FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Myth of American Primacy

The New Year season is a good time to reflect on the U.S.’s true standing in the world.

Politicians of every stripe ceaselessly repeat the well-worn clich?s about America’s uniqueness and prowess at 4th of July, Memorial Day, election campaign and other patriotic celebrations.

But how exceptional are we?

The following list of some 35 categories compares our standing to other nations.

Sadly, the five categories in which America ranks #1 are Military Expenditure, Incarceration, Marriage, Cosmetic Procedures and Obesity.

Read on ?

U.S. Ranked #1

Military Expenditures (2008)

#1 ? U.S. = $663.2 billion (4% of GDP)
#2 ? China = $98.8 billion (2% of GDP)

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database (2009)

Military Expenditure per GDP (2005)

#1 ? Omar = 11.4%
#25 ? U.S. = 4.2%

Source: CIA Factbook

Incarceration Rate

#1 ? U.S. = 756 per 100,000 (1,613,740 in 2009)
#2 ? Russia = 629 per 100,000 (86,9814 in 2006)

Source: King’s College London International Centre for Prison Studies: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Marriage Rate (“crude,” 2007)

#1 ? U.S. = 7.4 per 1,000
#7 ? Denmark = 6.7 per 1,000

Source: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center

Cosmetic Surgical Procedures (2009)

#1 ? U.S. = 1.5 mil
#2 ? Brazil = 1.0 million

Source: ISAPS

Obesity Rate

#1 ? U.S. = 34% (2008)
#2 ? Mexico = 30% (2006)

Source: OECD

Happiness

#1 ? Costa Rica = 76.1
#114 ? U.S. = 30.7

Source: Happy Planet Index 2.0

Satisfaction with Life Index (2006)

#1 ? Denmark = 273.4
#23 ? U.S. = 246.7

Source: Adrian White, “A Global Projection of Subjective Well-being: A Challenge To Positive Psychology?”

Subjective Well-Being (2007)

#1 ? Denmark = 4.24
#16 ? U.S. = 3.55

Source: World Values Surveys

National Economy

Gross Domestic Product (2009)

#1 ? European Union = $14.4 trillion
#2 ? U.S. = $14.1 trillion

Source: CIA Factbook

Per Capita GDP

#1 ? Lichtenstein = $122,100 (2007)
#11 ? U.S. = $46,000 (2009)

Source: CIA Factbook

Human Poverty Index (2007-2008, lowest)

#1 ? Sweden = 6.3
#17 ? U.S. = 15.4

Source: Human Development Index

Current Account Balance (2009)

#1 ? China = $297.1 billion
#190 ? U.S. = ($378.4 billion)

Source: CIA Factbook

Competitive Economy

#1 ? Switzerland
#4 ? U.S.

Source: World Economic Forum

Digital Economy

#1 ? Sweden
#3 ? U.S.

Source: Economist Intelligence Group’s “e-readiness”

Information Technology

#1 ? Sweden
#4 ? U.S.

Source: World Economic Forum

Environmental Impact

Renewable Electricity Production (2009)

#1 ? China = 682.1
#3 ? U.S. = 413.2

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2009

Environmental Impact (worst to best)

#1 ? Brazil
#2 ? U.S.

Source: University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute in Australia

CO-2 Emissions (Climate Change Performance Index, of 56 countries, 2008, best to worst)

#2 ? Germany = 3.0% share
#55 ? U.S. = 21.4% share

Source: Germanwatch

Wellness

Life Expectancy

#1 ? Japan = 82.6 years
#38 ? U.S. = 78.2 years

Source: United Nations (2005-2010)

Infant mortality (to 1,000 live births, 2009)

#1 ? Iceland = 2.9
#33 ? U.S. = 6.3

Source: UN Population Division

National Health Systems

#1 ? France
#37 ? U.S.

Source: World Health Organization

Health Care Expenditures (% of GDP, 2006)

#1 ? France = 11.0%
#37 ? U.S. = 15.8%

Source: OECD

Overweight Rate

#1 ? Mexico = 70% (2006)
#2 ? U.S. = 68% (2008)

Source: OECD

Domestic Life

Divorce Rate (of marriages, 2002)

#1 ? Sweden = 54.9%
#7 ? U.S. = 45.7%

Source: Americans for Divorce Reform

Cohabitation Rate (20 year-old plus, 2007)

#1 ? France = 14.4%
#6 ? U.S. = 5.5%

Source: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center

Non-Married Childbirths (2007, US and Europe)

#1 ? Sweden = 54.7%
#6 ? U.S. Denmark = 38.5%

Source: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center

Motherhood Ranking (best to worst)

#1 ? Norway
#28 ? U.S.

Source: Save the Children “Mothers Index”

Gender Gap (narrowest to widest)

#1 ? Iceland
#19 ? U.S.

Source: World Economic Forum

Education

Secondary School Graduates (2008)

#1 ? S. Korea = 93%
#18 ? U.S.= 73%

Source: OECD

College Graduates (25-34) (2007)

#1 ? Canada = 55.8%
#12 ? U.S. = 40.3%

Source: the College Board

Reading

#1 ? Korea = 539
#15 ? U.S. = 500

China was divided into three regions (Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao) and Shanghai and Hong Kong out-performed the U.S).

Source: OECD PISA

Science Education

#1 ? Finland = 554
#20 ? U.S. = 502

China was divided into three regions (Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao) and each out-performed the U.S.

Source: OECD PISA

Math Education

#1 ? Singapore = 562
#28? U.S. = 487

China was divided into three regions (Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao) and each out-performed the U.S.

Source: OECD PISA

Telecommunications Services

Internet Users (2008)

#1 ? China = 298 million
#2 ? U.S. = 231 million

Source: CIA Factbook

Wired Broadband (2010)

#1 ? Netherlands = 37.8 per 100 (6.2 mil subscribers)
#14 ? U.S. = 27.1 per 100 (183.3 mil subscribers)

Source: OCED

Wireless Broadband (2010)

#1 ? Korea = 95.0 per 100 (146.3 mil subscribers)
#9 ? U.S. = 44.4 per 100 (136.3 mil subscribers)

Source: OCED

Broadband Data Rate (downsteam)

#1 ? Korea = 36.9 Mb/s
#31 ? U.S. = 9.9 Mb/s

Source: Speedtest

Broadband Data Rate (upsteam)

#1 ? Korea = 20.3 Mb/s
#33 ? U.S. = 2.5 Mb/s

Source: Speedtest

Please add you own categories and circulate.

DAVID ROSEN is the author of “Sex Scandals America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming” (Key, 2009). He can be reached at drosen@ix.netcom.com.

 

 

More articles by:

David Rosen is the author of Sex, Sin & Subversion:  The Transformation of 1950s New York’s Forbidden into America’s New Normal (Skyhorse, 2015).  He can be reached at drosennyc@verizon.net; check out www.DavidRosenWrites.com.

July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail