USA! USA! We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

Among industrialized nations, the United States has the

  • highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
  • greatest inequality of incomes;
  • lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
  • lowest average number of days for paid holiday, annual leaves, and maternity leaves;
  • lowest score on the United Nations index of “material well-being of children”;
  • worst score on the United Nations gender inequality index;
  • lowest social mobility;
  • highest public and private expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP

These trends are accompanied by the

  • highest infant mortality rate;
  • highest prevalence of mental health problems;
  • highest obesity rate;
  • highest proportion of population going without health care due to cost;
  • second-lowest birth-weight for children per capita, behind only Japan;
  • highest consumption of antidepressants per capita;
  • third-shortest life expectancy at birth, behind only Denmark and Portugal;
  • highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita;
  • second-lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index, behind only Belgium;
  • third-largest ecological footprint per capita, behind only Belgium and Denmark;
  • highest rate of failure to ratify international agreements;
  • lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP;
  • highest military spending as a portion of GDP;
  • largest international arms sales;
  • fourth-worst balance of payments, behind only New Zealand, Spain, and Portugal;
  • third-lowest scores for student performance in math, behind only Portugal and Italy, and far from the top in both science and reading;
  • second-highest high-school dropout rate, behind only Spain;
  • highest homicide rate;
  • largest prison population per capita.

From Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco: 2012, Nation Books.

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4 Responses

  1. Pretty much makes the case for a regime change….not just a party change.

    Like

  2. What’s the population distribution across the sample size? I suspect there’s a clue there.

    Which definition of industrialised nations does it use, could be 27 to 35 countries depending on the answer.

    Like

    • James Gustave Speth, Yes Magazine

      Like

      • So actually a cut down version of the OECD list then, removing the countries that would easily be worse in many areas.

        In addition the USA has over twice the population of the next country on the list.

        A bit of selective reporting to fit the hypotesis there.

        Like

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