Any free country like the United States will always have serious problems to solve: mass shootings, political polarization, inflation, etc. But our democratic system of government and versatile economy are very good at addressing new problems as they arise. Many other countries around the world admire our achievements and would like to be as free and prosperous as we are.
- The Pandemic. We have now virtually defeated the world-wide pandemic by adopting a decentralized approach with the states in charge of requiring lockdowns, mask mandates and school closures. It is American pharmaceutical companies, which developed the world’s most effective vaccines in record time, that have allowed the U.S. to essentially achieve herd immunity. The latest U.S. variant is already decreasing in the number of new daily infections. Compare this with the Chinese zero-Covid approach which is floundering and badly hurting their economy.
- Democracy is flourishing around the world (see chart). Democracy is fragile and hard to establish but it is also contagious because people everywhere have a yearning for the personal and political freedom which democracy provides. More democracy means more peace in the world because democracies seldom go to war with each other.
- The Ukraine War. Ukraine wants to be free and independent from Russia and the U.S. and its allies are rightly helping Ukraine defend itself. Russia is a huge troublemaker all around the world and hopefully will be severely punished for starting this war.
- Economic and social progress in the U. The U.S. not only has the highest median individual and household incomes in the world among major economies, but also African/Americans are making much economic and social progress as well. American social and economic progress is highly visible to the whole world and this, of course, adds greatly to our stature among other nations.
Conclusion. America is leading the world by example. We’ve got the pandemic under control with American-made vaccines and a decentralized political system. We’re demonstrating our commitment to democracy by defending Ukraine against the Russian invasion. We are constantly demonstrating the superiority of our own political and economic system by steadily improving the lives of the vast majority of our citizens. We’re doing the big things right and tackling new problems as they arise. We should be optimistic about the future of our country and its crucial role in world affairs.
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The Freedom House folks maintain an annual estimate of the number of resident persons who live in a nation that enforces first amendment rights similar to our own. This total as a percent of the worldwide population has slowly decreased in the last 20-30 years. As the central attribute of our nation’s social malaise and its dominating effect on the daily expression of prosocial norms, we have no realistic, actionable strategy to reduce our nation’s pockets of intractable poverty. The US Census Bureau has used a standardized economic heuristic to estimate this population since 1982. The national poverty rate has been stable during the last 40 years at 12%, temporarily higher during recessions. The recent surge of studies regarding epigenetic effects of poverty on children during their gestational formation before birth and childhood maltreatment after birth represent a causal connection to childhood obesity, delayed early childhood education progress, and adolescent socialization disturbances. Our current national paradigm for each community’s safety net seems only to have sustained the inexorable, poverty-related, disturbances of human survival, viz. mass shootings.
Thanks for this very useful information. As you say, it apparently will be difficult to lower the poverty rate below 12%. And, of course, this is the group from which the most extreme forms of antisocial behavior appear. An intractable social problem!