We’re number 40, no we’re number 39, no, number 61, yea, we’re number 1 in incarceration!!!

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