Not long ago, I read a post detailing how America fares when stacked against other countries.


We aren’t the richest or the most productive country . We have relatively high unemployment. Purchasing power per capita is unimpressive. We get salaries that sound good, but the cost of living overran our paychecks long ago. We’ve lost more jobs to automation than outsourcing. One machine, one robot replaces a dozen or two workers.

US_Income_Distribution_1968 (1)There are few jobs for unskilled laborers that can support a family. We manufacture too little, depend too much on service-based work.

Americans are convinced their government is awful. Corrupt. Really, our government is merely inefficient and mired in oppositional politics. Funny how after morons are in office, nobody voted for them. How did that happen?

Statistics are fragments, not a story. We’re having hard times and I doubt we’ll see the end of them quickly. We have work to do. Rethinking where people will work and what they’ll be paid.

Figuring out what we want from our government. Without the hyperbole and entrenched party positions. For all that, we don’t exactly live in Hell.

Statistics need context. We are not even close to a seriously corrupt nation, regardless of perception. I’ve seen corruption. We’re amateurs.

I wonder if Americans would really like living in one of those top-rated countries, like say Finland. Where 90% of your salary goes to taxes. You get great services and a safety net. You won’t wind up living in a crate and you’ll never die because you can’t afford surgery or medication. But there’s payback.

Socialism isn’t a terrible way to live, not even close to the nightmare portrayed by the GOP. It’s not heaven, either.

US_Income_Distribution_2009Mostly, it means working harder or better doesn’t get you a promotion, more money or even recognition. You are whatever your G rating is and move up  by seniority. It’s secure, but sort of dull.

Mind you, plenty of people can’t imagine living any other way. Lots of others would rather be here and would happily take their chances on capitalism. They think we complain too much. They have a point.

A friend of mine lived in Belgium for 15 years. He described it this way: “In Europe, if they don’t say it’s allowed, you can safely assume it’s forbidden. In the U.S., if they don’t tell you it’s forbidden, you know it’s allowed.”

That’s a huge difference.

Like every country, we have strong points and problems. We’ve made some progress, but not enough. Unlike small homogeneous countries — like Finland — we’re a conglomeration of people from everywhere. We’re never going to be like those other countries. We like our freedom too much.

We are what we are. Good and bad. But I am sure we will all live happily ever after. Because what other choice is there?

Categories: American history, Bureacracy, Daily Prompt, Economics, Government, Politics, Statistics

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I guess that’s more or less how I feel about Australia. All my life I’ve felt that it one of the best places in the world to live. Recently I’ve doubted when we elected the most mean spirited government in the history of Australia. However, when the next election comes we will have the opportunity to vote them out and nobody will die for their choice of political party so it could be worse. We have our poor, homeless and hungry but we’re not getting into boats and leaving. Australia used to be called “The Lucky Country” I think at least we are still the “Luckier Than Some” country.


  2. I think the fact that you and I can write about our countries without fearing repercussions is a positive fact. I was in Finland, it is a large country with almost no people, but who wants to live in Finland except for the finns probably. Currently we have big problems with refugees in Europe and there has been a very positive reaction from a lot of countries that have decided to help these families and their children to find a new existence in a safe country. If you have to flee from your country then you have a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well … you don’t have to travel around too much to see we’ve got it better than most folks on this planet. However … there’s sure a hell of lot to improve.

    You think things are infuriating down there? We have the possibility of Electing a total idiot who knows nothing and done nothing as our next Prime Minister – Justin Trudeau. VERY scary when a total half wit can become the leader of a political party. Corruption? It’s institutionalized.


  4. Very interesting and well written, Marilyn, and gives a brighter view than the one I’ve been mired in for the past few days. Thanks for the facts and a different perspective! http://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/09/14/its-not-all-about-us/


  5. That’s not a pie in the sky, that’s a flying saucer full of illegal aliens from Mars here to take our jobs and our pets. Looks like it’s time for me to brush up on my Finnish…


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