We are good at something
Well, we may be ungovernable. But we are pretty good at 'Social Progress'.
Or so the Social Progress Index tells us. This Index evaluates countries on their ability to provide basic human needs (measures of water and shelter), the foundations of well-being (measures of health and education) and opportunity (measures of equality and personal rights).
The aim is to supplant GDP as the key measure of well-being. See www.socialprogressimperative.org for all the detail.
Australia comes a commendable fourth, and second behind Canada in the 33% constituent 'opportunity'.
What is interesting, well, to W&D, is the diversity in the characteristics of the top countries. That is, there is no one path to social progress.
For example, the Scandinavians have very high tax rates, whereas Australia and Switzerland do not. Canada and Australia are racially diverse, but Scandinavia is not.
But, there is little doubt as to the factor that the first 38 places have in common: a Western-style democracy.
Countries that for fifty years have had massive oil and gas reserves clearly haven't progressed 'social progress' very much at all.