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Forums - Politics Discussion - Is the United States really a developed country?


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.


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There are a lot of 'developed' nations that are even more socially conservative than the US about gay marriage and abortion (Japan for instance).

I feel like almost every internet hot take on the United States is just some stupid version of "Buttt is U.S. rely gud???"

This is really not that different.

You kind of compare the 1% of countries to USA. But USA is simply too big compared to small countries. I don't really know any stats, but I think USA would fare better if you compared all of USA to all of Europe, or say an average new england state with a comparable country.

An immigrant country like the USA will always have large imbalances, because people come from all over the place.

I'm going to address your statements one by one.

1. Income Inequality: When you have a nation like the United States that's overloaded with corporations and businesses, you're bound to get a level of income inequality with the catalysts of the domestic industry and the general public. The average median household income for the US in 2016 was $59,039. The United States is the 11th highest in this regard. I think these statistics mean more when you're trying to judge the overall quality of life in the US.
2. Poor Spots in the Country: Every country has parts that might be stricken with more poverty than others. Alberta in Canada is one of those parts and despite being part of one of the most developed countries in the world, 1 in 10 children still live in poverty. Here's the poverty rates of some developed countries:
US: 12.7%
Canada: 9.4%
UK: 16.8%
Australia: 13.9%
France: 13.9% in 2012
3. Crime Rate: The crime rate is incredibly high in the United States and I'm not really sure what I can say to contest that. I guess it depends on the part of the US you live in. Its much less common in the Pacific Northwest for example.
4. Detroit: Detroit is a terrible city with large amounts of crime. That doesn't mean other countries don't have similar cities. Regina has a crime rate of 110 people per 100,000. Vancouver, Edmonton, and Montreal are not far behind. Admittedly, it's not as bad as Detroit, but it's still apparent in other countries.
5. Public Health Care: There's no definitive way to define which country has the best objective healthcare system. The US has patients pay for their healthcare but the overall quality is seen as somewhat comparable to other developed countries. They succeed in some areas yet fail in others.
6. Politics: Canada and the UK have this same exact issue. When you have 2 parties that contrast each other so heavily, they're more inclined to be contrarians in order to secure a vote and pander to their audience rather than helping the general public. It doesn't really affect the general public since the US election cycle is like a pendulum. It continuously shifts back and forth between the parties. They don't advance our society but they aren't necessarily given an opportunity to fuck anything up since any notable issue is resolved by the time the opposing party is in power which then presents new issues that need to be dealt with in the next election cycle. I remember the UK's election cycle where Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both promised to maintain a fair and balanced government. A politician is concerned with their own self interests. They don't have to live in America in order to be corrupt.
7. Religion: The government makes decisions based on the individual's free will to run their business the way they please. I assume you are referencing incidents such as the bakery refusing to serve the gay couple. I don't agree with the discrimination, but businesses do have the right to deny service based on their own individual beliefs. Abortion is a contested issue and it's much more complicated than an authoritarian dictatorship simply denying an operation based on the pretense that the patient is a woman. I have also never heard of any incident where the government specifically intervened in order to prevent gay marriage.
8. Education: It depends on which part of the country you are in. States such as Connecticut and Vermont have great public education. Other states don't. It's not particularly comparable to the Netherlands and Sweden and that's indicative of several factors such as schools trying to cram useless information into the minds of children and children relatively having less excitement for school compared to children from other countries. School shootings are a massive problem, but that's more reflective of the issue regarding our gun control laws rather than an education problem. If we were to extend the definition of education to colleges and universities, the US also has some of the best in the world.

I suggest you look at the Human Development Index levels that take a variety of factors and use them to measure the overall well being of a country. Feel free to inform if you think anything I said was wrong.

Last edited by Smartie900 - on 13 July 2018



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Double post

It’s the bad boy of the developed countries

In all seriousness though, I think it’s just that the American public is more vocal about their problems than any other developed country.
If other developed countries would also sensationalize their problems like the American public does, then the US wouldn’t look so bad in comparison to many people.
I for one don’t think that the US is as bad as the public makes it out to be.

One thing that dictates why the US is so different is the Geography. It's huge, with people living all over (something Canada doesn't have as bad). And let's say in the UK, it's easier to control a more densely populated country, so much so the police don't need guns. #

Regarding poverty, the fact is Europe has social housing for all and I have noticed that the amount of homelessness in the US is relatively high compared. I'm guessing this goes back to certain policies and some cultural things (like how socialism is frowned upon in the States while in Europe it's part of the fabric of society).

What a nonsensical opinion to have. Of course, it's a developed country. Alot of the things you used as examples (murders, poor education, slums) of an undeveloped country were in areas that have been under lefty control for a loooong time. 😹

Sure the US is a developed country, just because there are some problem-areas doesn't mean it's not.