Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Freedom Will Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night

Adolph Hitler said: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” That line may never have been as true as it is today. What is that lie? It comes in many flavors: America is racist. Donald Trump is racist. Trump supporters are racists. Republicans are racists. You might notice a theme here. Now repeat the above and exchange the word racist for fascist...

None of those things are true. But truth doesn’t matter. Why? Because truth is not the objective, power is. In 2020 America, if you disagree with the left on anything from abortion to immigration to tax cuts to global warming you are an enemy who must be destroyed. And the primary weapons of choice are the slurs of racist and fascist.

And the beauty of it is that no proof beyond the assertion is necessary. Before he became president Donald Trump lived most of his life in front of cameras in the most media obsessed city on the planet. Morning shows, talk shows, radio shows, news shows, press conferences, grand openings, the Apprentice… you name it and Trump was there. As we all know, Donald Trump basically can’t keep his mouth shut, yet for the first 67 years of his life this man who never met a camera or microphone he could resist somehow kept the secret of his virulent racism a secret.

Then, once he became president he did such racist things as fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at a level no president ever had, label the KKK as a terrorist organization, signed into law sentencing reform that had been called for by black leaders for decades, pardon the late boxer Jack Johnson and the very much alive Alice Johnson. He also supported “opportunity zones”, pushed for school choice, both of which disproportionately benefit minorities, and at the same time created an economy that brought about the lowest black and Hispanic unemployment rates ever recorded. But he’s a racist.

The proof Donald Trump is a fascist is equally strong. He arrests and jails any reporter who dares to question him. He uses the CIA and FBI to spy on anyone who disagrees with him. He imprisons judges who rule against his policies. He trains the military on people who are peacefully protesting his policies. Clearly Donald Trump is a fascist.

To understand how accurate Hitler’s words are look no farther than a Newsweek piece from July: Half of Americans Think Trump Is Racist and an Additional 13 Percent Are Unsure.  That is simply staggering, and the reason is simple: In excess of 90% of the media coverage of Donald Trump is negative. “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Add to that the manipulation by Facebook, Google and Twitter and you get us to where we are today with an election that was not only stolen, but with 1/2 the population thinking that a flawed but good man is racist and a fascist... 

The above is only a symptom of the real problem however. The real target is not Donald Trump per se, but rather the half the population who support him, and the truth is they hated us long before Donald Trump came onto the political stage, most clearly seen when we were called racists and Nazis for opposing Barack Obama in 2008.


Democrats and their comrades get away with it because they know we respect the rule of law. In 2008 when we lost to Barack Obama we didn’t riot.  We peacefully protested and went to the voting booth. In 2010 we went to the polls and the Democrats lost 64 seats in the House and we finally turned the Senate red in 2014. That is what conservatives and Republicans generally do. We don’t riot when we don’t get our way. Even when we’re cheated, as happened in 1960 with Nixon, 2004 with Dino Rossi and 2008 with Norm Coleman, we don’t try to burn the country down because we respect the rule of law.

But the question is, what if there is no real law to respect?  What if there is one law for the suckers who play by the rules and basically a lack thereof for Democrats? For decades Democrats have fought attempts to secure out our voting process by continuously opposing voter ID, supporting same day voter registration and encouraging mail in balloting among other things. Any attempts to ensure credibility of the system were labeled “racist” or called “voter suppression” and usually withered on the vine. When they won in 2008 they proceeded to weaponize the federal government against the citizens. In the ultimate demonstration of such tactics, the Obama administration used the IRS to silence opponents, spied on media who dared question their actions and turned the FBI and the courts into a vehicles for the launching of a coup d'état against their successors. And now that they think they're poised to take complete power again, they’ve threatened to pack the Supreme Court, grow the Senate, eliminate the Electoral College and keep “lists” of their opponents. There's a word for that and it's not liberty.

What do 75 million Americans do if they discover that despite playing by the rules they’ve been duped again, this time on the single most important election of their lifetimes, with the future of the Republic literally hanging in the balance? They are told by the same media who spent four years pushing the fiction of Russian collusion that they should simply shut up and accept defeat, regardless of the myriad examples of voter fraud, both big and small.

Lincoln said “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” He was referring to the issue of slavery, but the line might also well apply here today. When fully half the American population loses confidence in the integrity of the election process upon which the nation is governed, loses confidence in the media - both traditional and social - who have been lying to them for years about fictional election tampering, and come to believe that their political opponents will use everything from rioting to mayhem to outright theft to gain control of the government, what should they do? What is their motivation to continue to participate in a process where the game is rigged?  What is their motivation to continue to engage in a system where one side believes the Constitution is but a barrier to be subverted rather than the rulebook by which the nation is governed? What is their motivation to be constrained by a Constitution which their opponents disregard at every turn as they seek to undermine the very rights it was written to protect? What is their motivation to engage in a process legally when they know that their opponents seek to bastardize that very process to accumulate more power and eviscerate the very ideas upon which the nation was founded?

I don’t have the answer and I’ve no idea where we are on a spectrum of anarchy vs. tyranny, but I’m certain that the closer Democrats push the United States towards tyranny the closer we get to a point where liberty loving Americans look for other means to protect the God given rights the Constitution was written to guarantee.  What that looks like, I’ve no idea, but Carl von Clausewitz once said “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” That’s something to keep in mind as the Democrats continue their march to eviscerate our Constitution and destroy the country that has given so much to so many for so long.  I don't believe that freedom will go quietly into that good night...

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

President Trump Keep the Faith - We've Got Your Back

If I could give Donald Trump a message I would say, please Mr. President, keep the faith.  You have been nothing short of spectacular over the last four years. Your limiting of regulatory overreach so that Americans of all stripes could pursue success and happiness unfettered by government was genius. The result was an economy on fire and record unemployment.  Your track record of filling courts with originalist jurists has created a bulwark against the red tide of liberalism.  Your willingness to step away from organizations and policies that have been followed for decades to America’s detriment took extraordinary courage. 

But you’ve been much more than your policies.  You’ve been... us.  You’ve been a leader for Americans who felt like America was being erased right in front of their eyes. Surprisingly to many, you have been a champion of small businesses, the font from which the American dream and prosperity flows.  You have been a champion for life and have helped others around the world embrace peace. And perhaps most of all, you have given half the country the courage to openly express their patriotism again.

The thing that is most extraordinary about you is the fact that you have done all of this and so much more while enduring unprecedented attacks from before you were even elected.  From the prior administration’s attempts to smother your presidency in the crib to the swamp dwellers’ attempts to undermine your policies to the media’s relentless vituperative attacks, you have never wavered; you stood your ground.

You are a combination of the best of the two greatest leaders of the 20th century:  Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill.  Reagan, like you, had a vision of America’s greatness and a recognition of how American freedoms have created more prosperity than any nation in human history, all while helping protect and promote freedom around the world.  You share that vision of American greatness and you articulate it every time you speak, inspiring tens of millions of Americans along the way.  Winston Churchill spent years in the wilderness being vilified for his stances against communism and fascism despite the clear danger posed by both.  The favorite disparagement of him was “War monger”.  For you the label is “racist” despite decades of demonstrating anything but and policies while in office that have been focused on the black community such as sentencing reform, unprecedented support for HBCUs and bringing about an historically low black unemployment rate.

The thing the three of you share is a willingness to endure the slings and arrows of your opponents because you know what you’re doing is right.  Mr. President your willingness to go out every day and engage with the media, “experts” and Democrats who disparage you relentlessly has inspired millions of Americans to stand up and finally declare that the media / academia / Democrat industrial complex is wrong and that America is not the evil empire they suggest it is.  America is not racist. America is not sexist.  America is not hateful, homophobic or Islamophobic.  Capitalism is not slavery and freedom comes from God not government. 

For the first time in 30 years conservatives feel like they have a champion who recognizes that the gift our Founding Fathers left us is indeed the goose that has lain the golden eggs both for the United States and the world.  America is not perfect, but she improves decade after decade after decade, something that cannot be said of most civilizations or nations.

Americans who value our freedoms, particularly those enshrined in the 1st and 2nd Amendments, find it challenging to stand and protect them when the “elites” and the media constantly tell us our words make us racists or our “clinging to our god and guns” makes us not fit for respect.  This is particularly true when those we elected to backstop our efforts falter.  But you don’t falter.  In Donald Trump we found a rock amidst the PC storm that has been battering America for years.   

And that is why we chose you.  To be our champion.  To have our backs.  To fight our fight with us as we unabashedly stand for America and her ideals.  To remind Americans and the world that the United States, while imperfect, is the greatest nation on earth, where anyone of any race, religion or color – and importantly – economic background, can succeed spectacularly and in the process potentially bring the same to friends, family and community. 

While it is you who has borne the primary burden for the last four years, we have been called racists, fascists and worse for supporting you.  It is a price that I and tens of millions of Americans willingly pay because we know it’s not true and we know you’ve got our backs.  Now, when it seems like the entire swamp has risen beyond its edge in an attempt to drown you and destroy America as we know it, we want you to know we have yours.  We will not allow the Democrats and their media water carriers to succeed as they attempt to steal this election by hook, crook or code.  We will not allow them to harness the power of the dead to steal this election.  We will not let them use the fear mongering they promoted about Covid as an avenue for overwhelming the electoral process and committing fraud.  We will not let the media and big tech shell game take our eyes off the fact that you played by the rules but they cheated.  No sir, this will not stand.

I’m not sure how Democrats believe that 70 million Americans who would have crawled over glass to vote for you believe that they were outvoted by a guy who could not fill a parking lot on his best day.  The media & Democrats borrow from Chico Marx to ask:  "Who are you going to trust, us or your lying eyes?"  We see their fraud staring us in the face, from dead voters to phantom ballots to computer “glitches”.  The level of fraud would be embarrassing in a banana republic, never mind here in America. 

All of this to say, Sir, please do not give up.  You have done too much for America.  You have fought too hard for the American people.  You have weathered too much for our values to give up now.  We have your back.  We see the finish line. You may have been knocked back by this assault on our Republic, but we are with you.  You were our vanguard for four years, preparing us for this moment in time and we will not abandon you just as you did not abandon us. We are at a precipice of history, and if we allow the left to steal this election it is not only your presidency that will have been extinguished, but it will be freedom and liberty and the American Constitution.  It will be the American torch that has led the world for so long. If we allow this fraud to succeed, there may no way back...

One more time Mr. President we ask you to stand with us in this dark hour.  The winds will no doubt be against us, the tide will be against us, but at the end of the day, together we will prevail and history will one day record the eight years of the Trump presidency as among the greatest in American history.  Ronald Reagan would no doubt be proud of the company.    

Monday, November 2, 2020

America on the Eve of the 2020 Election... Is it Even Worth Saving?

This past summer there were a lot of American flags ripped, walked on and set on fire around the country.  Protesters pulled down statues, looted stores and set buildings on fire across the country.  They claim that America is racist.  They claim Donald Trump is a fascist.  They suggest Capitalism is a cancer and must be replaced.  And the Constitution, as it has been a tool of oppression since its writing, must be eliminated. 

To listen to protesters speak, the United States is a cesspool of racism and oppression where only the rich thrive.

Maybe they’re right.  Maybe America is nothing but one large work camp where citizens are oppressed by their overlords where they have no freedoms and experience a quality of life that is something out of Dickens. Maybe…

If that’s true, it should be easy to spot.  Below are a variety of tables listing measures of life ranked by country.  The sources for each set of data is different but most evaluate between 180 & 210 countries, depending on how that term is defined. 



So what do the data say about this fascist, oppressive American country? Well, as a journalist might say... lets's go to the data.  

How about we start off with the basics… Life Expectancy.  Below is a table of selected countries for life expectancy.  The world average is 72.6 and the United States comes in at 78.9, putting it solidly in the top 25%.  That’s not terrible.

Life expectancy:

Hong Kong

84.7

Japan

84.5

Singapore

83.8

Italy

83.6

Australia

83.3

South Korea

82.8

Sweden

82.7

France

82.5

New Zealand

82.1

Germany

81.2

United Kingdom

81.2

United States

78.9

Mexico

75.0

Russia

72.4

South Africa

63.9

Haiti

63.7

Kenya

63.3

Nigeria

54.3

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

But of course life is one thing… being happy is something else.  Here the United States comes in 19th out of 156.  That’s pretty good.

Happiness: 

1

Finland

2

Denmark

3

Norway

4

Iceland

5

Netherlands

6

Switzerland

7

Sweden

8

New Zealand

9

Canada

10

Austria

11

Australia

12

Costa Rica

13

Israel

14

Luxembourg

15

United Kingdom

16

Ireland

17

Germany

18

Belgium

19

United States

20

Czech Republic

 https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/happiest-countries-in-the-world

Then of course there’s earning a living.  Below is a table with the average incomes around the world and the United States comes in at #5, with not a single country above the United States having more people than the city of New York. That matters of course because like herding cat, having a country where people are spread out over vast areas, have extraordinarily different backgrounds and heritages it’s far more difficult to get everyone on the same page in terms of what works to achieve prosperity.  America has done that.   

Average Wage:

1

Switzerland

$90,127

2

 Iceland

$70,628

3

 Luxembourg

$69,895

4

 Denmark

$64,229

5

 United States

$63,093

6

 Ireland

$56,787

7

 Norway

$53,049

8

 Australia

$52,261

9

 Netherlands

$51,313

10

 Belgium

$48,797

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage

And of course everyone talks about GDP, the sum of all of the goods and services a nation produces. Below is a table of the 15 nations with the largest GDPs in the world.  The United States, with 5% of the planet’s population produces 24% of the world’s economic output:

GDP:

1

United States

$21,427,700

2

China

$14,342,903

3

Japan

$5,081,770

4

Germany

$3,845,630

5

India

$2,875,142

6

United Kingdom

$2,827,113

7

France

$2,715,518

8

Italy

$2,001,244

9

Brazil

$1,839,758

10

Canada

$1,736,426

11

Russia[n 3]

$1,699,877

12

South Korea

$1,642,383

13

Spain

$1,394,116

14

Australia

$1,392,681

15

Mexico

$1,258,287

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

Another way of looking at this is GDP on a per capita basis.  Here too none of the nations above the United States has a population above that of New York.  Again, none of the other countries on this list comes close to being similar to the United States in terms of size and diversity of our population, and with only Australia being similar when compared to geographic footprint.

Per Capita GDP

1

Monaco

$185,741

2

Liechtenstein

$173,356

3

Luxembourg

$114,705

4

Macau

$84,096

5

Switzerland

$81,994

6

Ireland

$78,661

7

Norway

$75,420

8

Iceland

$66,945

9

United States

$65,281

10

Singapore

$65,233

11

Qatar

$64,782

12

Denmark

$59,822

13

Australia

$54,907

14

Netherlands

$52,448

15

Sweden

$51,610

16

Austria

$50,277

17

Hong Kong

$48,756

18

Finland

$48,686

19

San Marino

$48,481

20

Germany

$46,259

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita

Of course it’s not all about income, it’s about what you can do with that income.  Below is a table showing the top 20 countries (out of 101) based on the cost of living which measures what one can actually purchase with the money they earn.  And the United States comes in at 4.

Cost of Living (Purchasing Power Index)

1

Macao

2

Qatar

3

Luxembourg

4

United States

5

Norway

6

Switzerland

7

Ireland

8

Bermuda

9

Sweden

10

Iceland

11

Singapore

12

Netherlands

13

Germany

14

Denmark

15

Austria

16

Australia

17

United Arab Emirates

18

Belgium

19

Finland

20

Hong Kong

 https://www.worlddata.info/cost-of-living.php

Most of us work for a living and sometimes things work out well and we accumulate significant assets, making us millionaires!  Sadly, I’m not one of them, but there are a LOT of millionaires in the United States.  As a matter of fact, the United States, which again is 5% of the world’s population, is the home of fully 40% of the world’s millionaires:

Millionaires:

1

 United States

18,614

2

 China

4,447

3

 Japan

3,025

4

 United Kingdom

2,460

5

 Germany

2,187

6

 France

2,071

7

 Italy

1,496

8

 Canada

1,322

9

 Australia

1,180

10

 Spain

979

11

 Netherlands

832

12

  Switzerland

810

13

 India

759

14

 South Korea

741

15

 Taiwan

528

 And not only that, the number of millionaires as a percentage of the population is higher in the United States than any nation on the planet other than Switzerland… but in our defense, Switzerland has really good chocolate.

Percent of Population who are Millionaires

1

Switzerland

9.43%

2

 United States

5.67%

3

 Netherlands

4.87%

4

 Australia

4.68%

5

 United Kingdom

3.64%

6

 Canada

3.53%

7

 France

3.18%

8

 Germany

2.62%

9

 Italy

2.47%

10

 Japan

2.39%

11

 Taiwan

2.22%

12

 Spain

2.10%

13

 South Korea

1.45%

14

 China

0.31%

15

 India

0.06%

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_millionaires

Particularly important in this discussion is who those millionaires are.  The makeup of American millionaires is below.  Minorities, making up 40% of the nation’s population, make up 24% of the millionaires. 

And what’s equally important about achieving economic success is mobility into America’s economic elite.  Forbes, which publishes its annual Forbes 400 chronicling the 400 richest Americans reports that fully 70% of America’s richest individuals are self made while only 30% inherited their fortunes.

American Millionaires By Race (and Population Race Breakdown):

Of Millionaires

Of Population

White

14,146,640

76%

60%

Black

1,489,120

8%

13%

Asian

1,489,120

8%

6%

Hispanic

1,302,980

7%

18%

Other

186,140

1%

3%

 https://www.statista.com/statistics/300528/us-millionaires-race-ethnicity/

Forbes:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2020/09/08/self-made-score/?sh=4f077b3641e4

 But of course not everyone will end up millionaires, but opportunities exist nonetheless.  Below is a table that chronicles social mobility, which is roughly characterized as the ability to move from one economic level to another.  Of the approximately 180 countries in the world this table looks at the 82 with the most measurable opportunities.  The average of these 82 countries is 62.2, and the United States comes in position of 27 with a mobility score of 70.4, while Denmark is first with a score of 85.2 and Côte d’Ivoire is last with a score of 34.5.  A significant element of this measure is education and healthcare, both of which drag down the United States significantly thanks to excessive government intervention.

Social Mobility

1

Denmark

85.20

2

Norway

83.60

3

Finland

83.60

4

Sweden

83.50

5

Iceland

82.70

11

Germany

78.80

12

France

76.70

15

Japan

76.10

16

Australia

75.10

21

United Kingdom

74.40

22

New Zealand

74.30

27

United States

70.40

34

Italy

67.40

39

Russia

64.70

45

China

61.50

58

Mexico

52.60

66

Peru

49.90

67

Indonesia

49.30

81

Senegal

36.00

82

Côte d’Ivoire

34.50

 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-social-mobility-of-82-countries/

The reality of the fact that government intervention in healthcare and education handicap the country is be demonstrated by the following table that looks at the ease of doing business.  This metric includes starting a business as one of its measures, along with things like regulations, taxes, rule of law and others.  Starting a business is one of the most effective ways in which one might improve their family’s economic situation.  To the degree that the United States is ranked sixth out of 180 nations in terms of the ease of doing business yet 27th in terms of social mobility suggests that that economic opportunity is very real, while other measures hold the country back. 

Ease of Doing Business

1

 New Zealand

2

 Singapore

3

 Hong Kong

4

 Denmark

5

 South Korea

6

 United States

7

 Georgia

8

 United Kingdom

9

 Norway

10

 Sweden

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ease_of_doing_business_index

How about getting to work to run that business or make that money – and hopefully have some fun too!  Americans love to drive.  As such, the price of gas is a big deal.  Below is what people pay in different countries for gas.  The world average is $3.80 and the US comes in at $2.15 per gallon while in France they pay $5.94 and in Hong Kong they pay $8.49!

Gas Price (Price Per Gallon on October 26, 2020)

Venezuela

$.08

Kuwait

$1.35

Nigeria

$1.51

Saudi Arabia

$1.60

Russia

$2.31

United States

$2.51

China

$3.39

Canada

$3.44

Australia

$3.34

Japan

$4.67

Luxembourg

$4.75

Spain

$5.14

New Zealand

$5.21

Germany

$5.37

Ireland

$5.60

United Kingdom

$5.65

Sweden

$5.94

France

$5.94

Norway

$6.09

Finland

$6.35

Italy

$6.69

Denmark

$6.30

Netherlands

$6.96

Hong Kong

$8.49

 https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

But it’s not just gas, but there’s buying a car and maintaining it.  Below is a table that shows the percentage of annual salary it would take to buy a family car and operate it for one year.  These costs include not only the car and its gas, but insurance and maintenance as well.

Car Economics:

Cost of buying a new family car

Cost of buying & operating as % of annual income

1

UAE

$15,383

1.20%

2

Australia

$16,418

4.08%

3

New Zealand

$20,031

4.86%

4

Germany

$19,114

5.22%

5

Canada

$12,704

6.01%

6

Japan

$18,236

6.83%

7

USA

$14,158

7.06%

8

UK

$18,058

7.42%

9

Ireland

$20,351

7.48%

10

Italy

$22,556

7.61%

Others in the sample

Russia

$13,912

18.03%

India

$24,596

19.68%

China

$14,819

22.16%

Mexico

$11,421

24.91%

Portugal

$22,610

49.00%

Brazil

$24,827

55.51%

 https://www.comparethemarket.com/car-insurance/content/global-car-index/#pills-family-car

And where might an American drive?  How about home!  Below is a table showing the size of homes for various countries around the world.  The only nation where homes are bigger on average than in the United States is Australia, but that should be expected as apparently all Australians keep pet crocodiles!

Comparison of Home Sizes Measured by Square Foot:

Australia

2,032

US

1,901

Canada

1,792

UK

1,590

France

1,556

Germany

1,477

Mexico

1,416

Spain

1,314

Brazil

1,288

 https://www.point2homes.com/news/canada-real-estate/how-large-are-canadian-homes.html

It’s not just the freedom to drive around that American’s like.  For a nation that was founded on the pursuit of freedom, freedom of all sorts is still important.  Below are two tables, one measuring Economic Freedom and the other Personal Freedom. 

The freedoms in the following two tables in this analysis encompass a variety of measures including these: Rule of Law / Security and Safety / Movement / Religion / Association, Assembly, and Civil Society / Expression and Information / Identity and Relationships / Size of Government / Legal System and Property Rights.  The numbers below are the top nations of the total pool of 162 nations measured.

Freedom:

Economic Freedom

 

Personal Freedom

1

Hong Kong

1

Sweden

2

New Zealand

2

Netherlands

3

Switzerland

3

New Zealand

4

US

4

Finland

5

Ireland

5

Luxembourg

6

UK

6

Norway

7

Canada

7

Germany

8

Australia

8

Austria

9

Malta

9

Switzerland

10

Denmark

10

Denmark

11

Estonia

11

Canada

12

Luxembourg

12

Australia

13

Taiwan

13

Iceland

14

Germany

14

Estonia

15

Finland

15

Taiwan

16

Iceland

16

Ireland

17

Sweden

17

UK

18

Netherlands

18

Malta

19

Austria

19

US

20

Norway

20

Hong Kong

 https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/human-freedom-index-files/cato-human-freedom-index-update-3.pdf (Page 8)

And of course the number one freedom someone can have is the freedom of speech. Without the freedom to say what’s on your mind without fear of retribution from the government is the strongest tool available for keeping a government honest.  Below is a table demonstrating something that anyone paying attention this summer would recognize, Americans have a level of free speech unfettered by government authorities that is unprecedented in the world. 

Free Speech:

1

United States

2

Poland

3

Spain

4

Mexico

5

Venezuela

6

Canada

7

Australia

8

Argentina

9

South Africa

10

United Kingdom

 https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-with-freedom-of-speech

Another part of freedom is access to information, which is increasingly delivered via the Internet.  Below is a table that looks at the percent of the population with Internet access for 214 countries. 

Internet access:

1

 Falkland Islands

99%

2

 Andorra

98%

3

 Bermuda

98%

4

 Iceland

98%

5

 Liechtenstein

98%

6

 Kuwait

98%

7

 Luxembourg

97%

8

 Faroe Islands

97%

9

 Aruba

97%

10

 Monaco

97%

11

 Norway

96%

12

 Sweden

96%

13

 United States

96%

14

 Qatar

95.%

15

 Bahrain

95.88%

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_Internet_users

Here are some other measures of the United States and its opportunities, possibilities and successes.

Education.  Below is a table looking at what nations spend on primary education.  The United States sits at #1 by a significant margin.  (Sadly we don’t get the results one might expect from such spending, but that’s a story for another day… (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/)

Education Spending:

1

United States

$26,021

2

Canada

$23,225

3

Switzerland

$22,881

4

Denmark

$21,253

5

Sweden

$20,818

6

Norway

$18,840

7

Finland

$18,001

8

Netherlands

$17,549

9

Germany

$16,722

10

Japan

$16,445

11

Australia

$16,267

12

Ireland

$16,095

13

Belgium

$15,420

14

France

$15,374

15

Austria

$14,894

 https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=RGRADSTY

While the United States may lag far behind on academic success in primary education, our university system is the best in the world by far.  Below are the 15 best universities in the world and the only two on the list that are not from the United States are Oxford and Cambridge in the UK. 

World’s Best Universities

1

Harvard

2

MIT

3

Stanford

4

UC Berkeley

5

Oxford

6

Columbia

7

Cal Tech

8

University of Washington

9

Cambridge

10

Johns Hopkins

11

Princeton

12

Yale

13

UCLA

14

University of Pennsylvania

15

University of California SF

 https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/rankings

Americans also spend a great deal of resources on healthcare, again with mixed results. (https://ceoworld.biz/2019/08/05/revealed-countries-with-the-best-health-care-systems-2019/)   Below are the per capita dollars spent on healthcare in a variety of nations.  The United States is again at the top, by a substantial margin.

Healthcare Spending (2016)

1

United States

$9,892

2

Switzerland

$7,919

3

Luxembourg

$7,463

4

Norway

$6,647

5

Germany

$5,551

6

Ireland

$5,528

7

Sweden

$5,488

8

Netherlands

$5,385

9

Austria

$5,227

10

Denmark

$5,205

11

Belgium

$4,840

12

Canada

$4,753

13

Australia

$4,708

14

France

$4,600

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capita

Then there is charity.  The United States spends more money on charity than any other nation by far.  That is a function of both the largest GDP as well as the percentage of giving.  That is reflected in the table on the left below.  The table on the right measures a more holistic giving approach that combines donations, volunteering and helping strangers.  Here the United States sits at number two.

Most Charitable Nations:

Charity as % of GDP (1)

 

Overall Giving (2)

1

 United States

1.44%

1

Myanmar

2

 New Zealand

0.79%

2

United States

3

 Canada

0.77%

3

Australia

4

 United Kingdom

0.54%

4

New Zealand

5

 South Korea

0.50%

5

Sri Lanka

6

 Singapore

0.39%

6

Canada

7

 India

0.37%

7

Indonesia

8

 Russia

0.34%

8

United Kingdom

9

 Italy

0.30%

9

Ireland

10

 Netherlands

0.30%

10

UAE

 (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_charitable_donation

(2) https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/1950a_wgi_2016_report_web_v2_241016.pdf

But it’s not just charity that demonstrates America’s willingness to help, it’s the total social welfare spending.  For whatever one’s views on such endeavors, the United States is behind only France in social welfare spending.  This measure includes things such as public and private social expenditure, the effect of direct taxes (income tax and social security contributions), indirect taxation of consumption on cash benefits, as well as tax breaks for social purposes.

The table below is a demonstration of something that most Americans would never imagine to be ture, but it is:  the average poor person in the United States has a standard of living that is above that of the average European. (https://fee.org/articles/the-poorest-20-of-americans-are-richer-than-most-nations-of-europe/)   

Total Social Welfare Spending (Public & Private)

1

 France

2

 United States

3

 Belgium

4

 Netherlands

5

 Denmark

6

 Italy

7

 Finland

8

 Germany

9

 Sweden

10

 United Kingdom

11

 Austria

12

  Switzerland

13

 Australia

14

 Japan

15

 Portugal

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_social_welfare_spending

Given that life is not all about economics or education or healthcare, here are some other measures of America on the world stage:

Individuals in the United States have garnered more Nobel Prizes of all sorts than the next five countries combined. 

Nobel Prizes:

1

United States

390

2

United Kingdom

135

3

 Germany

108

4

 France

70

5

 Sweden

32

6

 Russia/ Soviet Union

31

7

  Switzerland

28

8

 Japan

28

9

 Canada

27

10

 Austria

22

11

 Netherlands

21

12

 Italy

20

13

 Poland

19

14

 Denmark

13

15

 Hungary

13

16

 Norway

13

17

 India

12

18

 Australia

14

19

 Israel

12

20

 Belgium

11

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country

 Although not as overwhelming, Americans also top the Olympic medal count.

Olympic Medals

1

United States

2,828

2

USSR / Russia

1,751

3

Germany / East Germany

1,374

4

Great Britian

883

5

France

840

6

Italy

701

7

Sweden

652

8

China

608

9

Norway

520

10

Australia

512

11

Canada

501

12

Hungary

498

13

Japan

497

14

Finland

470

15

Netherlands

415

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-time_Olympic_Games_medal_table

 We are slight slackers however when it comes to spending on video games.  Americans come in number 3 behind Japan and South Korea on this important measure.

 Video Game Spending – Per Person

1

Japan

$98.63

2

South Korea

$78.87

3

US

$65.56

4

UK

$52.74

5

Canada

$47.67

6

Germany

$44.03

7

France

$36.72

8

Spain

$33.28

9

Italy

$25.10

10

China

$15.88

 https://www.gamespot.com/articles/here-are-the-top-100-countries-ranked-in-terms-of-/1100-6431484/

There is one last measure that must be looked at.  That is Defense.  The United States spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined.  For some that might sound problematic, but the reality is that American spending on defense has allowed the world, particularly Europe to thrive.  The second table below shows defense spending as a percent of GDP.  One of the reasons that European nations are able to generate such extensive welfare spending programs is that they have kept their defense spending low for decades while the United States defense expenditures brought about the longest period of overall peace in Europe in history.  That spending may not show up in happiness measures or salary measures, but it most certainly shows up in the fact that both Europe and the United States remain bastions of freedom, democracy and peace, and the carnage of a world war is a distant memory we read about rather than something we all experienced firsthand. The first table shows absolute defense spending and the second shows spending as a percentage of GDP.

Defense Spending:

Absolute Dollars:

1

United States

$685

2

China

$181

3

Saudi Arabia

$78

4

Russia

$62

5

India

$61

6

United Kingdom

$55

7

France

$52

8

Japan

$49

9

Germany

$49

10

South Korea

$40

11

Brazil

$28

12

Italy

$27

13

Australia

$26

14

Israel

$23

15

Iraq

$21

 As a Percentage of GDP

1

Saudi Arabia

$78

8.00%

2

Israel

$23

5.30%

3

Russia

$62

3.90%

4

United States

$685

3.40%

5

South Korea

$40

2.70%

6

Iraq

$21

2.40%

7

Australia

$26

1.90%

8

France

$52

1.90%

9

Germany

$49

1.90%

10

United Kingdom

$55

1.70%

11

Brazil

$28

1.50%

12

Italy

$27

1.40%

13

China

$181

1.30%

14

India

$61

1.30%

15

Japan

$49

0.90%

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

At the end of the day, this is piece is a chronicle of the reality of America. America is indeed imperfect, no doubt for every table here someone can find their own tables that paint a far darker picture using their own sources.  America does have inequality, dysfunctional education and healthcare systems and too much government regulation, but at the same time, Americans have done more with what they have than any nation on earth.  America offers economic opportunities on a wider scale (both geographic and occupational) than any nation on earth. From Florida to New York to California to Wyoming the opportunities are simply staggering from doctor to scientist to graphic designer to business consultant to startup founder to mechanic to plumber to Instagram model…  

What many of the protesters don’t care about is the fact that the United States Constitution guarantees Americans freedoms that people in most of the world can only dream of and to the degree that others share some of them, those freedoms are often at the mercy of political majorities.  That includes minority opinions because things that the majority agree with don’t generally need protection. 

At the same time, the United States regularly receives more immigrants from more places than any nation on earth and gives them opportunities and freedoms most would or could not dream of at home.  And it integrates immigrants at a pace that no nation has in history.

While there are racial tensions in the United States as there have been since its founding, in the last half century the country has made extraordinary leaps which can be seen in both culture and economics, the former can be seen on televisions, on sports shows and regularly on the radio while the latter is demonstrated by the fact that 8% of American millionaires are black, 8% are Asian and 7% are Hispanic.  I’ve not found a source thus far, but one can imagine that those numbers were far smaller during the 1950’s and 1960’s. But I can say that the story the Democrats and the media try and foist on us that America is indeed a bastion of racism is fiction.  (https://imperfectamerica.blogspot.com/2020/06/data-shows-driving-while-black-meme-is.html)

For those who want to tear apart American culture because it’s not what they like, denigrate American values because we’ve not achieved them on their timetable, want to overthrow America’s capitalist system because they’d prefer the “equality” promised by socialism or Communism, I’d ask, what place in the world today, or in world history has a nation done a better job than America of giving opportunity to its citizens, generating prosperity for its citizens, protecting its citizens’ freedoms and at the same time helping drive prosperity and peace around the world?  If such a nation exists perhaps I’d certainly be interested in reading about it.

Tomorrow there are two choices on the ballot.  One candidate, a very flawed but passionate man, understands that the United States is the greatest nation to ever grace the face of this earth and sees his role as protecting that legacy and rolling back government intervention to allow Americans of all stripes to address the country’s shortcomings and achieve even greater success in the future. 

The other also an imperfect man, but he sees the United States as a highly flawed nation, he sees Americans of various identities as victims and the Constitution as a roadblock to change rather than a guarantee of freedom and a limit on government intervention on behalf of the majority. 

If you like what you’ve seen in the streets of America over the last six months and would like to see more of it, Joe Biden is your man and the Democrats are your party.  If however you believe like Ronald Reagan that America’s best days are ahead of her and that freedom and opportunity are the solutions to most of the problems we face, Donald Trump is your man and the Republicans are your party.