Wealth and happiness across the world

People think material prosperity predicts life evaluation and positive feeling.

The new HPI results show the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lifes. The overall index scores rank countries based on their efficiency, how many long and happy lifes each produces per unit of environmental output.

How high-income Western countries are compared with the countries that lead the overall HPI rankings?

Was Thomas Malthus right?

In 1798 British economist Thomas Malthus created a theory (Essay on the Principle of Population) according to which uncontrolled world population growth will eventually lead to hunger. The main assumption of his theory is bases on the fact that population grows geometrically while food production grows arithmetically. The most adequate solutions to the problem, according to Malthus, are wars, natural disasters, diseases, etc.

As we can see from official statistics, Malthus fears were vain. However, it is quiet true that world population growth rate is higher than food supply growth, despite the fact that population growth decreases and is expected to continue decreasing in the future, according to the medium-term forecast scenario.

Democracy Index 2012

"Slightly less than one-half of the world’s population lives in a democracy of some sort, although only 11% reside in full democracies. Some 2.6bn people, more than one-third of the world’s population, still lives under authoritarian rule (with a large share being, of course, in China).

Although almost one-half of the world’s countries can be considered to be democracies, in EIU's index the number of “full democracies” is low, at only 25 countries; 54 countries are rated as “flawed democracies”. Of the remaining 88 countries in EIU's index, 51 are authoritarian and 37 are considered to be “hybrid regimes”.

As could be expected, the developed OECD countries dominate among full democracies, although there are two Latin American countries, one east European country and one African country, which suggests that the level of development is not a binding constraint. Only two Asian countries are represented: Japan and South Korea." Economist Intelegence Unit, Democracy Index 2012.

Investment in Education

Costs of higher education continue to soar to new highs, while high school graduate programs promise the moon and a meteoric career. Meanwhile lots of high school graduates have been forced into financial bondage to banks or even bankruptcy because of student loans.
Does earning a degree pay off long-term?

Cyprus crisis

On 16 March 2013, the EU and IMF agreed a €10 billion deal with Cyprus to receive money from the EU-IMF. As part of the deal, a one-off bank deposit levy of 6.7% for deposits up to €100,000 and 9.9% for higher deposits, was announced on all domestic bank accounts.
Cyprus is the fifth country after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain to turn to the euro zone for financial help during the region's debt crisis and receive money from the EU-IMF.

High-tech on the look-out for order

Today Facebook, Twitter, Google as well as the specific police thechnologies like PredPol or ShoySpotter help the police to more effectively identify crimes and, what is more important, to predict them before they happens.
There is one basic principle behind crime prediction algorithms: future crime will appear in accordance with probability distribution received from huge historical databases.
There are numerous disputes on ethics, privacy, and validity of outcome along with the evolution of new policing method, but the results are quite positive: so, homicide rate in the US (the United States is the leading country in applying new method) reduced by 6 per cent in average from 2000 to 2011. Concerning burglary it also decreased through the period at a glance, exept housebreaking. Of cource, there are a lot of other factors behind these changes, but new policing technologies seem to be rather significant factor.

Crime Statistics: Murders with Firearms and Homicide Rate

In Honduras, Salvador, Jamaica, Venezuela and Guatemala people have the highest probability to be shot dead. Comparison between homicide by firearms rate and socio-economic indicators shows the higher income inequality the higher homicide by firearms rate is. Countries where GINI coefficient exceeds 0.45 are at high risk of homicide increase.