Mitchell: Is the US a horrible place for women?

Daniel J. Mitchell

Over the years, I’ve shared some rankings that are utterly preposterous.

A writer for the Atlantic actually claimed that America was one of the world’s 17 most authoritarian nations.

The statists at the  OECD put together a ranking asserting that poverty is a bigger problem in the United States than in Greece, Portugal, or Turkey.

In a 2010 ranking of influence in the world of global finance, Financial Centres International placed me higher than either George Soros or Paul Krugman (I wish that was true).

A group called the New Economics Foundation published a “Happy Planet Index” that ranked miserably poor places such as Bangladesh and Venezuela above the United States.

Jeffrey Sachs scores basket-case countries such as Cuba, Belarus, Greece, and Argentina above the United States in achieving the U.N.’s so-called sustainable development goals.

Needless to say, none of these ranking pass the laugh test.

Well, we have a new addition to this disreputable collection, as reported by CBS, “The United States has been ranked for the first time among the 10 nations deemed to be the most dangerous for women by experts in the field.

A survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation of about 550 experts in women’s issues around the globe labeled the U.S. the 10th most dangerous nation in terms of the risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex …. According to the survey, which was last carried out in 2011 and did not then rank the U.S. among the top 10 most dangerous nations, India is the most perilous country for women … Most of the other countries in the top-10 determined by the foundation’s survey are countries with ongoing military conflicts or insurgencies, or where long-held religious and political views have kept women on an unequal footing in terms of law enforcement and treatment in society generally …. The foundation asked the experts which five of the 193 United Nations member states they felt were “most dangerous for women and which country was worst in terms of healthcare, economic resources, cultural or traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking,” according to the foundation.”

I’m assuming that the top-9 countries are not good places for women, but think about what sort of person would put the United States at #10.

Do they really think the United States is worse for women than Egypt, where about 90 percent of females are subject to the horrifying practice of female genital mutilation?

Do they really think the United States is worse for women than South Africa, where the rape rate is five times higher?

Do they really think the United States is worse for women than Nepal, where per-capita income is just 1.3 percent of American levels?

Do they really think the United States is worse for women than Angola, where the average woman dies nearly three decades sooner?

Do they really think the United States is worse for women than China, where girl children are much more likely to be aborted or subject to infanticide?

In other words, the list is a joke. And the 550 supposed “experts” in women’s issues beclowned themselves.

My criticisms have nothing to do with ideology. There are many lists from left-wing groups that are intellectually rigorous. I strongly disagree with the folks at the Tax Justice Network, for instance, but their Financial Secrecy Index is methodologically honest and sound.

My objections have nothing to do with the USA looking bad. I do not like it when the United States does not crack the top-10 in measures of rule of law or economic liberty, yet I share such data with no hesitation.

Shame on the Thomson Reuters Foundation for publishing such a list.

Daniel J. Mitchell, chairman of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, is on the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review.