South America

Worlds “Best Cities to live” study Neglect Impact of Social Justice

Mercer’s City Benchmark study for 2016 is out and as in previous years, seven of the top ten cities that offer the highest quality of life are in Europe. They range from Vienna, Austria at number 1 to Basel, Switzerland at number 10 (tied). The three outliers are Auckland, New Zealand (#3), Vancouver, Canada (#5) and Sydney, Australia (# 10 tied with Basel). The full list is available at https://www.imercer.com/content/mobility/quality-of-living-city-rankings.html.
According to the Mercer study, Singapore was the top Asia-Pacific city (25), whereas Dhaka – the capital city of Bangladesh was the lowest ranked at 214. In North America, Vancouver, CA (5) was the highest ranked city. It was followed by two Canadian cities Toronto (16) and Ottawa (18). The highest ranked US city was San Francisco (29). Monterrey, Mexico (110) was the highest ranked city in Central America: whereas, Santiago, Chile (84) ranked highest in South America.
Among Middle Eastern countries Dubai (74) and Abu Dhabi (79) ranked highest. Durban, South African (87) was the highest ranked African city. In the Caribbean, Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadelope (73) was highest ranked – followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico (75). Among the English speaking islands – Nassau, Bahamas (114) was at the top. Kingston, Jamaica came in at 153.
The primary factors used to predict quality of life were (a) Connectivity to regional and global transportation networks; (b) Economic, social, cultural and environmental competitiveness; (c) Attractiveness to tourists, globally mobile talent and multinational companies seeking to invest; (d) The unique strengths of the city that can be leveraged to distinguish it from other cities: and (e) Overall city infrastructure. However, a most important measure which could have enhanced the validity of this study was not included. Social justice is the norm that describes the fair and just relationship between individuals and society. It is usually measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activities and social privileges.  These measured should be primary factors in any study that attempt to quantify the quality of life in any society.
It is social justice that assigns rights and duties in institutions and enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. These often include taxation, social security, health benefits, public institutions, trade unions and labor laws, public service and market regulations, and other essential government services that ensure the fair distribution of wealth and other opportunities. While the study provides a good snapshot of destination to expand business operations, its neglect of the vital importance of social justice as an indicator of quality of life makes it a poor gauge for individuals seek to move to an international city.

BRAZIL CELEBRATES BOB MARLEY INSPIRED NATIONAL REGGAE DAY

In Brazil Bob Marley is often referred to as that “light that will never go out”. He is one of the most celebrated musicians, philosophers, and humanitarians of all time and has received numerous awards and accolades in life and death. Since his death, countries all over the world have celebrated his life and legacy – usually around his birthday or the month of his transition.
In March this year however, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff officially signed into law a national reggae day to celebrate the cultural contributions the genre and its artists have made to the country of Brazil. The new National Day of Reggae in Brazil will be celebrated annually on May 11 – the date of Bob Marley’s passing.  Henceforth, May 11 will be celebrated as “National Day of Reggae” as long as this law stays in effect.
President Dilma Rousseff - Brazil
Although the reggae day bill was written to commemorate the importance of reggae music as a whole, Bob Marley is specifically honored in the new law for his remarkable influence on the genre, and by extension, Brazilian culture and cultures globally. Brazilian Senator and author of the reggae day bill, Rodrigo Rollemberg, noted that May 11 would serve to honor “the music rhythm spread worldwide by Robert Nesta Marley.” He added “The legacy that Bob Marley left the world goes far beyond reggae: it is through this music that many Brazilian artists use the medium to make legitimate social criticisms”.
Rollemberg added that the tradition of protest started by reggae music continued in contemporary Brazilian artists in particular. The reggae day bill cites, “Cidade Negra, Edson Gomes, Gilberto Gil among many other national artists devoted to continue to push through reggae, messages of peace, love and social criticism to encourage people to fight for their rights, just like Marley.” He added that, “the newly established national reggae day ensures that the spirit of Marley, and the peace, love and unity that he stood for will remain with the people of Brazil for years to come”.