We listen to the pundits of the various news stations: CNN, Fox, MSNBC while reading our newspapers filled with advertisers of for-profit corporations that mesmerize people into buying everything in sight. And, in the meantime, we hear our politicians tell us we in the United States have the best country going! Yet, according to James Gustave Speth (Gus Speth for short) that comparing statistics on 20 developed nations our country now has:
The highest poverty rate, both generally and for children
The greatest inequality of income
The lowest government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) on social programs for the disadvantaged
The lowest score on the UN index on the material well being of children
The lowest social mobility
The highest public and private expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP, and yet the highest infant mortality rate, prevalence of mental health problems, obesity rates, percentage of people without health care due to cost concerns, and consumption of antidepressants per capital, along with the shortest life expectancy at birth
The third lowest scores for student performance in math and middling scores in science and reading
The second highest high school drop out rate
The highest homicide rate
The largest prison population, both absolutely and per capital
The highest water consumption per capital and the second highest carbon dioxide emissions per capital
The highest rate of failing to ratify international agreements
The third lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP
The largest international arms sales.
Sounds like we aren't as rosy posy as the media has us!