Kiwi Exceptionalism?

Mar 26 2012 @ 10:58am

David Hackett Fischer stands up for New Zealand in his new book Fairness and Freedom. Benjamin Schwarz reviews:

In some ways [New Zealand's] achievements seem all the greater when compared with those of the United States. In 2010, its unemployment rate was nearly half of ours. Our economic inequality is the highest of any developed country’s; New Zealand’s hovers much lower on the list. New Zealand ranks first in Transparency International’s global survey of government honesty; the United States ranks 22nd—just ahead of Uruguay!

And comparable divergences, Fischer shows, are found "in trends and measures of political partisanship, legislative stalemate, judicial dysfunction, infrastructure decay, home foreclosures, family distress, drug consumption, and social violence." … The result: by virtually every measure, New Zealand has a more just and decent society than ours—while resorting far less readily to legalistic and legislative remedies.

Tyler Cowen also spoke highly of the book.