The authors collect many previously published rankings, and the picture that emerges, however, is sobering:
1. Median household income Rank of U.S.: 27th out of 27
2. Education and skills Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 23 countries
3. Internet speed and access Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 34 countries
4. Health Rank of U.S.: 33rd out of 145 countries
5. People living below the poverty line Rank of U.S.: 36th out of 162 countries
6. Children in poverty Rank of U.S.: 34th out of 35 countries surveyed
7. Income inequality Rank of U.S.: Fourth highest inequality in the world.
9. Life satisfaction Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 36 countries
10. Corruption Rank of U.S.: 17th out of 175 countries.
11. Stability Rank of U.S.: 20th out of 178 countries.
12. Social progress index Rank of U.S.: 16th out of 133 countries
We might be the only military super-power left in the world but when it comes to the welfare of its citizens we sadly trail dismally behind much of the rest of the world. I wonder why we are only mediocre when it comes to so many things.
- We are by far the most affluent country in the world but our life satisfaction is no better than the middle of the pack. I guess, as the old saying goes money doesn’t buy happiness. The very socialistic Scandinavian countries top this category.
- Given our almost unregulated capitalist system it is not too surprising to see that median income is so dismal. Yeah we have more than our share of the super-rich but the guy in the middle just can’t seem to get a break anymore. That also explains the children in poverty one.
- The health one is obvious. Most other first world countries have affordable and more comprehensive single payer healthcare.
- Internet speed kind of baffles me. We invented and perfected it but so many of our citizens are either blocked out of it or are creeping along at agonizingly slow connections. I am one of those because I am in a rural/low density area that doesn’t generate enough profits for the suppliers to upgrade our connection.
- I guess we are pretty good in the corruption category; we are only the 17th highest there. But if we included our election process where money buys power we might move closer to the top.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I believe the U.S. is the best country in the world but we sure do have a lot of room for improvement in so many people issues. If only we could get rid of all that gridlock in our nation’s capital and our obsessive fear and the resulting gross military spending we could probably do a better job of attacking these things. But that will never happen until those who cling to the GOP label expel the radical fringes of their party…