Comparing the United States to the World: Part 2 of 2

I thought for sure the United State would do well if I compared annual median and/or average wages to other countries.

I found my answer at Index Mundi.com that compared “GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population”. I have no idea what that means, but the United States was ranked # 12 on that list compared to 226 countries. At least the U.S. was in the top 5.3%, but it wasn’t number one.

Then I thought if the United States has the biggest GDP in the world, it has to be number one in annual GDP growth. I found that list at Trading Economics.com. There were fifty countries on that list and the U.S. was # 49. Only Venezuela was ranked lower.

Desperate to find a list where the United States was number one, I turned to a comparison of global defense budgets.  Yea! The United States was number one.  The U.S. spent more money on its military budget than the next nine countries on the list combined. Source: Peter G. Peterson Foundation.org

What about the private-sector arms industry? I was convinced that the U.S. would be number one on that list too, and I was right! The private sector in the United States sells more weapons to other countries than any other country on the Earth. In 2011, the US controlled 44% of that sector. Number two was Russia with 17%. France was in third place with 8%. Source: Global Issues.org

Next: comparing obesity by country. Nation Master.com reported that the United States was number one with 30.6% of its population obese. Mexico was in second place with 24.2%. But the CDC says—with up-to-date figures—that 35.9% of Americans are obese and 69.2% are overweight [fat]. Who should we believe and does it matter because the U.S. would still be # 1?


Corruption Perception Index: How does the United States compare on this list? To find the answer click on Transparency.org where you will discover the ranking of 178 countries.

The next list is one that I knew the United States would win before I even Googled it. The Population Reference Bureau reported that the U.S. had the world’s highest incarceration rate [prison population].

“Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although prison populations are increasing in some parts of the world, the natural rate of incarceration for countries comparable to the United States tends to stay around 100 prisoners per 100,000 population. The U.S. rate is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents, or about 1.6 million prisoners in 2010, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

“Incarceration rates are significantly higher for blacks and Latinos than for whites. In 2010, black men were incarcerated at a rate of 3,074 per 100,000 residents; Latinos were incarcerated at 1,258 per 100,000, and white men were incarcerated at 459 per 100,000.”

On another list, CBS News reported that despite tough anti-drug laws, a new survey shows the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world. This also helps explain why so many [free] Americans are locked up in prisons and jails. In fact, the United States is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine, Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana. Source: Nation Master.com

The last list I Googled revealed that the United States bares all and made at least two #1 lists for pornography.

First, the United States was the top video pornography producing country in the world. Second place goes to Brazil.

Second, the United States produced the largest number of pornographic Web pages on the Internet with more than 244 million Web pages with pornographic material. Germany was in second place with 10 million pornographic Web pages. Source: PRWeb.com

Can anyone think of another category where the United States would be number one—one that’s more positive than obesity, people in prison, guns, drugs and porno? After all, the United States of America is the greatest country on the planet, and I’m proud to be an American.

Return to or start with Comparing the United States to the World: Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Comparing the United States to the World: Part 1 of 2

I’ve heard or read many American’s who are proud to claim that America’s government is second to none and that the United States is the best place to live; that the U.S. offers the most freedoms in the world and the highest quality lifestyle for its citizens.

But for years I’ve been seeing surveys comparing countries to each other and the United States is seldom number one. The latest list was the World’s Best Place to Be a Woman. Iceland was # 1, and the United States was number twenty-three on that list. Source: Yahoo! Shine.com

For another list, The Huffington Post reported that Denmark was the happiest country in the world. The reasons why might surprise you. 1. Denmark supports parents; 2. Health care is a civil right—and a source of social support; 3. Gender equality is prioritized; 4. Biking is the norm; 5. Danish culture puts a positive spin on its harsh environment, and 6. Danes feel a responsibility to one another. For details, I suggest you click on the Huffington Post link.

The United States was # 17 on that list.

Another list compared the freest countries on the Earth, and the United States was only number seven. Policymic.com reported, “The Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, Germany’s Liberales Institute, and the libertarian leaning Cato Institute have completed a study that found the United States seventh on the list of the top 10 freest countries in the world. New Zealand, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, and Ireland all finished above the U.S.”

Bloomberg reported on the World’s Healthiest Countries. Singapore was ranked 1st, and the United States didn’t even make the top twenty.  In fact, the United States was thirty-three of the forty countries on that list, and if you read the comments by scrolling down to the bottom of that Bloomberg’s page, you will read some Americans making excuses why the list can’t be accurate. I suspect that every list that doesn’t rank the United States #1 will be challenged by some proud, patriotic Americans.


How does America compare for gun violence?

There is also the International test for fifteen year olds known as the PISA that compares student achievement. America doesn’t do well there either.

The OECD Education Rankings compares a number of facts. For example, the upper-secondary graduation rate of 2011 [graduation from high school] and the United States was below average on that list of twenty-nine countries. In fact, the United States was # 22.

But I think that list is unfair because the United States high school graduation rate is being compared to countries that combine graduate rates from students who graduate from high school on two tracks: Academic and Vocational. And the United States does not have a vocational track for high school graduation.

There is even a list for The Most Peaceful Countries in The World. This list compares 158 countries, and the United States was #88; China was #89. I’m sure that many Americans will argue that this list isn’t fair because America is the world’s policeman but how many countries in the world want America to be the world’s cop? Has anyone ever asked that question?

And Debate.org did ask: Should the U.S. be the police of the World? The result of this debate was 24% said yes and 76% said no. This seems to be a blazing hot-topic because when I Googled it, there were 505 million results. It would probably take a hundred lifetimes to sift through that list so I only looked at a few on the first page of the search

What about health care—that very hot-button issue in the United States today? How does the U.S. compare? Bloomberg reported on the Most Efficient Health Care: Countries.  There were forty-eight countries on this list and the United States was ranked #46.  Only Serbia and Brazil were worse.

How about a few lists where America might be number one? That list will appear in Part 2 on November 8, 2013

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”