The decline of the US has become so marked over the last few decades that the stories and numbers no longer shock. From a country with an enormous middle class we have become a country with rich, super-rich and big corporations at the top while the vast majority, more than 80%, are either homeless, very poor, poor, or a paycheck or two from poor.
If you want an introduction to the state of our society, read Tightrope: Americans reaching for hope by Kristof and WuDunn. This is a thoroughly researched book that includes lots of facts and figures embedded in a narrative of stories of peole living in this America.
Here are a few of the facts and figures – all taken from the book. These from global data.
- America is number 1 in healthcare expenditures per capita
- America ranks number 40 in child mortality out of 146 countries on the Social progress Index
- an American woman is twice as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as in Britain
- the life span of white high school graduate only males is falling
- an estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills
- the US economy has quintupled in size since 1970 while the population increased by 55%
- in 2018 average hourly wages ($22.65) were lower than in 1973 ($23.68) in today’s prices
- for Americans born in 1940 92% earned more than their parents at comparable ages; for those born in 1984 on half made more than their parents
- if wages had grown proportionately with the economy today’s average non-supervisory worker income of $43,000 per year would be %90,000
- in 1970 CEO pay was 21 times the average worker pay; today CEO pay if 317 times the average worker’s
- number 32 in internet access
- Americans pay $30 more per month for smart phone service than Europeans
- number 39 in access to clean drinking water
- number 61 in high-school enrollment