FASCINATING TIMES

August 12, 2010


FASCINATING TIMES

We live in fascinating times; perilous but fascinating.  The Bible tells us that “there will be wars and rumors of wars”.  We certainly have those and have always had those. Nothing really different there!! We all strive to find meaningful employment, raise and educate our children and hopefully, after forty or fifty years of work, retire with some degree of security.  Nothing really different there!!   Most people wish for a life in which they have control over where they live, where they work, how they worship and even what they eat.  Nothing really different there!!  One hundred years ago ( or so ) some industrious, bright and content individual postulated the     “Axiom of Constancy”, which reads as follows:

                “The future will be like the past because in the past, the future was like the past.”

I don’t really think anyone would argue that this axiom is completely false, at least today, and probably never has been true for any prolonged period of time.  ( The “Dark Ages” were tough but eventually gave way to the “Renaissance”. )  Times change—people change—conditions change—trends become evident.

Our world is changing and, like it or not, we are by necessity changing with it.  Some people and countries are resisting those changes forcefully because to do otherwise would mean relinquishing control.

Let us now take a very quick look at several metrics that allow conclusions to be drawn relative to where we are and possibly the “state of our planet”.  All of the data used for my conclusions come from the “CIA World Factbook”, accessed during the end of July and the first week in August of 2010.  We are going to look at statistics relative to selected countries for the following regions:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Middle East
  • Central Asia
  • South Asia
  • East and Southeast Asia
  • Oceania

Those statistics will be estimates given as of first the quarter 2010 and will address the following:

  • Population measured in millions of  people
  • Median Age of that population
  • Population growth; i.e. birth rate minus death rate plus migration
  • Net migration, the number of people moving into or from a country measured in people per 1,000 inhabitants.
  • Life expectancy in years
  • Fertility rate, the average number of children per woman of child-bearing age
  • Literacy rate measured in percentage of total population.

Many other matrices are available but I have chosen these seven to drive home a point relative to the reluctance of making changes.

OK, let’s take a look at population for the most populous countries on our planet.  These are as follows:

  1. China                           1,330.00 million
  2. India                            1, 173.00 million
  3. USA                              310.00 million
  4. Brazil                            210.10 million
  5. Pakistan                      177.3 million
  6. Bangladesh                158.1 million
  7. Russia                          130.4 million
  8. Japan                           126.8 million
  9. Mexico                        112.5 million
  10. Ethiopia                       88.0 million
  11. Egypt                            80.5 million
  12. Turkey                         77.8 million
  13. Iran                               67.0 million

The total population of the EU (492.387 million )   pales relative to the populations of China and India and with land masses roughly equivalent.  Only five countries in the list above lie outside the Middle East or Asia proper.  Canada, at 33.7 million and Australia at 21. 515 million represent huge land masses with very small population densities.  The governments of these two countries have exceedingly strict emigration laws and “covet” their ability to control net migration and population growth.  AS THEY SHOULD.  

We are now going to consider median age and we find the following statistics:

                OLDEST POPULATIONS; i.e. over 40 years

  • Canada                                   40.7 years
  • Croatia                                   41.2 years
  • UK                                           40.5 years
  • Spain                                      41.5 years
  • Switzerland                          41.3 years
  • Austria                                  42.6 years
  • Italy                                        43.7 years
  • Hong Kong                           42.8 years
  • Japan                                     44.6 years

YOUNGEST POPULATION; i.e. less than 30 years

  • Angola                                   18 years
  • Ethiopia                                16.8 years
  • Kenya                                    18.8 years
  • Liberia                                   18.4 years
  • Niger                                      15.2 years
  • Rwanda                                 18.6 years
  • Somalia                                 17.6 years
  • Uganda                                  15.0 years
  • Zimbabwe                            17.8 years
  • Sudan                                     19.3 years
  • Gaza                                        17.5 years
  • Afghanistan                         18.0 years
  • Pakistan                                21.2 years

Since median age and life expectancy are so closely tied, I would like to jump to those countries with the greatest and least life expectance.

                GREATEST LIFE EXPECTANCE; i.e over 80 years old

  • Canada                                  81.29 years
  • Spain                                      80.18 years
  • Switzerland                         80.97 years
  • Italy                                       80.33 years
  • Hong Kong                          81.96 years
  • Japan                                    82.17 years
  • Australia                              81.72 years
  • New Zeeland                       80.48 years

LEAST LIFE EXPECTANCE; i.e. less than 60 years old

  • Ethiopia                                42.7 years
  • Liberia                                   57.5 years
  • Ghana                                     57.9 years
  • Niger                                      52.99 years
  • Rwanda                                 57.49 years
  • Somalia                                 50.0 years
  • Uganda                                  47.55 years
  • Zimbabwe                            47.55 years
  • Sudan                                     52.52 years
  • Lesotho                                 50.67 years
  • Afghanistan                         44.46 years

It is amazing to me that the United States is NOT one of those countries with a life expectancy greater than 80 years.  Close, but no bananas.

Fertility rates fuel, if you will, the median age.  A variety of conditions determine life expectancy and we all know what those are.  I will now list those countries with fertility rates greater than 3 children per woman:

  • Angola                                  6.05 children
  • Egypt                                     3.01 children
  • Ethiopia                                6.07 children
  • Kenya                                    4.38 children
  • Liberia                                   5.24 children
  • Ghana                                    3.57 children
  • Niger                                      3.66 children
  • Uganda                                  3.56  children
  • Sudan                                    4.37 children
  • Lesotho                                 3.00 children
  • Gaza                                        4.90 children
  • Iraq                                         3.76 children
  • Saudi Arabia                        3.72 children

In my opinion, population age, fertility rates and literacy rates all help to determine life expectance.  Let us now look at literacy rates for several countries within selected regions of our planet.  These are as follows:

  • Angola                                  67.4%
  • Egypt                                     71.4%
  • Ethiopia                                42.7%
  • Liberia                                   57.5%
  • Ghana                                     57.9%
  • Niger                                       28.7%
  • Rwanda                                 70.4%
  • Somalia                                 37.8%
  • Sudan                                     61.1%
  • Afghanistan                         28.1%
  • Bangladesh                          47.9%
  • India                                      61.0%
  • Pakistan                                49.9%

These rates may be compared to those of the “Western World” which exceed 90%.  Now, do you see any trends?  I am not too sure I would want to live in Africa or the Middle East.

Last but not least, let’s look at net migration.  Where do people want to live and where do they want to escape from?  What countries do people want to leave?

                POSITIVE MIGRATION:  People per 1,000 inhabitants

  • Kuwait                          15.651 
  • UAE                               21.71 (    Number  1 in the world )
  • Hong Kong                    4.22
  • Australia                        6.13
  • USA                                  4.25
  • Canada                             5.64

NEGATIVE MIGRATION: People per 1,000 inhabitants

  • Mexico                             -3.38
  • Lesotho                            -8.68
  • Iran                                    -2.17
  • Saudi Arabia                    -8.26
  • Kazakhistan                      -3.28
  • Pakistan                              -2.90

CONCLUSIONS:

If you have stayed with me till now, you are definitely intelligent enough to draw your own conclusions.  I have mine.  In my opinion, those countries and those individuals in those countries who are unable or unwilling to educate themselves relative to a changing world will be destined to live a life that brings poverty, despair and hardship.  An individual does NOT have to abandon his or her morality or religious beliefs during the process of change or “modernization”.  There is no requirement to listen to hip-hop or  Lady Gaga while becoming a “card-carrying” member of the 21st century but, change is necessary if we wish to achieve and maintain a lifestyle that brings a degree of accomplishment and satisfaction.  A “tribal mentality” that ignores “God-given” intellectual curiosity debases humanity and represents control that destroys the most basic freedoms.  Governments control us in three ways; 1.) By virtue of tax codes, 2.) They give us someone or something to hate and 3.) They give us someone or something to fear.   Imagine having no fears.  Imagine having nothing or no one to hate. Imagine being able to employ your basic intellectual resources, joined with hard work, combined with limited taxation to produce, to create.  To create art, design machinery, compose music, discover new cures for disease, explore the outer reaches of our solar system, plunge to the depths of the Marianas Trench, etc etc.  You get the picture.  You can’t do that without change.  You can’t do that with political bias and governmental intervention imposed on the populous every waking hour.  You can’t do that with controlling war-lords.  You can’t do that with “modesty police” measuring the hemline and length of every burke.  You get the picture.  Governments need to “butt out”.  Do what they are basically sworn to do; i.e. protect and defend.  Make sure the trains “run on time”.  That’s about it.  Everything else should be privately owned and operated!  Our lives must, for better or worse, revolve around our own free will and well-intentioned people coming together for the betterment of their communities.

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29 Responses to “FASCINATING TIMES”

    • cielotech Says:

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      Hello Umpire–Running a little behind (mayber a lot behind ) in answering my mail but thank you so much for your very kind comment. Really happy you enjoyed the posting. I have three others “in the can” that will be published this week. Take care.

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    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Joe==Really appreciate the kind words. I’m running a little behind in my posting due to work load and schedule but will catch up in the next two weeks. I have three more articles I’m in the process of writing so please come back to take a look. Take care.

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