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Here’s the truth: America isn’t the best country in the world

Quite frankly, I’m sick of the “rah! rah! rah!” that the US gets right around this time of year for being the best country in the world—and there’s even more hype now because it’s an election year. Time to “rally the base” y’all!

It could be said that the thinly-veiled propaganda is intended to give citizens hope that their elected officials are doing something right. Or maybe it’s just tradition, going back to a time when America actually did lead the way. But every time I hear someone say, matter-of-factly that America is the best country in the world, I want to know where they got their stats.

CNN published a very long article today that underscores the sentiment that many people think, but are too afraid to say: America isn’t the best country in the world. Not even close, by a number of indicators.

Ok, we’re great at a lot of things: we allow more freedom of choice than hundreds of other countries and when it comes to offering people resources to innovate, we’re top notch. But let’s face it, in so many categories we’ve lost ground.

So can we all just drop the needless patriotism (sometimes very nearly nationalism) and start to actually FIX the problems we have?



19 thoughts on “Here’s the truth: America isn’t the best country in the world

  1. And of course this is all Obama’s fault. Prior to 2009 we lived in a utopian society…

    Posted by ws141 | July 2, 2012, 3:09 pm
    • Can’t blame Obama or any other president. That’s just it: it’s the responsibility of everyone in the country to make it better, not just the president…who’s become more of a scapegoat figurehead than anyone who actually pushes the ball forward. He’s even blamed for gas prices now. C’mon!

      Posted by aaronendre | July 2, 2012, 3:54 pm
    • You can’t blame everything on him this country was mess up from the start .And people like you that sit there and complain.Get off your high horse .Do something about it . Make a differences then .Stop complaining and just take action.

      Posted by Jazz | September 13, 2014, 2:38 am
  2. Finland is #1 in lack of corruption and #2 in effectiveness of education, woo! But yeah… I must admit I’ve always wondered why exactly you Americans are so proud of your country? I’m not saying you have nothing to be proud of! It’s just that your mentality is totally different from ours. Finns tend to be humble to the point of ridiculousness even when we should be proud. That’s a character flaw, too. Sorry. We’re working on it.

    Posted by inmyinternest | July 2, 2012, 3:37 pm
    • Good point. I wonder why that’s the case — perhaps it’s that thing where if you “got it” there’s no need to flaunt it? Maybe America, being a young country and often characterized as the great experiment, we constantly have something to prove?

      Perhaps the most telling indicator of the greatness of a country is the “life evaluation score”, essentially detailing which countries have the happiest people. Not surprisingly, Scandinavian countries are right at the very top, with Denmark and Finland leading the pack. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/world-happiness-report-2012_n_1408787.html

      Posted by aaronendre | July 2, 2012, 3:52 pm
      • Americas over twice as old as Finland as it became independent in 1917 so which is the younger country.

        Posted by Juhani | December 1, 2012, 11:42 am
  3. If the U.S. is so good why do they have to use a Russian rocket to get back to the Space station and for the record a Canadian university built the lab (bio) for the latest Mars vehicle.

    Posted by david tribbeck | December 21, 2012, 2:45 pm
    • Hey how many times did Russia make it to the moon?

      Posted by USA | July 15, 2014, 5:08 pm
      • I’m american and the expedition to the moon was a waste of time and money… we have a terrible health system, education, public transport and the list goes on yet we spend more money on our military to fight wars where we gave them the weapons all in the name to keep our gas prices up. grow up and see going to the moon is redundant there was nothing to gain from it except from an ego boost.

        Posted by Jon Maculkin | February 20, 2015, 4:31 am
      • hey who invented the first satellite, first space station, first robot on the moon ecc.? ..and hey, the first man in the space was American, right?

        Posted by Anna | February 28, 2015, 8:16 am
      • The expedition to the moon was amazing for us. It created tons of technology that we use daily.

        We used a russian rockets because our space program is basically shut down because we have “more important” things to spend money on… like the military.

        Posted by Robert | February 7, 2016, 8:42 pm
  4. Where did you find these statistics by the way? I’d really like to see the whole list.

    Posted by Erin Delaney | February 4, 2013, 6:41 pm
  5. India has the smallest prison population? in relation to what, per 100 people? The reason I’m asking is it is number 4 on the list for prisoners.

    Did someone pluck these figures from their behind, or use multiple sources that contradict, or even worse, omitting every other country in the world except from those 4 countries used in the prisoner column to suit their agenda?

    he he he

    Posted by Ian Richards - Scotland | September 6, 2013, 6:43 am
  6. You’re right the US is definitely losing ground in many things… but people have a right to be patriotic. Even people in China are patriotic and they live under a one party authoritative regime. So you don’t like people being proud of thier country fine but don’t be some crazy control freak and demand other people adopt your views.

    Also if you want to ‘fix’ this country there are better ways than using some one-sided JPEGs to instill fear and panic. Present the specific problems you are complaining about and propose a solution.

    Your ignorant blog post is no better than the type of demagoguery that OWS or the Tea Party likes to spew on their ignorant followers.

    Posted by Allen Xie | June 27, 2014, 1:48 pm
  7. I live in america…i hate it because I am the only one in my school who knows AMERICA is not the best.

    Posted by Chris Overmyer | November 12, 2014, 6:41 am
  8. Its time our country learned some humility. It’s nothing wrong to not be number 1 all the time. We’re still a fantastic country but lets face it we’re not the best thing since sliced bread

    Posted by CoreyT | December 20, 2014, 2:56 pm
  9. Who has never raised a white flag over their troops? Who has had the best economy the free world has ever seen? Who fought in two world wars and led their side to victory both times? Who has the most goddamn patriotism? The U.S. Of A.

    Posted by Zach | January 27, 2015, 5:31 am
    • Let’s just look at these:
      Who has never raised a white flag over their troops? A. not America; The Battle of Bataan.
      Who has had the best economy the free world has ever seen? A. not America; $1.261 trillion owed to China alone, $18 trillion altogether, more than the next five countries added together.
      Who fought in two world wars and led their side to victory both times? A. not America; Came very late to both, had it not been for Pearl Harbour would have sided with the Nazi’s in WW2, In first war the main work had been done by UK and allies, in the second by Russia and UK.

      Who has the most goddamn patriotism? I will give you this one, blind ‘My country right or wrong’, you’re really good at this….. Knowing the fact’s, not so good.

      Posted by Andrew | February 5, 2016, 12:13 pm

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