Is the once mighty US in decline?

The more than 6 million Americans who reside abroad frequently face challenging questions concerning life in their homeland. There was a time a time when to be an American was desirable for more than an economic migrant of sorts. After World War II America was a highly respected and admired nation as a bastion of freedom around the world around for a multitude of reasons.

Now the US is sadly conspicuously in decline and ever increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. Case in point was the outcome of the Global Competitiveness Report GCR. It was the Harvard business professor Michael Porter, who developed the GCR, which is a new way to look at the success of countries.

In all 132 nations were involved and the report evaluates 54 social and environmental indicators for each respective country that truly matter to the average person. Rather than measuring a country’s success by its crude and anti-social per capita GDP, which is for business interests only, the index was based on an a plethora of data such as:
  • Suicide stats
  • Ecosystem sustainability
  • Property rights
  • Access to healthcare and education
  • Gender equality
  • Attitudes toward immigrants and minorities
  • Religious freedom
  • Nutrition
  • Infrastructure and more besides

In essence, the index projects the quality of living for each country involved, as people all over the world possess similar needs. For example: we all need clean water, to feel secure and to live without fear. People all over planet earth desire a decent education with opportunities and to improve their lives by some measure.

Now back to the survey, while the US holds the second highest per capita GDP of $45,000+, in comparison it ranks in just 16th place overall. The picture gets more alarming too, as the US ranks 31st in personal safety, 34th in access to water and sanitation, 39th in basic education, 69th in ecosystem sustainability and 70th in health.
In terms of happiness the US ranks 17th behind neighboring Mexico and its assumed that much of this is due to a cheerful denial or blissfully being out of step with the rest of the world.

To summarize, America’s rapid decline into a second rate and somewhat impoverished nation status is the likely impact of uncontrolled corporate capitalism, which means by most international standards the US is fast becoming a kind of banana republic. Testament to this fact is that not one single American major city is featured within the global top 10 of the most livable cities on earth. From a travellers perspective what’s even worse is that only 1 US airport is considered to be in the top 100 of the world. The reality on the ground suggests that American roads, schools, train infrastructure and bridges are literally falling apart.

Over the past few decades more than 95% of all economic income has been inexorably channeled to the richest 1% translates to the fact that America is a country divided by those who have and those who have not, which does not make a great nation!