Now, you all know that I love my country. However, I must admit, this article in a twin cities newspaper didn’t exactly surprise me.

the U.S. has lots of problems, and under its current leadership, a lot of those problems are not being well addressed.

But just to scare you further, here are some excerpts from the above mentioned article that basically says Europe is basically number one in the world now:

“The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004). ”

That’s a biggie for me. Literacy is such a basic thing. I read statistics like that before and the meaning never really sunk in until I lived in Japan and was reduced to a very low level of literacy. It sucks rocks. Believe me.

“Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005). “

Uh…YIKES! that’s terrible.

“Of the 20 most developed countries in the world, the U.S. was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce in the 1980s…. In the 1990s, the U.S. average compensation growth rate grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1 percent” (The European Dream, p.39). Yet Americans work longer hours per year than any other industrialized country, and get less vacation time.
“Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies” (The European Dream, p.66). ”

“In a recent survey of the world’s 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European” (The European Dream, p.69).

“Fourteen of the 20 largest commercial banks in the world today are European…. Not a single American engineering and construction company is included among the world’s top nine competitors. In food and consumer products, Nestlé and Unilever, two European giants, rank first and second, respectively, in the world. (The European Dream, p.68). “

Okay, so financially blah blah blah…..we suck rocks. We are not even doing well on the one thing we are supposed to do well: capitalism!

But the most shocking one for me was this one:

“One-third of all U.S. children are born out of wedlock. One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004). ”

Not that I care about being married or what have you, but being a single parent is difficult. Or just being a child with separated or divorced parents also sometimes is difficult. If HALF the children in the U.S. are experiencing or are going to experience this, how scary. Children should have AT LEAST two committed caregivers. Maybe anti-gay marriage people should “smoke on your pipe and put that in”.

We need more marriage/hand-fastings/committed relationships for procreation. (not in general, just for having kids)

(I just realized, even the title of this entry is stolen from a European song.)