We’re Number One……

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…..

7 thoughts on “We’re Number One……

  1. Actually, the military itself is in decay. The contractors who “support” the military are doing quite well.
    We are at least second when it comes to size of military- China doesn’t have the machines, but has the people.
    Europe does not have to defend themselves-we do it for them. They are pressing us hard now that we are moving home. It does bug me that whenever genocide occurs the public insists our military stop it…and then complain our military is so large. Cannot have it both ways.
    When most countries get tired of their immigrants- they ghetto them or throw them out. They also test their kids young choosing their educational paths.
    Last the northern Euopean counties have great euthanasia laws- for “deformed” and elderly. They have let go of their idea of marriage- a trend the US is following.
    I would like to see us be energy independent so we no longer feel obligated to be in the middle east.
    Reform in medicine HAS to start with our elderly, who insist on only the best at the expense of all other generations. The system is good for the few and not for the whole.
    Good topic.

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  2. Hi Jan, yeah there are problems in most areas of the world but I don’t want to see a race for the bottom. Yes, I think China is number two in military spending they are expected to pay about $100 billion this year while our budget will be about seven times that.

    I’m not sure where you are coming from when you say the elderly insist on the best at the expense of all others. I am an elderly and don’t see it that way at all. I worked hard for 30+ years and paid my monthly medicare/social security taxes during that time. As I figure it right now my wife and I have collected well less than 10% of what we have paid during our working years. Yes, seniors have more medical problems but that just comes with age but we don’t run to the doctor to just take money away from our children or grandchildren. But I would be interested in seeing what you would propose as a solution to what you perceive as a problem with medical care for seniors?

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    1. The elderly certainly do not have a free ride with healthcare. As RJ says, we have paid in all our working lives for Medicare….and another payment is taken away from Social Security each month to fund it too. Even then, Medicare is only the bare minimum when it comes to care…anyone who can afford to has to purchase private health insurance to supplement. We pay plenty!
      Yes, Medicare is rife with fraud…but much of it comes from the doctors and healthcare institutions…not the seniors themselves. So, there is plenty of work to be done there.
      I think, as in all such discussions, we should be careful not to pit the young against the old or vice versa. And, be wary of any leaders or wanna-be leaders who do. It is cliche to say but…we’re all in this together. No one wants to see the next generation impoverished nor the current ones suffering. Reforms need to be across the board and include some controls on the rampant fees charged by drug companies, doctors, and healthcare institutions.

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  3. I surely hope RJ that majority of folks agree with you/us. It seems so clear what we need to do and yet . . .
    There is one thing we do–we are compassionate about helping others. Right now we are focusing on helping the children in Uganda. Would you think about posting something regarding STOP KONY 2012? Thanks, Barb

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  4. We spend more- but the Chinese Army is much larger. The US military itself is fast on the way of being gutted in our country, but the US is more than happy to fund the contractual military machine…a less visible, but very active part of our presence overseas. I would like to hear your views on defending the undefended….people in genocide situations. Do you think Israel should go for on their own from now on?
    I don’t have a problem with getting rid of most of our military- as long as those who stay do not end up fighting other people’s wars.

    Medicaide/Medicare covers loads of people who have never contributed anything. The medical system is out of control. Law suits are out of control. It is not an insurance like Social Security. We pay in a small amount and by the end, the vast majority get out way more than contributed.

    military budget- fighting two wars and working the horn of Africa- 663billion
    Medicare/ Medicaide – just getting started with baby boomers – 452 billion
    Interest due this year on our debt? 80 B the first four month

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