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BOOK REVIEW: The Measure of America: American Human Development Report, 2008-2009 via [Columbia University Press]

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(Summary) The Measure Of
America: American Human Development Report, 2008-2009

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Measure of America: American Human Development Report, 2008-2009 (A
Columbia / SSRC Book)

Buy new: $75.00 / Used from:
Usually ships in 9 to 14

by Sarah Burd-Sharps

“The Measure of America” is the first-ever human development report
for a wealthy, developed nation. It introduces the American Human
Development Index, which provides a single measure of well-being for all
Americans, disaggregated by state and congressional district, as well
as by gender, race, and ethnicity. The Index rankings of the 50 states
and 436 congressional districts reveal huge disparities in the health,
education, and living standards of different groups. Clear, precise,
objective, and authoritative, this report will become the basis for all
serious discussions concerning the realization of a fair, just, and
globally competitive American society.

Policymakers and the media are continuing to react and respond to the
publication of The
Measure of America: American Human Development Report, 2008-2009

* Kristen Lewis, one of the book’s co-authors, was
recently invited by Charles E. Schumer to testify before the Joint
Economic Committee for a hearing entitled “How
Much More Can American Families Be Squeezed By Stagnant Wages,
Skyrocketing Household Costs , And Falling Home Prices”.

Lewis discussed the report’s findings and highlighted particularly
worrisome areas of vulnerability for different groups of Americans in
today’s faltering economy. The Web page includes Lewis’s statement to
the committee and a video of the hearing.

* NPR’s Day
to Day
recently had a fascinating program that focused on The
Measure of America
and interviewed residents of both Fresno County,
which the report ranks as the least economically developed district in
the country, and New York City’s Upper East Side, considered the most

In addition to listening
to the program
, you can also read about it and follow a discussion
on the NPR Blog, Daydreaming:
Taking Stock of the California Dream

* In the Falls
Church News-Press
, Congressman Jim Moran of
Virginia’s 8th Congressional District noted that the district he
represents was ranked the 2nd best district in the nation in terms of
its human development index. However, he also pointed to the many
disparities between the haves and have-nots that the report lays bare.
Moran concludes:

This report is yet another wake-up call to America that our domestic
strengths: ensuring everyone has access to a good education, is afforded
quality healthcare and can obtain a job that is both meaningful and
provides a decent standard of living are receding. Closing the gaps
brought to life in this report should be a national priority. The
billions we are sending overseas each day to Iraq for war and to oil
producing nations for our energy would go a long way towards bringing
new job, health and educational opportunities to the long-neglected
regions of our country.

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