Although it is arguable whether a "competitive economy' has needs, the report suggests that the U.S. education system also is not meeting the needs of the country's people.
Nowhere is the U.S. number one. Not even on social mobility, which is low in the U.S. relative to other high-income countries.
"Men born into the poorest fifth of families in the United States in 1958 had a higher likelihood of ending up in the bottom fifth of the earnings distribution than did males similarly positioned in five Northern European countries--42 percent in the United States, compared to 25 to 30 percent in the other countries," the U.S. Health report says.
U.S. 15-year-olds ranked third lowest in mathematics, and seventh lowest in reading (just above the OECD average) and science (just below the OECD average), according to the panel's examination of the 2003 PISA data for the 17 peer countries.
Would we fall off the edge of the earth if we produced only enough to live healthy, peaceful lives? After the startling results brought to light in The U.S. Health report, many are questioning whether it is better to strive for high corporate growth at the expense of life expectancy.
This article first appeared in the Huffington Post on January 14th, 2013