Most people, especially those in the U.S. like to proudly proclaim we are number one. We shout it from the rooftops. We scream it about our favorite sports team. We are often caught with that silly large rubber hand to show our pride. We as a country are number one in several areas.
- We’re number one when it comes to our war machine. Heck, you could combine all the other war machines in the world together and that would still not knock us out of first place. We spend many times more in this country than in country in the world on our war machine.
- Because of the above item we are also number one when it comes to our debt load. No other country in the world has borrowed as much as we have from our children and grandchildren to finance our way of life.
- We’re number one in global weapons sales. That is probably our number one export. We sell more weapons of mass destruction than anyone else in the world. We sell to our neighbors, even those who eventually become our enemies and use them against us (take Iraq for example, or Iran as a future example).
We pride ourselves that we are number one. But let’s look at some of the areas where we fall very very short of being number one.
- We’re number 34 in the world when it comes to educating its citizens. Finland, which many here call a socialist country claim the number one mantle in education. As a matter of fact almost all industrialized countries are ahead of us in education. This fact does not bode well for our future citizens.
- We’re number 16 when it comes to infrastructure. We just don’t do a good job of keeping up in this area. Everything except for our military establishments are in decay.
- We’re number 37 when it comes to healthcare for its citizens. We are the only industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for all its citizens. Yes if you have the money, and it takes a lot of money, you can get very high quality care in the country. If you don’t have the resources for a typical 6 figure surgery cost then you are pretty much out of luck.
Maybe I am just a naive soul but I would rather be number one is just about any of the items in the second list as opposed to be number one on all of the first. Until we somehow get our priorities aligned we will continue to slide down the lists of things that are really important.
But what do I know…..