Weekly Journal for the week of March 27 | AspenTimes.com

Weekly Journal for the week of March 27

Weekly Journal for the week of March 27We’re No. 1, right? Well…this is the country you really live in: The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004). The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005). “The European Union leads the U.S. in the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised” (The European Dream, p.70). “Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature” (The European Dream, p.70). Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004). We’re not the place to be anymore. The World Health Organization “ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]…37th.” In the fairness of health care, we’re 54th. “The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world” (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less. “The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens” (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a “developed” country? Anyway, that’s the company we’re keeping. Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That’s six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.) “U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower” (The European Dream, p.81). Been to Mexico lately? Does it look “developed” to you? Yet it’s the only “developed” country to score lower in childhood poverty. Families that “had members who actually went hungry at some point last year” numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004). The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005). Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005). The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004). “Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies” (The European Dream, p.66). “In a recent survey of the world’s 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European” (The European Dream, p.69). The United States has lost 1.3 million jobs to China in the last decade (CNN, Jan. 12, 2005). Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn’t show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004). That’s more than a third. Way more. If more than a third of Iraqis don’t show for their election, no country in the world will think that election legitimate. Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004). No. 1? In most important categories we’re not even in the Top 10 anymore. Not even close. The USA is “No. 1” in nothing but weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion. &Copy; 2005 Tomas GregoryVisit tomasgregory.com for personal Daily Astrology and lots of other great stuff!

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