Monday, July 16, 2007

Can You Be Great If You're Small?

In the real world, the one economists don’t inhabit, wealth isn’t the only indicator of success as a society. The health and well-being of a society’s people are equally important, and measurements of that give very good insights into how well a nation is doing. By that standard, the US continues to fall behind. Once the nation of the tallest people in the world, we’ve fallen farther back into the pack in height, which is strongly influenced not just by diet and environment after birth but by prenatal conditions. The urban areas seem to be the ones with the declines, which also ties to the environmental impact idea. Oh, yeah. Our life expectancies aren’t at the top of this list either. But at least we’re still an empire.

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