By what metrics is America the greatest nation on Earth?
We constantly hear US politicians beat their chests and boast about American exceptionalism. It is our divine right to be the best in the world at everything, or so it would seem. But what leads to any logical conclusion that the USA is the best in the world?
We have the most powerful military, but then we spend more than the next 17 nations combined to do so. We spend a far greater percentage of our per capita GDP on healthcare than any other nation on earth, and yet our healthcare outcomes are at the very bottom of the developed world. Educationally, we rank 17th among 50 nations in literacy and graduations rates. On a scale of A to F, our infrastructure now ranks D+. It is crumbling around us and we keep slashing spending on it waiting for it to get so starved for funding that it rebuilds itself.
We are 17th among nations in happiness. Social policies like those of Northern Europe make for a happy populace. And yet we rail against such policies as if they are the greatest evil on Earth. When we know what works, why do we insist on policies that don’t?