When the developed nations of the world are mentioned, a few always come up. Canada, United States, almost all of Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. However, the US being considered a developed country puzzles me. Looking at the GINI Index, it has massive inequality in terms of wealth. All of the other developed nations are in the green while the United States is red.
Mississippi is pretty poor, and it's hard to think of it being a rich nation when you are in some of the inner cities or rural areas in the South.
Also, the crime rate and violence is much higher than the rest of the developed world. Looking at the intentional homicide rate also brings a similar view.
Detroit can feel like many South American or South African cities when it comes to violence. Nowhere in Canada would a place ever be that dangerous to visit.
Compared that also with no public health care. In many other developed countries you are not treated as something to be exploited for money at the hospital. In the United States it seems that money is the priority in hospitals. Cuba literally has a higher-life expectancy than the United States. Pretty much all of the other developed countries do.
Also the government is much more corrupt than the other developed countries. The USA has become a two-party dominated country with the Democrats and Republicans where donors actually determine the nation's policy. So many times politicians are caught doing crooked things such as Rick Snyder knowing that the Flint water was unsafe yet he continued to let the water be used. He was never punished for it.
The United States notably Is also much more religious than the other developed countries. The government tries to prevent gay marriage and abortions from becoming acceptable. For supposedly being a secular nation the government seems to base a lot of their rulings off of religious views.
Then there’s the education system. The US is not very educated compared to many other Western nations. The high prices and prestigious universities certainly are great for the country, but many local schools are so poorly funded that they can’t even provide up-to-date books. This makes the country feel more like China than the Netherlands or Sweden. Of course this also extends to school violence. In no other country in the whole world are mass shootings in the school a problem like they are in the United States. Quite unfathomably, the general public has normalized school shootings to the point when one does happen it gets forgotten about very quickly.
I lived in the United States for four years and love it with a spot in my heart. But all the problems such as poor education, government corruption, violence, income inequality make it just under being a developed nation. It is not comparable to Australia, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and my current country Canada in terms of living.
First on inequality. Do you realize that the United States is pretty much a continent? We've got 50 states plus a federal district and some territories. Having equality on that kind of level is impossible. Chances are, if you're living on the east coast or the west coast, you're going to make more money. Like in most of the world, coastal regions are far more prosperous than land-locked regions. Mississippi could never compete with New York. There's nothing in Mississippi that could make that happen. However, there is a catch to all that. Living in the city is very expensive whereas the cost of living a rural southern region is much cheaper meaning that you could get a lot more for less. So why should it matter if someone from Mississippi makes far less than someone New York if the person from Mississippi can buy a bigger house than the person in New York for far less money?
As for the crime rate, a lot of that comes with population. The US has a population of 325 million people. Japan has a population of 126 million. Canada has a population of 37 million. Then you get to the European countries, their population figures are also in the tens of millions. So it would make more sense for the US to have more crime. However, crime in the US is currently the lowest it has been in decades. There are pockets of areas with high crime rates, but that can be blamed mostly on incompetent politicians in local governments.
Then there's healthcare. The funny thing about that is health was very affordable until the government became more involved. Aside from the healthcare problems, if you walk into an American hospital, they're some of the best. They may be as expensive as hell, but there some of the best. They are certainly far better than that hospital my friend had to go to when she was in Rome. The fact that the hospital had wooden floorboards terrified her amongst many other things.
As for the government, the US isn't really any better or worse than any other developed nations. Japan had quite a few politicians resign due to corruption. South Korea's last President had to resign because of Corruption. The UK's government was recently caught in a scandal involving a 40 year child sex ring where the police were to afraid to arrest the perpetrators because someone would accuse them of racism. In fact, the UK is on the road to become Airstrip One from 1984. I'm sure if you go into the local towns and cities of various developed nations, you'll find plenty of corrupt politicians who never make national news.
As for religion, it has not been a major factor in American policy probably since the 1990s. The religious right element of the Republican Party is getting old and dying off and the New Right tend to be not as focused on religion. Also, since the Supreme Court declared same sex marriage legal, nobody has really tried to stop it. Also, abortion has been legal in the United States for a good 40 years now and the only real restrictions are on the state level. Aside from that, there's nothing wrong with religion. As long as it is kept out of the hands of government, religion is fine.
As for education, the US had some of the best public schools in the world up until the 1970s. That was when the Department of Education was formed. Needless to say, it has made things worse. The teachers unions don't help because it makes it hard to fire bad teachers and to pay teachers based on performance. The US does have an education problem and will continue to do so until the teachers unions are broken and schools become a state concern again. With that being said, the US still has very good private schools and universities. As far as violence and school shootings are concerned, they really don't happen that often. If they did, the news media would eventually stop treating them as front page news. Believe it or not, school shootings in the US are at a 20 year low. Also, the data regarding school shootings has to be called into question. The FBI classifies a school shooting by shootings that occur within a designated school zone, which is a problem, especially when there was an incident when a man shot himself in his car in the middle of the night outside of a school that had been closed for months. That was classified as a school shooting.
Finally, to answer your question, yes, the US is a developed nation. You can go into the home of an American who makes just a modest living and you can see this. They have stuff all over the place. They have a refrigerator full of food, more electronic gadgets and gizmos than early sci-fi writers could ever dream up, a closet full of clothing and there's a good possibility that the resident of that house may be a little overweight due to the excess amount of food he or she may have access to, especially from convenient stores and restaurants that are open 24 hours a day. And that's the people who aren't all that well off. Even the homeless don't have it all that bad if they play their cards right. There was once a homeless guy in New York City who made over $50,000 in a single year just from begging for change. So yes, despite its flaws, the US has been good for a lot of people, especially people who historically weren't treated well in Western nations. For example, where do the wealthiest black people live? The United States.
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