Saturday, August 20, 2011

Devastating Essay, Shocking Data On The State Of The Nation

The author, Gus Speth, is a former White House advisor, UN official, co-founder of the National Resources Defense Council, and Yale environmental Dean, among a long list of positions and activities.

I'll reprint his data from the original:

To our great shame, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has
  • the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
  • the greatest inequality of incomes;
  • the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
  • the lowest number of paid holiday, annual, and maternity leaves;
  • the lowest score on the United Nations’ index of “material well-being of children”;
  • the worst score on the United Nations’ gender inequality index;
  • the lowest social mobility;
  • the highest public and private expenditure on health care as a portion of GDP,
yet accompanied by the highest
  • infant mortality rate;
  • prevalence of mental health problems;
  • obesity rate;
  • portion of people going without health care due to cost;
  • low-birth-weight children per capita (except for Japan);
  • consumption of antidepressants per capita;
along with the shortest life expectancy at birth (except for Denmark and Portugal);
  • the highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita;
  • the lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index (except for Belgium), and the largest ecological footprint per capita (except for Belgium and Denmark);
  • the highest rate of failing to ratify international agreements;
  • the lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP;
  • the highest military spending as a portion of GDP;
  • the largest international arms sales;
  • the most negative balance of payments (except New Zealand, Spain, and Portugal);
  • the lowest scores for student performance in math (except for Portugal and Italy) (and far from the top in both science and reading);
  • the highest high school dropout rate (except for Spain);
  • the highest homicide rate;
  • and the largest prison population per capita.


Anonymous said...

So I have a solution for you. MOVE

nonquixote said...

@anon 10:28 AM

Apparently giving us living proof, right there, of the highest high school dropout rate. Thanks for proving the point and backing up the data.

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors said...

I'd like to compare this to similar statistics in 1975 when I still thought we were the home of the free and the brave. Now we're the home of 200 rich people and a lot of poor souls and fools.