13 Horrible Things in Which the US Leads the World

the most obese country
We're the Fattest
Photo Credit: Business Insider

For the time being the U.S. has the largest economy in the world. We're also Numero Uno in military power, for now. But there are 13 things in which we are number one that, unchecked, will eventually make us second or third place in economic and military power. This article is not written to bash our country, but to help make it stronger and better - please read I am an American to understand the depth of my love for this country.

Sadly I offer to my readers the following 13 not-so-good categories in which we are number one:

  1. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world (1).

  2. People unfamiliar with how our justice system works will justify our high incarceration rate by asserting that it deters future criminals from committing crimes. Obviously it's not working. In fact, it has had the opposite effect: There are more crimes committed annually in the US than anywhere else in the world (2).

  3. We have more citizens with useless college degrees than any other nation (3).

    I have previously suggested that We Need Fewer Students Going to College.

  4. As a percent of GDP we lead in spending on health care (4).

    Our staggering expenditures in the healthcare sector bodes ill for our future. Eventually it will swallow our entire GDP.

  5. We have the most over-medicated citizenry on Earth (5).

  6. We have the largest trade deficit in the world (6).

  7. We spend more on the military than any other nation (7).

    That we are the strongest military power is a good thing. However, one day China will outspend us. We have to learn not to spend a lot, but to spend smart.

  8. We have the most complicated tax system in the entire world (8). We could save trillions of dollars a year by going to a flat tax.

  9. Related to the above we also have the highest corporate tax rate (9). We could raise trillions of dollars more by abolishing taxes on corporations.

  10. Despite the highest and most complicated tax system, we have accumulated the largest national debt ever by any country in history (10).

  11. We have the highest divorce rate (11).

  12. Because of our War on Drugs we now have the highest rate of illegal drug use (12), which also contributes to our position in category #1.

    Now that pot is beginning to be legalized in many states, I expect the rate of illegal drug use to plummet.

  13. We top the list of most obese countries (13).

This has been a Thursday 13 post [# 110] and is updated on some Thursdays.



NY Times, 23 Apr 2008, U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.


The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation...


mapsofworld.com, Countries with highest reported crime rates:

1United States of America12,408,899
4Russian Federation1,041,340


The American Dream, 23 Jun 2011, Is College Worth It?

For millions of Americans it works out well, but millions of other college graduates have found themselves completely unable to get a quality job in this economy and yet they are still trapped in a nightmare of student loan debt from which there is no escape. Millions of young Americans have discovered that they have become “indentured servants” the moment they graduate. The entire system encourages our young people to take out whatever college loans they “need” without worrying how they will pay them back because a college education is such a good “investment”. Once upon a time, a college education was actually an almost automatic ticket to the middle class. Today, a college education does not guarantee you anything, but for millions of Americans it does turn out to be an automatic ticket to student loan hell.


Medical News Today, US health care spending shows dramatic reduction in growth

The USA spends more money on health care per person than any country in the world. Though health care expenditure previously grew at a high annual rate, a new study published in The Lancet has reported that this growth in spending has slowed down greatly over the past decade.


The Economic Collapse Blog, 29 Jun 2011, 50 U.S. Health Care Statistics That Will Absolutely Astonish You

We are the most medicated population on the planet and yet we are also one of the sickest.


WND, Manufacturing's dismal decade

[From December 2000 to December 2010] America ran a total of $6.1 trillion in trade deficits, more than our entire economic growth. To finance those 10 years of deficits, America had to borrow $1.553 billion every day.


The Daily Bail, CHART: U.S. Military Spending Vs. The World

military spending chart


Wikipedia, Taxation in the United States

Taxes in the United States are administered by literally hundreds of tax authorities.


KPMG, Corporate tax rates table

United States 40%


Telegraph, 25 Jun 2011, Don't be distracted by Greece: Americans must also face financial facts

America's federal government debt is growing at $40,000 per second. It has reached $14 trillion, whatever that means. More comprehensible perhaps is this fact: the debt will soon match the entire GDP of the United States. Outside wartime, that has never happened before.


NationMaster.com, Divorce rate: Countries Compared

#CountryRate per 1,000 people
1United States4.95
2Puerto Rico4.47
4United Kingdom3.08


CBS News, 1 Jul 2008, U.S. Leads the World in Illegal Drug Use

The World Health Organization's survey of legal and illegal drug use in 17 countries, including the Netherlands and other countries with less stringent drug laws, shows Americans report the highest level of cocaine and marijuana use.


US News, 28 May 2014, America Tops List of 10 Most Obese Countries

Top 10 Most Obese Countries:

1. United States
2. China
3. India
4. Russia
5. Brazil
6. Mexico
7. Egypt
8. Germany
9. Pakistan
10. Indonesia

### End of my article ###

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