Definitions are worth discussing to help understand each other

Definitions are something I include in posts and discuss in more detail occasionally in order to help support clear understanding. Words have many meanings for different individuals in addition to a standard dictionary definition. The dictionary is a good place to start but even it can add confusion for some readers as the definition itself may use other unfamiliar terms or may simply use a slightly different form of the word as the main definition – which wouldn’t be helpful at all for the person who didn’t know anything about the word they were trying to look up.

I just updated a recent post with a lengthier discussion of the definition of racism as defined by a online dictionary and I added some supporting articles and statistics from other websites. See this article for the discussion of racism as part of national policies that discriminate: http://transcendingsquare.com/2017/10/21/what-is-racist-is-unfair-housing-and-food-policies/

The phrase transparency is used occasionally in relation to government agencies and politicians being clear and transparent about the goals and inner workings of policy and political agendas. Starting with definitions can help add clarity and possibly transparency to a discussion, as long as the underlying policy and political agenda truly is based on the stated definitions.

Saying one thing and meaning or believing another would not be an example of transparency but would instead be an example of outright lying or might be an example of someone who really didn’t understand themselves or their group’s true definitions or beliefs about a topic.

I recently looked into what was meant by the term “Developed Nation” and was very sad to find out that it is simply based on the average per capita income – how much the average salary is for a country. How many of the average people have healthy air, water, sanitation or actual health wasn’t included. Social development of access to schools also was not included. Number of people with access to good roads and safe infrastructure (physical development) also wasn’t included. The physical safety of citizens and freedom to speak openly about policy was not included in the definition. Instead a simple GDP financial number is used to suggest which countries are more “developed” than others. http://www.investopedia.com/updates/top-developing-countries/

The Social Progress Index is a different way to compare nations than only comparing the average income. The 2017 map shows the U.S. as being in the second tier: https://www.socialprogressindex.com/ . So by that criteria the U.S. is not as well developed of a nation in Social Progress factors, such as health and quality of life, as some other nations.

Definitions are important because they affect communication and how we discuss topics.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes

The U.S. scores on the 2016 Social Progress Index have dropped

Compared to 133 other nations the U.S. ranked fifth for GDP per capita which would make the U.S. one of the richest nations however citizens may not be benefiting from the wealth as much as citizens in some other developed nations.

“Worse, the U.S. joins China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia in a group of countries that significantly underperform on social progress relative to their wealth. The U.S. is the only major industrial nation to significantly underperform in this way. By contrast, countries such as Costa Rica, Nepal, and Malawi have much lower levels of economic and social development than the U.S., but these countries are overperforming. They are doing a good job at turning their GDP into social progress; the U.S. is not.” [“Why Americans are So Angry Despite America’s Strong Economy,” Michael Green, Aug. 2, 2016, hbr.org]

The rankings for the 2016 Social Progress Index are based on the total group of 133 nations so fifth out of 133 for GDP per capita would be equivalent to 3.76 out of 100 or roughly 96% out of 100 which in the U.S. educational system would be graded as an ‘A’.

Other categories, reranked for grades based on percentage of a 100, would place the U.S.:

  • in the ‘A’ group for “Access to advanced education” (ranked 2/133 or 1.5/100) and “Shelter” (7/133 or 5.3/100)
  • and an ‘A-‘ for “Opportunity Total” (13/133 or 9.8/100).

The U.S. might get graded:

  • a ‘B+’ for “Personal Freedom and choice” (16/133 or 12.0/100)
  • and a ‘B’ for “Social Progress Overall” (19/133 or 14.3/100) and for “Access to info/communication” (19/133 or 14.3/100) and for “Basic Human Needs Total” (21/133 or 15.8/100) and for “Tolerance and inclusion” (21/133 or 15.8/100),
  • and a ‘B-‘ for “Personal Rights” (26/133 or 19.5/100).

And the U.S. might get graded:

  • a ‘C+’ for “Water and sanitation” (27/133 or 20.3/100) and for “Personal Safety” (27/133 or 20.3/100),
  • and a ‘C’ for “Foundations of Well-Being Total” (32/133 or 24.1/100),
  • and a ‘C-‘ for “Environmental Quality” (36/133 or 27.1/100) and for “Nutrition and basic medical care” (37/133 or 27.8/100).

And the U.S. might get graded:

  • a ‘D+’ for “Access to basic knowledge” (40/133 or 30.1/100).

And the U.S. might get graded:

  • an ‘E-‘ for “Health and Wellness” (69/133 or 51.9/100).

At some point the U.S.’s failing grade on Health and Wellness will make it difficult for the nation to continue to have enough healthy workers to pay for the care of the sick and disabled citizens let alone provide enough caregivers to continue to be able to take care of all of the people unable to care for themselves. Enforcing the purchase or provision of health insurance doesn’t automatically provide more health care professionals or provide more health care facilities — let alone assure that the care that is being provided is actually effective at resolving the underlying health issues rather than simply managing symptoms with treatments that might be exacerbating the underlying issues.

And what if the problem with the poor showing on “Health and wellness” isn’t just an ineffective or understaffed health care system but is actually a problem with excessive negative chemicals in our food supply and environment? It would be difficult to remain healthy in an environment that provides excessive amounts of toxins and insufficient nutrients to cope with the needs of detoxification adequately.

Or maybe U.S. citizens simply all started eating too much and exercising too little sometime around 1992 and the halving of male fertility is just a fluke (not quite halved – 1.7 children on average in 1992 dropped to 0.9 children on average between 2006-2010) *. Maybe. Coincidences do happen — and more and more often it seems in this modern era. But as I don’t believe in coincidences as much as I believe in evidence based science I’ll continue to avoid the toxins that I’ve become aware of and continue to work on sharing information about the underlying causes of health and wellness (the big secret is that functional bodies are made out of a balanced variety of all of the nutrients, {and a good night’s sleep and regular exercise and clean air and water}, rather than being made out of pharmaceuticals or toxins .)

*Excerpt from the last post:

  • Male fertility in 1992 was estimated to be at a rate of 1710 births per 1000 males on average (or 1.7 children per male aged 15-44) and 1960 births per every 1000 females (or 1.9 children per female aged 15-44). https://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0014.pdf
  • However either fertility has decreased or the desire to father children has decreased because the rate of children fathered by men aged 15-44 years in 2002 was at a rate of 1.0 children per male and the rate dropped yet more to 0.9 children per male aged 15-44 years between 2006-2010.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr051.pdf

A different excerpt (that was not included in the last post) suggests that fertility rates for females as well as males born in the U.S. may also have been affected because fertility rates were greater for Hispanic men and women who had moved to the U.S. compared to Hispanic women who were born in the U.S.:

“Looking at nativity, higher percentages of foreign-born Hispanic men and women had a child compared with those born in the United States. For foreign-born Hispanic women, 78% had a biological child compared with 51% of U.S.-born Hispanic women. The percentage of U.S.-born Hispanic women with a biological child is similar to that of white women.”  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr051.pdf

The birth rate for Hispanic women and men was greater than for white women and men:

“Hispanic women are more likely to have had a biological child (65%) than non-Hispanic white women (52%), but there were no differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic black (62%) women. Meanwhile, a higher percentage of Hispanic men had a biological child (54%) compared with both white (41%) and black (49%) men.”   http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr051.pdf

If tradition is important to a person then it might be a good idea to start asking why our traditions are no longer working as they traditionally used to – maybe foreign born people have greater birth rates because their bodies are less full of toxins and less nutritionally depleted.

The primaries are finally over and I haven’t withdrawn from the 2016 presidential race – yet. I was waiting for the primary process before starting to campaign as an Independent candidate – but that was too long to wait. The current system favors the two main parties by spending so much time on the primaries. The timelines for ballot access are closing soon or have closed already in some states. [Utah] Write-in ballot access can be applied for in some areas within a month or two of the election. For a presidential candidate to apply for ballot access as a write-in candidate they need to file with the state and include a list of registered voters in the state who are willing to act as electoral representatives for the candidate and the name of the Vice Presidential candidate has to be given.

Writing in Bernie Sanders name on a ballot if he hasn’t filed with the state is most likely to get the whole ballot added to the ‘don’t count’ pile. Leaving a section blank and voting on other sections may reduce the risk of a ballot being added to the ‘don’t count’ pile.

My Presidential Platform is a plan to turn that “E” from a failing grade into an E for excellence.

  • Effective Health Care – a preventative healthcare, not-for profit single payer system.
  • Economy & more Green Jobs.
  • Environment & more Green Jobs.
  • End the War on Peace.
  • End Citizens United & reform campaign finance and voting transparency laws
  • Education — Repeal or rewrite the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top policies to create a public education system that promotes helping the child to maximize their own potential – whatever it is. — Require all under graduate education providers to teach evolution and a science based curriculum. — Reduce college tuition loan rates and work towards restoring public education subsidies for in state college tuition.

Effective health care and more Green Jobs for the Economy and Environment are all goals that reinforce each other — we can’t be healthy or very productive over the long term if our environment and food supply are too toxic to support health for us or our wildlife and farm animals and crops.

I will add links for more information regarding each of the platform categories.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.