Since Sean Hannity keeps saying the U.S. is the greatest country god gave the Earth and among the anti-intellectuals, patriotism equals character, I thought I’d look into how great our country is when compared to other nations.
According to the CDC, the U.S. ranks 29th in infant mortality levels when compared to other nations. We’re behind Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, CUBA, Czech Republican, Denmark, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Now – just in case you weren’t paying attention – I just listed a whole helluvalotta states with socialized medicine. Oooh, bad word! I know!
So, we’re not the greatest in one of the leading indicators of health care quality: infant mortality rates. Let’s move on.
Life Expectancy and more:
According to the CIA World Factbook (and made into a pretty chart on Wikipedia), the U.S. is 45th in life expectancy when compared to other nations. The United Nations has us up at 38. We’re behind Costa Rica, Malta, a whole bunch of socialist countries, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates and a whole bunch more.
Okay…well, maybe this is because we’re so awesome and have so many conveniences we don’t move around that much and that’s why we die earlier – but the life that we live is so much more awesome. Well, that’s not true either, a study at the University of Leicester found that the U.S. is 23rd of the world’s happiest countries.
AND, we’re way down on other lists including unemployment, and our students aren’t even in the top 20 in math, reading and science.
We are free, though – and there’s definitely something to be said for that. Or maybe not.
Reporters Without Borders says the U.S. is 36th in terms of freedom of the press. 36th!! Shit, we’re on the same level as Bosnia & Herzegovina. Trinidad & Tobago are ahead of us, including Slovenia, Suriname, Lithuania and Estonia and all those other countries that beat us in all the other categories.
We have the 20th smallest level of “perceived corruption” – but all those countries with lower infant mortality rates and higher life expectancy rate even less than we do on “perceived corruption.” And less is better here, people.
Well, The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal found the U.S. 5th in terms of economic freedom. And the World Economic Forum gives us top spot in Global Competitiveness. So, as long as we’ve got our shit together when it comes to money, who cares if our citizens die before everybody else and we can’t keep babies alive?
At least we’re number 1 in renewable energy attractiveness! There’s a small spot of sunshine!
Now, I’m not exactly sure how you measure greatness. But when a doctor says the word “cancer” to you, I doubt you’ll really be concerned with words like “capitalism” and “socialism” and more focused on “treatment availability” and “cure.” After your newborn succumbs to an acute illness, I doubt you’ll be glad our health care system is “for profit.” And after your “for profit” health insurance doesn’t cover needed procedures and you’re forced to declare bankruptcy (which was made harder under George W. Bush and would remain so under McCain), something tells me you won’t be shouting about how the U.S. is the best country on Earth. You’ll just leave that to millionaire Sean Hannity who can afford health care for his family.
Do you think me anti-American for saying such things? I don’t really care. I know am grateful every day I am from this country and I speak from the experience of having lived outside the U.S. – so I know what I’m talking about. I wonder if Sean Hannity has lived abroad.
The point is, the U.S. has a lot of room for improvement and many other countries present many benefits to their citizens that we do not enjoy here. Before we run around shouting about how awesome we are and attacking those who might disagree with us, we should look to carving out a better future for the U.S. and the children who will inherit it.
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” Gandhi (this dude from India who lived a long time ago)
P.S. People throwing around terms like “Real America” and “Pro-American” can suck it. We’re the UNITED States. Or didn’t they get that? How dare those imbeciles.