This is not an anti-USA screed. If we have true compassion for our nation, we have to look at ourselves honestly to see what we need, what can be improved upon, and what can be left alone, just as it is sometimes necessary to stand naked in front on a mirror under bright lights and look at our bodies, flaws and all. When doing so, our bright-light illuminated national reflection is not all that flattering.
The television person sells us short. In addition to the number of incarcerated citizens per capita, the number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, the United States of America is Number One in several other categories, including childhood and adult obesity, divorce, and illegal drug use. But we particularly excel in our so-called "defense" spending, which is not only greater than the next 26 countries combined, but has resulted in a staggering number of deaths, both at home and abroad. According to one estimate, the U.S. alone is responsible for the following:
Other "Number One" categories include student loan debt, overall national debt, and health care spending. Despite our significant per capita spending on health care, however, we're far from Number One in life expectancy, as shown in the graph below.
Life expectancy - No. 49 (see above)
Economic freedom - No. 10 (according to the Heritage Foundation)
GDP per capita - No. 19 (according to the CIA World Factbook)
Press freedom - No. 47 (according to Reporters Without Borders)
Math and science education - No. 51 (according to the World Economic Forum)
Today, July 4, the United States celebrates its independence from foreign sovereignties. But increasingly, the vast majority of Americans are becoming subjugated to a new ruling class - the extremely wealthy. These new unelected rulers have the economic power to buy politicians, to buy elections, to bend the tax code in their favor, and to therefore have the rest of the nation pick up the cost of maintaining the country's infrastructure and education. Consider the following:
Without the influence of the new plutocracy, these United States would almost assuredly be lower in a large number of the negative rankings, and far higher in a large number of the positive rankings.
In recognition of all of this, the patriotic thing to do, the only option for true patriots and those who want the United States to be all that it could be, is to work with compassion and wisdom to free ourselves from the yoke of the New American Plutocracy so that all Americans without exception or discrimination can enjoy the best possible opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.