Feeling disillusioned about the USA. I now think the greatest thing about this country is our aspirational rhetoric about equality and freedom, the people who actually believe in and strive for that ideal, and how those ideas have contributed to more equality in some places around the world. I’ve long known that we are not “the greatest” in so many ways, but it’s becoming more clear how NOT GREAT we truly are. The first step is in facing what the real situation is, right? Here’s part of the picture: – We rank 20th in the world for countries with the most democracy. (Economic Intelligence Unit)
– We have a higher infant mortality rate than any of the 27 other wealthy nations, at 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 births. A grossly disproportionate number of those dead infants belong to black and poor mothers. (CDC, 2014)
– We rank 33rd among 179 countries in maternal deaths, and that rate has been growing. We have about 24 deaths per 100,000 live births and a higher maternal mortality rate than Iran, Libya and Turkey. (WHO)
– We spend the most money on healthcare, with the worst results, among 13 high-income countries. (Commonwealth Fund 2014)
– We rank 25th in childhood poverty. (UNICEF)
– We’re 45th in gender equality, coming after countries like Rwanda, Cuba and The Philippines. (World Economic Forum)
– We are the top, #1 wealthiest country, with 41.6% of the world’s wealth! (Allianz’s Global Wealth Report 2015)
– We have far and away the strongest military – the closest military power, China, is less than half as powerful.
– Of the 31 most industrialized nations, we rank 30th in income inequality, behind only Chile.
So what should we do to make America truly great? Forget about making the military bigger; forget about building a gigantic wall. Our #1 priority should be to tackle INCOME INEQUALITY. At the same time, we need to dramatically increase democratic participation in civic life, and get corporate money out of our political system.