LARRY ROMANOFF • AUGUST 22, 2020
"Welcome to America, the Land of Freedom", read the signs at Washington, DC's international airport as you line up to have your fingerprints taken and your body cavities searched for mini nuclear devices.
I could have titled this article "Setting the Cat among the Pigeons". In an attempt to forestall the expected avalanche of disagreement, I confirm my awareness of statistics produced by a wide range of individuals and institutions of widely-varying intent and ideology, and which can "prove" almost anything one cares to prove, GINI coefficients being one easy example. The statistics on which this article is based were not selected carelessly and are not invalidated by a reader’s disaffection.
The United States Is the Best Only at Being the Worst
The US today has the greatest income inequality of all Western nations (1) (2), surpassing China and more than a few undeveloped nations as well. From this, it has the lowest social mobility of most nations (3), meaning that improving one's station in life is becoming increasingly impossible. If your parents are not educated and wealthy, you will never be either, and the American Dream is dead. The US today has the smallest middle class and the largest lower class of all major nations, the middle class having been mostly eviscerated in 2008, that process completing itself today, and will probably never now recover. Americans carry the largest amount of personal debt among all nations (4), including credit card debt and increasingly unrepayable student loans, and the US now leads the world in personal bankruptcies (5). Since 2008, according to the US government's own statistics, the US has the lowest percentage of home ownership at 57% (6), ranked 43rd in the world, far below China at 90% (7), and America now has a virtual epidemic of homelessness compared to most other nations, with untabulated millions of homeless families with children.
The poverty rate in the US is extraordinary, with official statistics placing this number at 13% but in reality with more than 25% of the population living below the poverty line, in most cases far below (8). It also has the highest percentage of children living in poverty, and with almost a third of all US citizens dependent on food stamps and other government aid to survive (9). Unemployment is also extraordinary. According to the government's own statistics, fully 40% of working-age Americans have no job (10) (11), with many of the rest under-employed, working only part-time. It is only American cities or those in the most impoverished of nations that contain such vast areas of urban decay and desperate slums like those of Detroit and Chicago, where half of the areas are violent crime-ridden wastelands where no one goes.
The US has the highest educational costs, and yet the poorest overall quality of education in the developed world and parts of the rest. Read this article (12). It will open your eyes. A few good schools or universities in an entire nation do not make it a world leader, the proof residing in the highest level of functional illiteracy of all major nations (25%) and a truly legendary level of ignorance (13). The US is the only country in the world where, in repeated polls for the past 60 years, a full 75% of the adult and student populations cannot find their own country on a map of the world (14). Compared to other nations, the US has the highest health care costs by a factor of two to ten, and yet has a surprisingly poor overall quality as well as the highest percentage of a population without health care (15). The US has the highest infant mortality rate and the shortest life expectancy at birth of all major nations and far below many others (16) (17), ranking around 50 in a list of countries. The US has the highest obesity rate of all nations, with nearly half of the population being overweight (18), one of the highest rates of sexually-transmitted diseases (19), of anti-depressant drug use that increased by 65% in only 15 years (20), a national crisis in opioid drug use (21) and of depression. It has the highest teen-age pregnancy and abortion rates of all developed nations (22), and one of the highest divorce rates (23) (24). Note that in many international studies US statistics aren't collected because, as observers noted "The authors left out the US because the country is "an extreme outlier." The US also has the largest number of one-person households (about 30%) (25) (26), and the largest percentage of fatherless children (about 25%) (27).
America is one of the two most racist countries in the world, where even the random and unprovoked killing of non-whites is not only permissible but usually meets with approval. Americans are gun-crazy, owning more guns than the entire rest of the world combined, and more guns than all the world’s police and military. They carry their guns everywhere, and use them everywhere, the US having the highest rates of gun shootings and murders of any nation, with more than 20 small children and more than 200 adults being sent each day to either the hospital or the cemetery. Many small American cities, like the nation's capital of Washington DC with only half a million people, or places like Detroit or Chicago, have more murders each year (by an order of magnitude) than does Shanghai with 25 million people. The overall homicide rate for China is 0.6 and for Shanghai 0.2; that for the US is 4.0. The gun death rate for children in the US is 40 times higher than for any other nation in the world (28) (29) The US also has the highest number of crimes committed with firearms each year, a staggering total of a minimum confirmed of 500,000 and an estimated 3 million (30) (31), and the highest number of violent raids on private homes, with more than 80,000 instances per year of SWAT teams kicking in someone's front door in the middle of the night, always terrorising and sometimes killing the occupants, usually without identifying themselves and often attacking the wrong house. (32) (33)
The US has the highest rate of cocaine and meth usage of any nation (34), thanks in large part to the CIA's very successful war on drugs which permits that agency to import cocaine duty-free. The US has the highest rate of gender inequality (35) among industrialised nations, far exceeding egalitarian nations like China (and formerly Iraq and Libya). The US has the highest number of lawyers and lawsuits in the world, by orders of magnitude, a reflection of both natural belligerence and inborn greed, Americans spending twice as much on lawsuits each year as on new cars (36). Japan has 14,000 lawyers, China 160,000, the US 1.35 million (11 per 100,000 for Japan and China compared to 300 per 100,000 for the US). Americans surpass the entire world in their amount of useless consumption, having long passed the point where it can be deemed pathological. As one measure, that of shopping mall space per capita, Germany has 2.7 sq ft per person, Japan has 3.9 and the UK has 5. For every American shopper there are 24 sq ft of mall. The US has by far the highest level of carbon emissions on a per-capita basis, thanks in no small part to General Motors who has repeatedly committed genocide on electric automobiles.
Wars and violence are defining adjectives of America. The US as a nation is now, and has always been, intensely militaristic, inherently provocative, combative and violent. The US is by far the largest merchant of death in the world, being responsible for about 70% of total world arms sales. For comparison, Russia is second at 17%, while China is at 3%. If we include everything, the US spends about twice as much on its military each year as the entire rest of the world combined, already well-documented by many authors at well in excess of $1 trillion. It also has the world's largest network of foreign military bases, with more than 1,000 such installations, including many that appear on no map, and the world's largest number of bio-weapons labs, with more than 400 outside the US. America has launched the most wars of aggression in the history of the world and has been at war for 235 of its 243 years as a nation, all those wars unprovoked and unjustified, and none of which were either wars of 'liberation' or 'to make the world safe for democracy', but for colonisation and plunder. The US is also outstanding in that it has assassinated more foreign world leaders and other officials (about 150) (37) than even Israel has done, and also operates the largest network of torture prisons that has ever existed in the history of the world. The US also wins first prize for having some of the most bloodthirsty homicidal mass murderers and pathological killers in the history of the world, far exceeding our former heroes Stalin and Hitler. Kissinger, Albright and Curtis LeMay come immediately to mind, but there are more.
The US has by far the highest incarceration rate of all nations, with more than 25% of the world's prisoners in its jails and with almost 35% of all adult Americans having a criminal record. Alarmingly, the US has by far the highest number of internment camps - prison camps - in the world, all 800 fully-staffed but empty, waiting for Americans to dare launch another Occupy Wall Street or similar protest. The US has the most militarised police forces of any nation, with frighteningly heavy-duty military hardware like MRAPs, APCs, drone aircraft and automatic weapons. The police motto "To protect and serve" that was once plastered on every police car, has been amended. It now reads "To occupy and kill". The US has by far the highest number of civilians killed each year by police (well over 1,000) of any nation in the world, even including rogue states and axis of evil members. Americans have far more to fear from their local police than from terrorists. Police brutality in America is now legendary, so common as to be one of the nation's defining adjectives, with beatings, shootings, harassment, false criminal charges reaching epidemic proportions and increasing.
America is the world's only nation with a website named "Killed by Police.org" to document the epidemic of civilians killed by police, and the only nation where local newspapers have sections devoted to listing the number of daily killings in each neighborhood of the major cities to assist citizens in house purchases. Violent crime rates in the US are at least an order of magnitude above those of China or Japan (and many other nations).
The US also has one of the most corrupt police and judicial systems in the world. No Western country is particularly free of this charge, but America excels. As one example, the US has by far the largest number in the world of citizens falsely convicted by fraudulent testimony, some 40,000 convictions caused by one fraudulent forensics lab alone. And of course, the US has the world's largest espionage network by orders of magnitude, with an ambition to steal every secret and to record and save every communication by every human on the planet.
It is no longer a secret that American-style democracy has a few flaws, with extreme dysfunction and rampant corruption among the more visible, though looting the public trough would run a close second. The US also has the government most totally over-run with puppet-masters and controlled by parasitic aliens, having entirely lost control to its various lobbies and with all its elected officials having sworn allegiance to the Jews and Israel rather than to America. The US has the highest number and percentage of Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense Secretaries who were certifiable as criminally insane and who should have been given lobotomies and committed to institutions for life. Too many names to list here. America is the one nation that has more or less institutionalised government corruption at virtually every level, extending deeply into the judiciary, the regulatory bodies and Congress, as well as local and state governments. The US is well-known for compiling the most fraudulent economic statistics of all developed and undeveloped nations, including the hugely fictitious 'average income' of $45,000, and is one of the most indebted of all countries in the world today. I strongly suggest everyone read this short article on US economic statistics (38) and cease the rubbish about how China's numbers can't be trusted.
Not to be outdone, the US media are in a class by themselves in terms of dishonesty, bias, censorship, and petty opinion-based journalism. American journalists are mostly cut from the same cloth, displaying more or less the same malignancies.
The US has the most complete immunity for elite white-collar crime, prosecuting only its person-companies but never the persons. Americans boast of their transparent and corruption-free financial system, and the US media enjoys trashing China for what appears to be an occasional corporate fraud. But in the long list of the world's largest corporate bankruptcies due to fraud and corruption, all but one occurred in the US. Ron Unz prepared a list that included Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Global Crossing, Adelphia, MF Global, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and Wachovia. The US has also been home to the world's largest Ponzi schemes like those of Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford, that resulted in almost $100 billion in public losses. It is the US, not China, that is the home to corporate fraud and deceit, while all but two of the largest corporate frauds in China in recent decades were committed by American firms, not Chinese.
To end our list of areas in which American Exceptionalism truly shines, the US has for years been deservedly voted the world's most hated nation, is widely reviled as the world's greatest bully, and judged by all peoples - including Americans - as the greatest threat to world peace.
Lest anyone think the above list is unfair or exaggerated, you can do a simple test by applying the items to other countries. Germany, for example, or China or Canada. Certainly every nation has some deaths, crime, divorces, military spending and so on, but none of the items in this list can be applied to Germany, China or Canada, nor to any other nation. The US does have the greatest debt, highest military spending, racism, killings, guns, incarceration, torture prisons, initiated wars, and all the rest. The records for inequality, obesity, consumption, personal debt, poverty, cocaine use, murders, all belong to America, with no other nation even in the running. The claim is as demonstrably true for ignorance and hypocrisy as it is for police brutality. As an accusation or an indictment, the list is 100% accurate, a factual description of America as it is today, seen without the propaganda and rose-colored glasses.
A complete list of areas of American Exceptionalism must include one other item: The most traitors. This unfortunate category exists on several levels, the first being the President and White House staff and the US Congress who, as we already know, have pledged allegiance to Israel rather than America. The second is the foreign-owned US FED, criminally pursuing its own agenda while systematically destroying the economic fabric of America. The cadre of elite owners of most large US banks and multinationals fall into this category as well, pursuing their own private advantage while consciously gutting the economy of their own nation.
But there is a third, more pervasive level, a large cadre of educated Americans who are essentially compradors, traitors to most of their values and to their people, embedded in the system and dependent on it, participating fully in the destruction of their own country by acting as lieutenants for the officials of the secret government. These individuals are vital for the success of the transformation of the US to a fascist state, with the elites dependent upon them to execute their policies, yet they also profit from their positions in terms of attractive salaries and protection from much of the law. These are the people who best know of all the crimes and social injustices, being in fact a willing part of their execution process, but least likely to blow the whistle for fear of damaging their careers. It is the middle level of educated executives, lawyers, accountants and managers in government, criminal corporations, Foundations, think tanks, the media, and so many others, who are directly responsible for knowingly inflicting the vast damage on their own people and nation. Like the CEOs of the banks and multinationals, these compradors seek only their own advantage, discarding their human values and blinding themselves to the harm they do.
The following bulleted list is for your ease in reading.
•Greatest Income Inequality of major nations
•Lowest social mobility
•Smallest middle class and largest lower class of all major nations
•Largest amount of personal debt
•Highest percentage of university graduates with massive student-loan debts
•Lowest percentage of home-owners of major nations
•Highest number of homeless of major nations
•Highest percentage of repossessed homes and autos in the world
•Highest Poverty rate of major nations
•Largest number of children in poverty and homeless children in major nations
•Greatest slums and urban decay of any Western nation
•Highest percentage of population receiving government food aid
•Highest level of unemployed, under-employed, and part-time employed
•The highest number of people aged 65 to 75 returning to the workforce to survive
•Only nation with no mandated paid holidays or maternity leave
•Highest educational costs
•Highest functional illiteracy rate of all developed and semi-developed nations
•Highest level of ignorance
•Highest health care costs
•Most people without health care
•The only Western nation with high GM food content
•Highest infant mortality rate
•Highest obesity rate
•Shortest life expectancy at birth
•Highest rate of sexually-transmitted diseases
•Greatest production and access of pornography
•Highest anti-depressant drug use
•Highest teen-age pregnancy and abortion rates among developed countries
•Largest number of one-person households
•Largest percentage of fatherless children
•The most strident nationalism of all nations
•Highest level of racism and race-related violence
•Highest number and percentage of guns
•Highest murder rate
•Highest number of gun shootings
•Largest number of firearms crimes per year
•Highest cocaine and meth usage
•Largest number of lawyers and lawsuits
•Highest carbon emissions
•Highest military spending
•Highest arms sales
•Largest network of foreign military bases (1,000) and foreign bio-weapons labs (400)
•Most wars of aggression of any nation in the history of the world
•Most governments destabilised and overthrown
•Largest number of foreign leaders and officials assassinated
•Longest-lasting genocide in the history of the world
•Largest network of torture prisons - and prison ships - in the history of the world
•Worst human rights record of all nations, possibly excepting Israel
•Highest incarceration rate
•Highest percentage of population with criminal records
•Largest number of civilian internment camps
•Most militarised civilian police force
•Largest number of civilians killed by police
•Highest number in the world of violent SWAT raids on civilian homes
•The only nation with widespread civil forfeiture
•Largest commercial and military espionage network
•The government most over-run by parasitic aliens
•Highest percentage of criminally-insane Presidents and officials in history
•Most institutionalised government corruption
•Most complete immunity for elite white-collar crime
•Most and largest corporate bankruptcies due to fraud
•Most fraudulent economic statistics of any major nation
•Most biased and dishonest media and columnists
•Most hypocritical of all nations
•Most hated nation
•World's greatest bully
•Greatest threat to world peace
(1) Income inequality in the United States; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States
(2) US income inequality | US news | The Guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/us-income-inequality
(3) The Decline of Social Mobility in America - The Atlantic; https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/social-mobility-america/491240
(4) Total US household debt soars to record above $13 trillion; https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/total-us-household-debt-soars-to-record-above-13-trillion.html
(6) October 29, 2019; https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/currenthvspress.pdf
(7) China Home Ownership Rate | 2019 | Data | Chart | https://tradingeconomics.com/china/home-ownership-rate
(8) The official U.S. poverty rate; https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/16/official-us-poverty-rate-is-based-hopelessly-out-of-date-metric/
(9) One-Third of US Population Gets Food Subsidies; https://www.newsmax.com/US/food-stamps-assistance-program/2013/07/08/id/513860
(10) The real jobs numbers: 41% of America unemployed, 1 in 3; https://www.rt.com/usa/jobs-us-employment-welfare-749
(11) Shocker: 40% of Workers Now Have 'Contingent' Jobs; https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2015/05/25/shocker-40-of-workers-now-have-contingent-jobs-says-u-s-government/
(15) Americans without health insurance; https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/16/americans-without-health-insurance-up-more-than-3-million-under-trump.html
(16) Infant Mortality; http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/MaternalInfantHealth/InfantMortality.htm
(17) U.S. Infant Mortality Rate 1950-2019; https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/infant-mortality-rate
(18) Adult Obesity Facts; CDC; https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
(19) America’s sexually transmitted disease rates are out of control; https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/americas-sexually-transmitted-disease-rates-are-out-of-control/ar-AAIAW4M
(20) U.S. Antidepressant Use Jumps 65 Percent in 15 Years; https://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-information-25/antidepressants-news-723/u-s-antidepressant-use-jumps-65-percent-in-15-years-725586.html
(21) Opioid Crisis Statistics | HHS.gov; https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/opioid-crisis-statistics
(22) Teen Pregnancy Rates Declined In Many Countries; https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2015/teen-pregnancy-rates-declined-many-countries-between-mid-1990s-and-2011
(23) Marriage and Divorce; https://www.census.gov/topics/families/marriage-and-divorce.html
(24) "Coming out of the penumbras: World culture and cross-national variation in divorce rates", December 2018 issue of Social Forces. https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/97/2/675/5055442
(25) U.S.: Number of households 1960-2018; https://www.statista.com/statistics/183635/number-of-households-in-the-us/
(26) Single-person households United States 1960-2018; https://www.statista.com/statistics/242022/number-of-single-person-households-in-the-us/
(27) Fatherless Statistics for the United States; https://fatherhoodfactor.com/us-fatherless-statistics/
(28) Gun Violence in 2018; https://www.thetrace.org/2018/12/gun-violence-facts-statistics-2018
(29) Guns in the US: The statistics behind the violence - BBC News; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34996604
(30) CDC Study: Use of Firearms; https://www.cnsnews.com/.../cdc-study-use-firearms-self-defense-important-crime-deterrent
(31) CDC Asked About Defensive Gun Uses; https://www.forbes.com/.../2018/04/30/that-time-the-cdc-asked-about-defensive-gun-uses
(32) Speaking Truth to Empire: 80,000 Swat Team Raids Per Year; https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/04/28/speaking-truth-to-empire-80000-swat-team-raids-per-year-in-usa-wtf/
(33) The Rutherford Institute :: Are Police in America Now a Military, Occupying Force? John W. Whitehead; August 05, 2013; https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/are_police_in_america_now_a_military_occupying_force
(34) What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States; https://www.drugabuse.gov/.../cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states
(35) Gender equality stalls in the U.S., Stanford report finds; https://news.stanford.edu/2018/03/16/gender-equality-stalls-u-s-stanford-report-finds
(36) Issues of the Lawyer Population: Japan; http://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1614&context=jil
Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai, 2020