The apparent front runners in the United State Presidential Election Primaries over the last few days have been arguing over whether America is a ‘Great Country.’
Trump has said he will make America great again.
Clinton has said, America has never stopped being great.
Made me think.
I wonder what both Trump and Clinton are using as yard sticks for a country’s greatness?
Now let me start out stating that I genuinely love America. I have been there many times. (16 actually but who is counting?) I have studied there, holidayed there, preached there: there is much of America I love. I am thankful America is an ally of Australia. I have enjoyed its best and I have seen its worst:- having spent time on Skid Row in LA. (And seen the incredibly sad side of the homeless issue in San Francisco).
But is America a great country?
I would suggest yes. There are some great things about America.
But then I start to wonder.
I wonder if in a great country, 610,000 people experience homelessness on any given night?
I wonder would a great country incarcerate more of its population than any other country in the world?
I wonder would a great country have more school shootings that any other country?
I wonder would a great country be the only advanced economy in the world that doesn’t require companies to give workers paid vacations?
I wonder would a great country export more weapons than any other country and often ending up in the hands of despots and terrorists?
Would a great country not guarantee workers paid sick pay?
Would a great country have 89 guns per 100 people? That’s the equivalent to 89% of the population being armed.
Would a great country kill 57.7 million unborn babies over the last 50 years?
Would a great country have more babies dying on their birthday than any industrialized nation?
Would a great country have medical bills so huge that 62% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by these medical bills?
Would a great country have the 4th largest wealth gap in the world?
Would a great country have their police force kill 2,500 of its citizens in the last five years: and just for the record this compares to 35 in UK and 5 per year in Germany: In fact the German police force used 85 bullets in that entire time: which incidentally is a little more than the bullets used to kill one mentally ill homeless person in Michigan.
Would a great country have more 17 year old black people in jail than in college?
Would a great country have the 3rd worst poverty rate among the developed world?
Surely a great country wouldn’t waste 31% of the food it produces. For the record that is 60 billion kilos…. Now think of those images you see on TV of starving kids. Sorry I meant to say 60 thousand million kilos of food thrown away?
Would a great country put an 81 year old women in prison for feeding the birds?
Would a great country have a population where 70% of them are on at least one prescription drug and astoundingly 20% of them are on at least 5 prescription drugs.
Actually I wonder if a great country would have the highest rate of illegal use of drug use on the entire planet?
Would a great country have 56% of its population having a subprime credit….if you don’t understand this…go and see The Big Short?
Would a great country have one in 6 people on food stamps and just for comparison in 1970 it was one in 50?
I wonder if a great country would have the highest divorce rate in the world by a significant margin. I also wonder why this actually is?
Related to the above: one third of children in America grows up in a house without a dad.
I wonder if a great country would have 25% of teens having an STD.
Would a great country be the biggest producer of pornography in the world with a significant amount of this being child porn.
Would a great country be the second most obese in the world, second only to Mexico.
Would a great country have white police who shoot unarmed black men.
Now this blog is not about America bashing. It’s just my frustration at the inane and unhelpful subject material that passes as robust political debate in the world’s biggest democracy. Maybe Clinton and Trump need to stop arguing for the patriotic vote and start to debate how to fix some of America’s biggest issues.
Just for some entertainment, I thought this clip out of the TV show The Newsroom has some good stats, although I will confess I have not checked if they are accurate.
Ps Peter Pilt
If this Blog has been helpful, informative, or inspirational to you, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. Email Subscriptions to my blog are welcome or you can contact me through Facebook (facebook.com/peterpilt), Twitter (@PeterPilt) or Insta (@PeterPilt). Have a great day.
Categories: Current Affairs