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What is Wrong with Us?

Why is it that we seem to be failing in the world market.  Is it the Tea Party?  Is it those “tax and spend” Democrats.  Is it that we do too much outsourcing?  How about all those “help centers” in India?

Probably one of the best places to look for answers would be at the World Economic Forum.  Here are a lot of true experts with no interest in whether or not Mormons are Christians, whether or not President Obama was born on the moon, or is a secret Rastafarian, or whether the earth is 5000 years old or 4.5 billion years old.

The World Economic Forum – Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) gives you an eye-opening view of the United States.  Do you want to know why we are in bad shape —and with the current non-cooperation in our government, will get a lot worse?  Let’s take a look:

Quality of roads – If a company wants to build a factory here in the US, they would need good roads to ship items to and from the factory.  So, what does the GCR say about the quality of roads in the United States?

The  United States  is 19th behind Singapore, France, Germany, Austria,  …… Namibia!  Yes, Namibia is ahead of us.  That is hard to believe driving around the east coast, but when you start driving around other parts of the country, it is easy to believe.  Very easy.

Quality of Railroad Infrastructure – A competitive nation needs good railroads.  Do those of the USA measure up?

Well, no, the United States is 18th — behind the European countries, as well as Japan – for those who don’t care, well, maybe they ought to start caring!

Quality of Ports – our ports are used for more than just hopping a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean.  They are used to trade with other nations.  If we are going to sell our products to the world we need good ports.

We are 22nd.  The United States is behind all the major trading nations of the world.

Quality of Air Transportation

The United States is 32nd.

Infant mortality

Here we are 41st.  There are actually 41 countries whose outcomes in health care are better than ours.  Anyone who thinks that we are doing well is displaying willful ignorance.  They don’t know the truth and don’t WANT to know it.

Life expectancy

We are 34th!  Again, the quality of our health care does not measure up to industrialized nations.

Quality of primary education,

We are 34th.

Quality of educational system as a whole

The United States is 26th.  Interestingly Lebanon, a country that continually has violence between conflicting Muslim groups and Christians still does better in educating their young.

Math and Science education

Here is where our future will really be decided.  We are 52!  We are really bad!  It is becoming increasingly difficult for universities to get classified research projects from the government because the universities can’t find enough American science students that can get classified clearances.

Red tape to start a business

The best is New Zealand where a person can get through all the red tape in a day or less.  In the US it takes 6 days.  It takes those great entrepreneurs in China 37 days.  In Japan, it takes 31 days.

It would seem that when we have presidential candidates who claim that all we need to do to “unleash” American competitiveness is to cut the “Red Tape” we need to know EXACTLY what red tape he is talking about.  Is he representing an oil company wanting to get around pollution controls?  Don’t listen to him.  Being told that you have lung cancer can really spoil your day.

Maybe the politician has ties (lots of donations) with financial organizations.  His “red tape” probably is in the area of bank regulations.  We are trying to get past our deregulation mess now.  Let’s not let it happen again.

I have traveled quite a bit throughout my life.  It really doesn’t surprise me that we are behind and are falling further in so many areas.  What is it about us?  I think that a lot of us just assume that whatever the endeavor is, we are the best.  We are an extremely patriotic country and I think that to some extent that patriotism is blinding us.  When I entered the workplace and started to travel, I was shocked to find that so many other countries did so many things better than us.  People who I used to travel with had a joke: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”.

The GCR list goes on and on.  The report goes on and on.  It is a great cure for insomnia, but it tells quite a story.  A lot of those countries have government-run railroads, government-run airlines, etc.  It might be OK to come up with some sort of uniquely American solution involving private industry as long as they are well regulated. When a lot of money is involved, greed is also there.  We are seeing that with our financial crisis. Right now, however, the “uniquely American” solution seems to be do nothing.

So far, in the current presidential debates one of the major topic seems to be “who is a better Christian”.  Is a Mormon a Christian?  ENOUGH!  I would like to know who will advocate improving our country and what they will do.  So far, one candidate has proposed a “soak the poor” tax policy, and all of them seem to be advocating that we had best not help the less fortunate.  That is Jesus’ responsibility.  This will not do.  This is not what we need!

Our current predicament is caused by our own greed and ignorance.  Science – NOT religion – has got to be taught in the schools and EVERYBODY needs to pay their fair share of taxes.  The banks, as well as many more industries need to be far more strictly regulated than they EVER were.

Anything less should not be acceptable to anyone!

To those Occupying Wall Street:

Persevere!  Stay strong!  You are making history! 

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2 comments on “What is Wrong with Us?

  1. What a wrong with us? For starters we insist on running a world empire we can no longer afford and when people question the issue we shut them down by insisting it is all done in the name of “national security.” And we are hardly original at this. Other world empires (e.g., the Romans, the French, the Spaniards, etc) went broke and collapsed trying to hold on to what they could no longer afford. I wonder whether they also used the “national security” card to justify their over-reach?

  2. Americans still have ingenuity, innovativeness, and spirit! That will have to carry us through these unprecedented times. And yeah, we need to invest more in education across the board- not just math & science- all disciplines, and raise teachers’ salaries to 6 figures, recruit, train and support the top 1-5% of every university to become teachers (like Finland). Only then will our children learn and succeed.

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