Before US-NATO Invasion, Libya Had The Highest
Human Development Index , The Lowest Infant Mortality,
The Highest Life Expectancy In All Of Africa
By Mary Lynn Cramer
04 May, 2011
(MY RESPONSE TO A READER WHO NOTED I SHOULD HAVE SAID “HIGHEST HUMAN DEVELOLPMENT INDEX IN AFRICA”, NOT “HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING IN THE ARAB WORLD” IN MY PREVIOUS ESSAY “THREE QUESTION QUIZ FOR LEFTIST LIBERALS”...HE IS, OF COURSE, CORRECT. Please See Explanation Below. MLC)
Before the USNATO and “rebels” began their murderous and destructive attacks on the Libyans and their government, people In Libya had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa. The government took care to ensure that everyone in the country shared in the wealth. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands....Libya ranked 61st, with a lower incarceration rate than Czech republic. It had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa, less than 5% of the population was undernourished, In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished all taxes on food. (Taken from “World Cheers as the CIA Plunges Libya into Chaos” by David Rothscum, Axis of Logic, 2/27/11)
A fact the media cannot falsify is the HDI (Human Development Index) measured by UN officials. These data indicate, for example, that Libya had in 1970, a situation a little worse than Brazil (HDI of 0.541, against 0.551 of Brazil.) The Libyan index surpassed the Brazilian years later, and in 2008 was well ahead: 0.810 (ranked 43rd), compared to 0.764 for Brazil (ranking 59th). All three sub-indices that comprise the HDI are higher in Libya: income, longevity and education. Libya is the country with the highest HDI in Africa. Therefore, the best distribution of income and health care and public education—the last two are free. And almost 10% of Libyan students receive scholarships to study in foreign countries. In his “Green Book” Gadhafi wrote that workers should be politically involved and self-employed, and that the land belongs to those who work it and the house to those who reside there. And power shall be exercised by the people directly, without intermediaries, without politicians, through popular congresses and committees, where the whole population decides the fundamental issues of the district, city and country...real democracy, not capitalist “representative” democracy that works for those who have the most and ignores those who have little. (Taken from “Who Is Muammar Gaddafi?” by Antonio Cesar Oliveira)
Before the current USNATO military invasion, Libya was pumping one million 800 thousand barrels a day of excellent quality light oil, along with abundant deposits of natural gas. Such riches—because shared with the Libyan people--allowed Libya to reach life expectancy that is almost at 75 years of age and the highest per capita income in Africa. In December 1951, Libya became the first African country to attain its independence after WWII. Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other. (Taken from “Does NATO Plan To Occupy Libya?” by Fidel Castro, 2/22/11)
Below is my response and a letter from a reader who correctly questions my careless insertion of a misstatement in my original essay “Three Questions for Liberal Leftists.” Please note the correction and explanation thereof in the material above. Mary Lynn
Dear Reader, you are correct, of course. I should have said in "Africa," and I should have said
BEFORE USNATO INVASION, LIBYA HAD THE HIGHEST HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX, THE LOWEST INFANT MORTALITY, THE HIGHEST LIFE EXPECTANCY IN ALL OF AFRICA!!
Usually it is due to some bad typo or spelling error that I might get a letter from someone saying they just couldn't continue reading after I wrote "surf" instead of "serf," or "prostrate" instead of "prostate." So I thank you very much for continuing with my article and finding it worthwhile once you got beyond my reference to 'Arab world' when I meant 'Africa;' and 'highest standard of living', when I should have said 'highest Human Development Index in Africa.'
Thank you also for you sensitivity and consideration in bringing this to my attention; and for your supportive comments regarding the rest of the article...which I had such strong doubts about the value thereof, I shut down my computer last Friday and did not go back on line until yesterday. I usually write researched economic critique and political analysis. This was a tough-in-cheek, personal commentary, and obviously still needed editing. Mia Culpa. Mary Lynn
Mary Lynn: Great thought provoking questions, but I feel compelled to take exception with your statement that Libya has the highest standard of living in the Arab world. Perhaps you intended it to read, 'in the African world' which without question they clearly are, but depending on how you analyze data it could be said that there are several countries in the Arab world that have the highest standards of living in the entire world surpassing ours here in the United States as well as most of Europe.
While your point rightfully contends with the perception of living standards within Libya as portrayed in western media being much worse than they actually are, while in fact the standard of living there has increased dramatically over the last 40 years, they are not as wealthy as what I assume to be a misprint in your article would indicate. This is not to discount the crux of your point, for in truth Libya's standard of living there has surpassed many countries including some NATO allied countries in western Europe which are readily assumed by most to be 'comfortably developed nations' with no dire need of international intervention in order to save the people living in such countries as Portugal (or UK for that matter) from political oppression hampering people's lifestyles.
I understand that you may still not agree that a correction of your article is warranted and in fact stand by your statement based upon specific isolated slices of available data, but I must warn you that others might choose to entirely discredit you by also using other isolated slices of data by solely displaying facts revealing income levels alone within countries such as UAE and Qatar indicating dramatic discrepancies of income levels when compared to those within Libya.
Studies such as the U N Human Index, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index, which takes several various factors into account in measuring the overall well-being of a nation's people scores Libya very highly indeed, certainly at a 'second tier' level world-wide, which is nothing to sneeze at but it still doesn't quite back up the claim that Libya has 'the highest standard of living in the Arab World' which in and of itself is just a little too bold a statement to make on its own, and quite frankly made it difficult for me as a reader not to dismiss your article out of hand without continuing on to the rest of its otherwise excellent points used in your efforts to open up new perspectives for the reader.
Other than that, I enjoyed it.
My original essay can be found in English and Spanish at the following sites:
Three Question Quiz For Leftist Liberals Regarding (1) Oil Profits; (2) Libyan Rebels; (3) Sex, ... By Mary Lynn Cramer. 30 April, 2011. Countercurrents.org ...
Cuestionario para izquierdistas moderados « noticias de abajo
30 Abr 2011 ... por Mary Lynn Cramer, 30 de abril 2011. dissidentvoice.org .... http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/three-question-quiz-for-leftist-liberals- ...
Mary Lynn Cramer, MA, MSW, LICSW has degrees in the history of economic thought and clinical social work, as well as over two decades of experience as a bilingual child and family psychotherapist. For the past five years, she has been deeply involved in “economic field research” among elderly women and men dependent upon social security, Medicare, and food stamps, living in subsidized housing projects. She can be reached at: email@example.com
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