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U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Health, Housing, and Public Services

America's rank drops in life expectancy, education and health care quality
by Darryl William
Tuesday Jul 3rd, 2012 11:14 PM
Many Americans are under the impression that they are living in the greatest nation on earth. But that is not true, according to statistics.
Many Americans are under the impression that they are living in the greatest nation on earth. But that is not true, according to statistics.

When it comes to educating children, 22 countries beat the United States in math. The U.S. also ranks 17th in reading, and comes in 16th place for young adults with college degrees.

The United States also has a poor quality health care system.

Despite the fact that Americans pay more for their health care than any other nation on earth, the quality of care is low, compared to the 36 other countries that beat America.

Life expectancy in the U.S. is also on the decline. “The Annual Review of Public Health was released and this year’s results show the United States lagging behind every industrialized nation on Earth, except Qatar,” according to Whiteout Press.

The current system of health care rationing to those with insurance also creates a life expectancy imbalance based on wealth. Poor Americans live an average of five years less than their wealthy counterparts.

But even wealthy Americans are living shorter lives. “Principal author Justin Denney of Rice University and colleagues said the average life U.S. expectancy for a person born today is 78.49 -- significantly lower than for people born in Monaco, Macau and Japan, which have the three highest life expectancies at 89.7 84.4 and 83.9 years, respectively,” according to upi.

As America has pursued conservative trickle-down economic policies, average wages have declined and poverty has grown, especially among children.

“Across the nation, the research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20 percent, were poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation's youth lived in low-income homes,” according to CBS News.

According to Census data, by 2011, poverty rates grew to include 1 out of every 6 Americans.

The collapse of the U.S. financial markets in 2008, due to deregulated Wall Street gambling and mortgage securities fraud, sparked the worst recession since the 1930s and has left millions of Americans homeless under an epidemic of foreclosures.

So what is America doing wrong?

While there is no simple answer to that question, it seems that the problem lies in priorities. In a political environment wrought with partisan wars over budget cuts versus public investment, a real vision for the future has gotten lost in daily battles.

Without investment in education and the physical health of the nation, what country can have a bright future?

Other countries have moved their focus away from the issues of the past. But America is locked in partisan combat over taking the country backwards. And that’s why Japan, India, Germany, and other free nations, are beating America.

The battle between conservatives and progressives is not working for America. Progressives' efforts to change America's course is being blocked by conservatives. And conservatives are so busy waging war on the working class that they refuse to admit that their efforts are only making things worse for the majority of Americans.

In the 1970s, when America was growing economically and socially, people had a different attitude. Their war was with Vietnam, not other Americans. The goal was peace. There was a war on poverty because Americans believed that the nation would be stronger if fewer people went hungry. Today, there is a powerful movement by conservatives to cut or eliminate food assistance programs for the poor.

America is all about attitude, and her attitude has changed over the past 40 years. Today, the United States in not in a race to achievement, like putting the first man on the moon. The race is on to demonize the government so the public can be convinced to willingly hand the country over to corporate CEOs, under the guise of capitalists know best.

Capitalists care about making money and there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But capitalists do not necessarily care about governing the more than 300 million Americans who may be more interested in the quality of their families’ lives than they are in just turning a profit.

Despite what the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United, corporations are not human beings. But the mere fact that such a ruling would even be considered shows how much America’s attitude and priorities have changed. And look at what that change has caused. America’s rank continues to drop in life expectancy, education, and health care quality. Wages are stagnant, the gap between rich and poor has become a growing epidemic, more children are going hungry, and fewer people seem to care.

If America is ever going to be the greatest nation on earth again, its people need a major attitude and priority adjustment.

by Labor Creates All Wealth
Wednesday Jul 4th, 2012 12:34 AM
It is hard to believe this nonsense would appear on this website. The United States is a profoundly backward society precisely because its foundation is that of slavery and genocide, causing it to be one of the few countries in the world that still has the death penalty, not mentioned in the above article.

It has the highest infant mortality and lowest life expectancy in the industrialized world because it does not have socialized medicine but rather has the private profit racket known as insurance, a scheme promoted by the Democrats' latest healthcare bill that just won Supreme Court approval. IT IS THE PROFIT MOTIVE THAT IS LITERALLY KILLING US. The reason Germany won socialized medicine in 1883 is because its workingclass is older and has a longer history of struggle. Socialized medicine now exists in all of Europe, Israel, Cuba, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand. The prevalance of a private profit insurance racket epitomizes a very weak labor movement for it is a strong labor movement that makes possible socialized medicine and public school education. ALL PROFITS ARE OUR STOLEN LABOR and all capitalists care about is maximization of profit. The struggle is not between "progressives and conservatives" but between labor and capital.

In the 1970s, easily remembered by this writer, the class struggle and the fight against racism, were just as sharp as now. Our war was never with Vietnam or the rest of the world as the US had military bases around the world then too; that was the capitalists' war, just as making war on the people of the world is the capitalists' war today.

Racism in the USA stank worse than today, and it is terrible today. There were few occupations non-whites (mostly African Americans then as the Mexican and Asian immigration that we have today came later) could hold, whether it be firefighter or lawyer. The fight for integrated schools took place in the 1970s. The fight against racisim in the 1970s produced results in favor of non-whites at times, but this struggle was proof of much acrimony in this backward country.

Before 1973, abortion was illegal in most states, and it was unthinkable for women to work in many occupations, both in workingclass positions as well as professional positions. Divorce was just becoming an administrative procedure of irreconcilable differences, rather than having to establish guilt of adultery or some other such embarrassing problem. Women could not wear pants on the job, in the courthouse, or in school until the 1970s, and it was a battle in the 1970s for women to wear pants. By 1980, that was allowed in most places, but again, this was a battle within the USA.

Sodomy was illegal in this country and the gay liberation movement that led the fight for its legalization won some victories in the 1970s, but being openly gay was unthinkable in most of the country and that did not really change until the 21st century in most of the country, and it is still an uphill battle. This is just as much a civil rights issue as the fight against racism and male chauvinism.

The US was not growing economically in the 1970s; the post-war boom ended in the 1960s. The Tet Offensive in 1968 and Victory in Vietnam Day of April 30, 1975 were proof that the mightiest military machine that the world had seen since Nazi Germany, namely that of Nazi USA, could be and was defeated because US imperialism was rotting and continues to decline.

There was never a magnanimous attitude toward the poor in this country; it has always been one of contempt. We won Medicare in 1965 because labor was stronger then, and Medicare is not socialized medicine; there is vast room for improvement for the over age 65 population that it does cover and the rest of the population does not even have anything as good as Medicare.

All of the civil rights and anti-poverty battles were between Americans, and they were very bitter.

THE UNITED STATES WAS NEVER THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH. This drivel is the propaganda of the capitalist class to prevent labor's advances which can only be achieved by putting an end to the capitalist profit motive. Considering 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 50% of Americans cannot provide $2,000 for an emergency within 30 days, most Americans certainly do not believe there is anything great about this rotten society.