WE’RE #1?

Kamil Zogby blogs a piece by an Andrew Benjamin (no link) that says:

Women in this country get more benefits and opportunities than most men in any part of the world. Minorities live better in this country than anywhere else in the world. Health care is better in the US than anywhere else in the world. The quality of life is better for all segments of society than anywhere else in the world. Safety and well-being is higher than anywhere in the world. The air and water quality is better than anywhere else. Political and economic freedom is greater than anywhere else in the world. Even sex is better than anywhere else in the world if you get some.

I tend to agree with his sentiment–the US is on balance the freest, most prosperous country on earth–although one could quibble with the generality of the quote. So I shall:

  • It’s almost certainly the case that minorities, blacks in particular, are better off in the US than elsewhere. It’s debatable that they’re as well off as whites, which I guess is a fair standard, although the reasons for that are also debatable.
  • The women’s issue is tougher, because I don’t know what the standard is. If it means “treated more like men,” maybe there are other societies that are closer. There are certainly places where women occupy a higher percentage of the elective offices and are more integrated into military combat arms units and so forth. I’m not sure there are any places where, on balance, it’s better to be a woman, though.
  • Ditto health care. I think it’s almost certainly true if one is wealthy or even well insured. For the poor, one is arguably better off in a wealthy, socialist country.
  • Surely, some place has better air and water quality?
  • Australia is more free economically, if John Stossel is to be believed. (TV show on “Greed” a while back; no link, obviously)
  • FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
    James Joyner
    About James Joyner
    James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


    1. Paul says:

      The women’s issue is tougher

      Picking metrics for things like this is tough but the woemn have all the money. (well ok more money then us guys)

      And they live longer.

      It can’t be all bad.

    2. That’s not true. In many other nations, women get far more child-rearing assistance, so they don’t have to go back to work six weeks after giving birth.

      That’s only one issue I can think of off the top of my head.

      Statements like Zogby’s aren’t really worth the paper they’re printed on if he can’t back them up with facts. I can pretty much make any statement I damned well please if we’re going to go by those parameters.

      Show me the facts, please.