America is the 13th richest country in the world.
But a society with serious problems.
The first is violence. In a country where in many states it is relatively easy to acquire weapons of war (not just self-defense), crime statistics are much higher than in other OECD countries. Being (per thousand inhabitants) in homicides, house robberies or rape (in the latter there is the exception of Sweden!? with 60 per 100,000 people, compared with 25 in the USA, 9 in Germany, 7 in Switzerland and 1.4 in Canada) .
It’s been four years now that in the US there’s more than one mass shooting a day. And the statistics continue…, with the US leading in domestic violence, percentage of the population in prison, etc. etc.
The problem of health must then be added to the violence, as in most indicators the US is worse than the other developed countries: in the percentage of the obese population; with eating disorders; with incidence of Parkinson’s; or cancer. Life expectancy at birth? 79 years in America, compared to 81 in Germany, 82 in Canada and Sweden and 83 in Switzerland. And so on.
Race relations in the US are not easy, either, with a series of indicators illustrating that the African-American community is downright worse than the white in the unemployment rate, percentage share of the labor market, home ownership, people below the line of poverty, percentage of people benefiting from food stamps, etc.
This inequality is not from today. But there are numerous statistics that indicate its worsening. And above all, what is new is that this inequality (problem 4) is spreading to middle-low-class whites (45-54 years old) whose mortality (!) is increasing, as pointed out by Anne Case and Angus Deaton (Nobel 2015) in the magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Causes? Drugs, alcohol, cancer (especially lung), suicides, various types of liver disease.
And to the increase in mortality must be added that of morbidity, i.e. the inability to adapt to daily life. The lack of quality of life that in some cases translates into growing psychological disturbances and generally a feeling of pain / discomfort that creates difficulties in daily living, in daily life.
U.S.A.? A strong economy? Certainly. A free and open society? Also. A political system with checks and balances? Certainly. But a country with serious social and health problems.
The fear is that over time, if these are not resolved they will eventually weaken them. Hopefully not, not only for the Americans, but because the world needs a strong and healthy USA. We’ll see.