your own country from the poll...
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:15 PM
 
6,286 posts, read 7,503,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumbler. View Post
i see you excluded your own country from the poll...
So biased...

Where is Greece?
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
292 posts, read 927,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
No, Poland isn't first world. But it's getting there.
Why would you think so? Poland, of course, IS a first world country.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:19 PM
 
86 posts, read 256,316 times
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Spain.

tons of financial issues, high unemployment.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:24 PM
 
842 posts, read 1,244,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
No, Poland isn't first world. But it's getting there.
The 'first world' concept is outdated but I remember reading that the UN doesn't consider Poland an 'emerging country' anymore. They've been having some impressive growth rates these past few years.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:37 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,533 posts, read 96,995,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virijat View Post
The 'first world' concept is outdated but I remember reading that the UN doesn't consider Poland an 'emerging country' anymore. They've been having some impressive growth rates these past few years.
Could be. They benefited from a lot of help from the IMF in the 90's. That would be cool if it's considered a developed country now. If you have more info on that, please feel free to post it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
292 posts, read 927,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Could be. They benefited from a lot of help from the IMF in the 90's. That would be cool if it's considered a developed country now. If you have more info on that, please feel free to post it.
It is a "very high developed" country according to the UN HDI index (highest category there is), above for example Portugal (which is also a developed country).
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