: Bill, that post was much apprecited, but it would also be interesting to see how the US and other countries fit into those comparisons.
: If I'm not mistaken,a birth rate of 20/ 1000 is the same as the United States, and is slightly below replacement level. That means that Kerala is one of the few places in the world to have achieved population stability. (The US,due to immigration, keeps growing). At a time of worldwide overpopulation, this is no mean feat.
: Kerala's life expectancy works out to 71 years. The life expectancy in the US is, I believe, 75. Keralans live longer than black Americans, New Yorkers, washingtonians, Russians, or many otehr nationalities. there are several countries,including france, Cuba, Costa Rica, Japan, and all of Scandinavia, whose life expectancies are longer than teh united States. With the exception of France and Japan, all of these countries are socialist or social democratic. What do you expect, though,from a private health care system?
: Kerala's infant mortality is a mere fraction of capitalist countries such as indonesia.
: Disease is well-controlled and many of teh tropical idiseases endemic to india are not present here. There is less social inequality than anywhere else in teh country, and the status of women is very high; kerala traditionally traces ancestry matrilinieally, so this could be part of it, but the communists's contribution to woemn's rights should not be overlooked. The population is also the most religiously diverse and tolerant in India, being about 60% Hindu, 20% Muslim, 20% Syrian Catholic, with a few Jews, Buddhists, and animists.
By any definition Kerala is a dirt poor backwards place. $300/year/capita? That's successful? Kerala keeps being thrown up as a model for success by the left-wingers around here, but how many of those lefties are going to lead a massive emigration to Kerala? I wonder how many Keralians would leave their paradise for a one way ticket to any Western-style Democracy so that their kids have a chance to do something with their lives (sorry, Sweden, the other socialist poster boy, is out of the question. They don't take a shine to foreigners, especally the duskier varieties of foreigners. One of the reasons that Sweden is as successful as it is is that they are truly monochromatic as well as monocultural. I wonder guys, are they fascists, nazis, and all those other things that a capitalist nation would be if they threw up their borders to others?)?