American Exceptionalism (The Bad Kind)

By PATRICK WOOD

  • The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer guaranteed paid maternity leave. In fact, there are a grand total of three countries that do not do this — The United States, Suriname, and Papua New Guinea. Source: ABC News
  • The United States leads the world’s advanced countries in gun violence. It’s not even close. Americans are 20 times as likely to die from gun violence as citizens of other advanced countries. Source: Politifact.com
  • The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t use the metric system. It is one of only three countries in the world not to use the system. The other two are Myanmar and Liberia. Source: Gizmodo.com
  • 73 countries have a smaller gender pay gap than the United States. Source: CNN.com
  • The United States has some of the worst income and wealthy inequality in the world. Comparable nations include Rwanda, Uganda, and Madagascar. Source: The Atlantic
  • The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, rivaled only by the Seychelles. Source:Politifact.com

It is one of the most often used applause lines by our politicians that America is the greatest country on earth. Perhaps it is. But if it is, it is not because of the America that our elected officials of the 21st century have constructed and presented to the rest of the world. It is not because of democracy or basic rights and liberties as these features are not unique to us. It can only be because of the American spirit, because of American people and places, entrepreneurship, culture, art, entertainment, military power or perhaps that America’s diversity is a melting pot of the spirit, art, religion, and culture of so many other nations.

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