Pursuant to discussion in another thread, in which it was unabashedly stated that the U.S. is not the greatest and best country in the world, an important question arises - which country is, in fact, the best country?
Below are some of the most important indices I could find; they should serve as a reasonable starting point for judging "best country" status.
PAX Index: 1. United States (2) 2. Australia (1) 3. Any other country (0) [...] Not included: Somalia [and others]
Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index 1. Norway (0.890) 2. Australia (0.856) 3. Sweden (0.851) 4. Netherlands (0.846) 5. Iceland (0.845) 6. Ireland (0.843) 7. Germany (0.842) 8. Denmark (0.842) 9. Switzerland (0.840) 10. Slovenia (0.837) [...] 23. United States (0.771) [...] Not included: Somalia [and others, including New Zealand]
Human Development Index 1. Norway (0.943) 2. Australia (0.929) 3. Netherlands (0.910) 4. United States (0.910) 5. New Zealand (0.908) 6. Canada (0.908) 7. Ireland (0.908) 8. Liechtenstein (0.905) 9. Germany (0.905) 10. Sweden (0.904) [...] Not included: Somalia [and others]
Democracy Index 1. Norway (9.80) 2. Iceland (9.65) 3. Denmark (9.52) 4. Sweden (9.50) 5. New Zealand (9.26) 6. Australia (9.22) 7. Switzerland (9.09) 8. Canada (9.08) 9. Finland (9.06) 10. Netherlands (8.99) [...] 19. United States (8.11) [...] Not included: Somalia [and others]
Global Peace Index 1. Iceland (1.113) 2. Denmark (1.239) 3. New Zealand (1.239) 4. Canada (1.317) 5. Japan (1.326) 6. Austria (1.328) 6. Ireland (1.328) 8. Slovenia (1.330) 9. Finland (1.348) 10. Switzerland (1.349) [...] 18. Norway (1.480) [...] 22. Australia (1.494) [...] 88. United States (2.058) [...] 158. Somalia (3.392)
Index of Economic Freedom Hong Kong (89.9) (not a country) 1. Singapore (87.5) 2. Australia (83.1) 3. New Zealand (82.1) 4. Switzerland (81.1) 5. Canada (79.9) 6. Chile (78.3) 7. Mauritius (77.0) 8. Ireland (76.9) 9. United States (76.3) 10. Denmark (76.2) [...] 40. Norway (68.8) [...] Not included: Somalia [and others]
- Eukaryote Venomousness Index: this would give countries other than Australia a fair go, although there remains a question of whether being more venomous would result in a higher or lower ranking on this index.
- A combination of all of the relevant indices here, using an appropriate formula (or at least weightings based on importance)
Also, it would be nice if I had realized that I failed at linking before it was too late. Oh well.
It was several posts focused on patriotism / nationalism, especially in the U.S.; I figure this thread's title implicitly makes it an appropriate place to discuss those issues now.
Austria is also rather safe from natural catastrophes, being mostly mountainous (thus mostly protected from storms), not in an earthquake heavy area, mostly a pretty good amount above sea level (rising oceans and such). There can be flooding in certain areas on occasion due to heavy rainfall, but these are very rare, and I don't think any area close to a source of water is protected from that. There is also not a single nuclear power plant in the entire country if you care about potential radiation hazards in the wake of any natural disaster, but that is also a minus for the country in terms of energy production. Most of its local energy production is from natural sources (water and solar), but it has to buy energy from other countries. It is also not a big name player on a political world stage, so terrorist attacks are also not really a concern.
The climate is also mild. It gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter, enough for snowfall. Also, the countryside is absolutely stunningly beautiful, but I guess everybody could say that about every country. My area is particularly dotted with lakes, which are great for swimming in the summer and skating in the winter. Oh yeah, we do have hockey
But no, Austria is far from perfect, particularly in the part where I live in which some xenophobic assholes unfortunately have put down their political roots. But hey, we're trying.
As far as my experience has gone, if I couldn't live in Austria, I would probably most likely want to live in Sweden, Canada or Australia. Japan could also be cool, but from what I am told it can be rather tricky since japan can also be rather xenophobic. Germany would also be okay, since it is culturally pretty much identical to austria, but that isn't necessarily a prime factors for my decision, since the internet makes cultural exchange possible everywhere.
EDIT: I made a guess and some quick Googling made me think I was totally wrong. I'm not even going to put an idea forth here, I have no clue.
Also, it would suck to be left out of that image; I'm sure at least some states without full recognition are.
Something like this is probably better:
That said, "best" is not really the same thing as "best to live in". Also different is "best to be born in", but that would tend to be highly skewed towards median wealth, especially since that wealth would also be more likely to grant you the ability to move to another country.
If one place were obviously the best, I would move there. And I did. No place is perfect, but NYC is basically the center of the world. Nowhere to go but down, or space.
That said, it two things should be pointed out - First, one cannot judge an entire country by a single city alone, no matter how nice the city. Second, NYC is not a country. Big, (Self)Important, culturally and economically relevant, I'll grant you, but it's still just a city.
But that's irrelevant, because there is a massive, massive gap between a wishful thinking "Might as well be" and the reality that is. What you think is that it might as well be a city-state. What IS, however, remains - New York city is not a country.
If NYC broke off and formed something in between the two - A US backed independent city state, an independent hub of trading, industry and finance but with close ties to it's parent nation but with the freedom of being semi-independent, that'd work out pretty well. As long as you prepared for it a little beforehand, I guess.
BELIEVE IN YOUR FIRE LORD
How are your skills valued in the economy, are people nice. Do you LIKE the culture? Swedes are rude and cold, but beautiful — Americans are pretty annoying to the absolute majority of other cultures. Brits are strange, and diverse in mysterious ways. Australia is pretty dope - but suuuuper far away, and sometimes there is much bbq and litte work.
I live in scotland atm. its dope, everyone drinks ale at lunch and really interesting things are happening in arts/culture/design spaces. But honestly, if your not privileged minority it pretty shitty — poverty, crime etc.
then again, the idea of a country, or a culture as superior is pretty pathetic in the first place.
One day I will be super rich, and then I can do as I want.
Till then, one must compromise.