The President wants to make America great again even though many argue that the country has never lost its ranking. However, it never ranked that high, to begin with, and too much focus has been placed on GDP over the years that Social Progress in the United States continues to slide down the scale of the quality of life. The United States ranks 16 with Sweden on top as the most livable country all due to the social policy of taking care of all the citizens of their country and not just the wealthy. Other nations feed, shelter and offer health care for all and not just a few.
Social Policy in the U.S. will take care of their poor to a small extent. Many go without any help.
Did you know that early childhood deaths rank higher in the U.S. than most countries?
We can blame substance abuse, poverty, or negligence of the social structure in the American society on the high childhood deaths. Our nation is technologically advanced; there is no excuse why children should face such odds of survival in America. Dr. McCoy on Star Trek would be appalled by today’s society and poor survival rate of the lowest class.
Gross Domestic Product also known as GDP tracks the income of a nation. However, this is based on the averages of the society. There are those whose wealth is recorded in the billions; this will offset those whose wealth is null. There is a better way to measure the quality of life in a country, and that is by using the Social Progress Index. How is it that the United States is considered to be the wealthiest of nations and rank at 16 on the quality of life index? Canada, Sweden, France, and many other Western Nations when it comes to the quality of life out rank the United States. They do this by funding welfare policies with tax or VAT revenues. Everyone in these countries has healthcare and can afford to put food on the table and sometimes with the monthly rent monies. (Reid, 2004)
The United States has the highest rank among its peers when it comes to social problems. Those issues are of murder, rapes, robbery, incarceration, drunk driving, fatalities, cocaine use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The social problem list for the U.S. continues with acid rain, forest depletion, hazardous waste per capita, garbage per capita, and cars per capita ( other than public transportation). Moreover, continues with even more problems such as elderly and children living in poverty, homelessness, bank failures, divorce, single parents, infant mortality, the death of children under age five, and teenage pregnancy. One would not be able to tell any of this by using the GDP index. (Eitzen, 2010)
Fact: The United States is the only industrialized nation that has no form of universal health care. (Eitzen, 2010)
Some may not think it is fair to compare the United States with smaller countries such as New Zealand and Switzerland, but why not? They are taking care of their population and with much lower crime rates. Our nation may have a higher population but we are spread out more, and this is supposed to be the land of opportunity. I don’t think crime was to be one of those opportunities. Why else do the people immigrate to America?
To find work, to own a home, to have a family and receive good medical care and education.
Perhaps it’s the beer and pizza, or maybe the cheese and wine.
The United States boasts of having the best academic schools in the world such as Harvard, Perdue, and Princeton which is mostly open to those who can afford such schools. Many American students can’t afford a higher education regardless of the college they choose. Other nations compared to the U.S. provide higher education regardless of the student’s income level. If the student can maintain the grades, then the education is provided at a much lower cost or free. With higher education comes lesser crime, a much better solution than incarceration for the many. (Reid, 2004)
America even has the best hospitals, but not everyone can afford the medical care. Prescriptions are outrageously priced, and many of the elderly can’t afford to pay those prices. They are forced to choose between taking their medication or food.
If that is the case, then I’m not looking forward to retirement anytime soon.
Eitzen, D. S. (2010). U.S. Social Problems in Comparative Perspective. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Reid, T. R. (2004). The European Social Model. New York: Penguin Press.