Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
Just how exceptional is the United States really?
Everyone loves to talk about US exceptionalism.
We constantly hear our politicians say that "America is the greatest country in the world."
But just how great are we?
In reality, when it comes to things that could really make the US great, we're lagging behind much of the developed world.
Take health care for example.
A study earlier this year by the Commonwealth Fund found that of the top 11 developed nations, the United States ranks dead last in health care and health outcomes like infant mortality and life expectancy.
A similar report from the World Health Organization ranks our health care system 30th in the world -- although we pay more per person for our health care than any other developed country in the world.
Meanwhile, while the US is at the bottom of the health-care barrel, we're also far behind when it comes to education and educational outcomes.
Last year, the Program for International Student Assessment looked at how 15-year-old students in 65 nations across the globe performed on a variety of tests.
The group found that US students ranked just 17th in reading comprehension and 21st in math.
And similar studies have found that among developed nations, the US also comes in towards the bottom in educational attainment, or the highest degree of education an individual has completed.
But as the US is lagging behind in education and health care, we are leading the world in one thing: violence.
According to a study by two New York City doctors, the United States has a staggering 88 guns for every 100 people, and has 10 gun-violence related deaths per every 100,000 people.
Both of those stats are higher than any of the other 27 developed countries that the doctors looked at.