U.S. Trails World in Coronavirus Response and Almost Everything Else

20.06.2020 - US, United States - David Swanson

U.S. Trails World in Coronavirus Response and Almost Everything Else

Data from around the world on how nations are handling Coronavirus makes clear that, as in most things (this claim is documented below), the United States is exceptionally awful. Among wealthy countries, only Sweden, which has chosen to intentionally allow the disease to spread, has done worse. A handful of countries in Latin America and the Middle East are doing worse than the United States, though some are doing better. As in many world rankings, as documented below, the United States looks fair to middling as a third-world country, but off-the-charts terrible as a wealthy country — much less as a country that endlessly (albeit falsely; see below) calls itself the wealthiest country on earth ever.

The United States’ handling of Coronavirus is not a fluke. It’s not an exception. It’s not a case of a country that’s generally competent and well-run screwing up. It’s completely in line with U.S. conduct on everything else, which is why it was quite easy to predict, which is why I predicted it. To make this case, below is an excerpt from Curing Exceptionalism.

The United States in geographic size is much smaller than Russia, a little smaller than Europe if Europe is treated as one whole, and by most calculations slightly smaller than Canada or China. The United States is significantly bigger than Brazil or Australia, and dramatically bigger than each of some 200 other countries, including each separate country of Europe.[i]

The United States in population size is dramatically smaller than China or India but significantly larger than every other country on earth. [ii]

Because the United States is larger in both area and population than most countries, it’s important to look not just at straightforward comparisons but also at per-square-mile and per-capita comparisons whenever relevant and possible.

The U.S. ranks as the top publisher of rankings, hands down. So it’s important to look at both U.S. and any non-U.S. sources of rankings that can be found.

Although many in the United States like to think of it as holding first place in many admirable categories, it’s hard to actually find a category where this is true. Perhaps the most popular claim is on behalf of “freedom.” The United States is said to be the most “free.” But virtually no study, from any political perspective, actually makes that finding.

The British-based Legatum Institute, which ranks the United States 18th in overall “prosperity,” ranks it 28th in “personal freedom.”[iii] The U.S.-based Cato Institute ranks the United States 24th in “personal freedom” and 11th in “economic freedom.”[iv] The Canadian-based World Freedom Index ranks the United States 27th in a combined consideration of “economic,” “political,” and “press” freedoms.[v] The U.S.-government-funded Freedom House ranks the United States 16th in “civil liberties.”[vi] The French-based Reporters Without Borders ranks the United States 43rd in “press freedom.”[vii] The U.S.-based Heritage Foundation ranks the United States 18th in “economic freedom.”[viii] The Spanish-based World Index of Moral Freedom ranks the United States 7th.[ix] The British-based Economist Magazine‘s Democracy Index has the United States in a three-way tie for 20th place.[x] The CIA-funded Polity Data Series gives the U.S. democracy a score of 8 out of 10, but gives 58 other countries a higher score.[xi]

Some of these sources’ conceptions of freedom are at odds with each other, as well as with my own conception of a good society. The point is that virtually nobody, on the left or the right or anywhere else, ranks the United States as the leader in liberty, by any definition — not even in the “economic liberty” of capitalism. Related, albeit inversely, to freedom is incarceration, where the United States does rank first in overall number of prisoners, and in per-capita rate of imprisonment (with the possible exception of the Seychelles Islands).[xii]

Among those who have looked seriously into such matters and still claimed first place for the United States in some admirable category, the most common category is probably “top-ranked” or “research” universities. It is perhaps not as grand a claim as “Land of the Free,” but “land of the good universities” is still a nice title.

The United States is indeed often ranked as having the most overall, and the most top-ranked universities in the world. But both claims are false if a per-capita comparison is used. The United States has also been ranked as producing the most doctoral degrees (PhDs), though that, too, isn’t true per capita.[xiii] All such numerical comparisons are of limited value, of course. For example, we’d probably be better off if certain for-profit, non-educational, debt-trap universities did not exist. And a majority of supporters of the Republican Party tell the Pew Research Center that higher education as a whole has a negative impact.[xiv] Providing a hint at divisions within, the United States may have both the most PhDs and the most people who believe college is bad for you.

Nonetheless, numbers are a place to start, and there do seem to exist some credible numbers related to universities declared by various sources to be “top-ranked.” Rankings from the United States[xv], United Kingdom[xvi], and China[xvii] all place the U.S. first in most universities in the top 100, but ninth or tenth in the same measurement per capita. Countries that lead the U.S. in at least one study in most universities in the top 100 per capita are Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Having the most top universities is certainly significant, and even ranking ninth or tenth in having the most top universities per capita is pretty darn good. Of course, these calculations do not tell us the quality of the lower-ranked universities that most students attend. Nor do they consider the sizes of the universities or the moral character of what is taught in them. They certainly do not consider the cost of the universities or the debt that typical students find themselves in after attending. The United States leads the world in student debt,[xviii] while dozens of countries offer free university educations. And the United States has slipped from first place to now trail several other countries in per-capita college graduation rate.[xix] So one can cheer for the rankings won by top U.S. universities, but a U.S. student is less likely to actually attend any university, and more likely — if he or she does attend — to emerge burdened with tremendous debt.

YAY, NUMBER ONE!

Of course, it would be odd for a country near the top in population and area not to rank #1 in some things, and having the most top-ranked universities is a pretty good one. But it does matter to the quality of life in the United States that it is not in first place in a per capita comparison. One way to judge the quality of much of the university education in the United States, and the education of those millions of students who do not attend universities, is to look at primary and secondary education, where the United States ranks mediocre at best. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranks U.S. students 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in both science and reading.[xx] The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) ranks U.S. students in tenth place or lower in every category (both math and science in both fourth and eighth grades) out of 50 some countries looked at in each case.[xxi]

So, perhaps the United States is not a clear-cut world leader in freedom or education, but surely there must be something else admirable that it leads in, right? Well, there’s the Olympic medal count, although it doesn’t hold up under a per capita comparison or a geographic area comparison,[xxii] and it may be slipping away. In the 2018 winter olympics, three nations, all with much smaller populations, picked up more medals than did the United States.[xxiii]

There’s also the sheer pile of money. The United States has the largest nominal gross domestic product (GDP).[xxiv] In GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), however, the United States trails China and the European Union.[xxv] (PPP is a means of calculating exchange rates between currencies that controls for variations in cost of living and pricing.) In neither measure of wealth is the United States a leader per capita.[xxvi] And, even if it were, that wouldn’t mean what it sounds like for most people in the United States, because this country with the biggest bucket of cash also has it distributed the most unequally of any wealthy nation, giving the United States both the biggest collection of billionaires[xxvii] on earth and the highest or nearly highest rates of poverty and child-poverty among wealthy nations.[xxviii] The United States ranks 111th out of 150 countries for income equality, according to the CIA[xxix], or 100th out of 158, according to the World Bank[xxx], while for equitable distribution of wealth (a very different measure from income), according to one calculation[xxxi], the United States ranks 147th out of 152 countries.

In December 2017, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty issued a report on the United States that included these lines:[xxxii]

  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries.
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average. [OECD means the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an organization that has 35 member countries.]
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14 percent across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries.
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league.” US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

So, perhaps wealth is not the ideal topic to focus on, any more than freedom or education. We could focus on worker productivity except that the long hours with less vacation enjoyed by U.S. workers do not actually make them the most productive, per hour or per year. That honor goes to the workers of Luxembourg, who put in an average of 29 hours a week, but produce the most GDP per hour and per year. Luxembourg is followed by Ireland, Norway, and Belgium in GDP per hour.[xxxiii] The Irish work almost as many hours as U.S. workers, making them also more productive per year.

What about opportunity or social mobility? Isn’t the “freedom” of the United States in fact bound up with the idea that, while most people are not the wealthiest, any of them could become the wealthiest with enough hard work? In reality, while there are always exceptions, there are less upward mobility and more firmly entrenched economic classes in the United States than in other wealthy countries.[xxxiv]

OK, what about innovation, invention, intellectual creation? Obviously this is an even harder category than others to quantify, but we can try. Patents filed with the U.S. Patent Office now come more from abroad than from within the United States.[xxxv] But among patents filed anywhere on earth, the United States still applies for and receives a larger number than any other single country, staying slightly ahead of both China and Japan, at least in patents granted. Some reports have China filing more applications than the United States in some recent years. But the U.S. lead evaporates when the comparison is either per-capita or per-GDP. In the former case, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, and Germany jump ahead. In the latter, South Korea, Japan, China, Germany, Switzerland, and France do.[xxxvi] When it comes to new industrial designs, the United States is not at the top by any calculation.[xxxvii] And of course these numbers do not tell us the actual creative value or societal impact of all these patents, or how the number of patents filed compares to a society’s litigiousness. The United States is, in fact, a world leader in number of lawyers per capita[xxxviii], possibly trailing only Israel[xxxix] or Greece[xl].

I do give the U.S. some credit for its role (along with the roles of others) in developing the internet, the incredible tool that has allowed me to pull together all of the international comparisons found in this book in a matter of a few days of web surfing.

Then there is popular culture. Published lists of the top money-earning films[xli] and music[xlii] contain almost exclusively U.S. productions. And, while the British — along with the French, Chinese, Spanish, and others — dominate the lists of best selling books of all time,[xliii] U.S. books and other cultural products also have a global impact, especially — of course — when turned into films. Out of its many categories for comparing nations, U.S. News and World Report ranks the United States first in only one thing: most influential.[xliv] A U.S.-based ranking of nations’ “soft power” places the United States in the top 10.[xlv] One has to wonder what the world would be like if the countries that were the best at something were also the most influential in regards to the same.

U.S. film distribution, while not strictly limited by language, also benefits from and contributes to the fact that English is, for largely historical reasons beginning with British imperialism, the third most common first language and first most common second language on earth.[xlvi] The prevalence of English, combined with the size of the United States, likely contributes to the relatively low knowledge of any foreign languages by U.S. adults.[xlvii] And that state of affairs likely contributes to and is further encouraged by the sense of exceptionalism discussed in this book.

Much of the popularity of U.S. films is almost certainly due to the super-expensive high- production quality of those films. But it’s reasonable to assume that part of the popularity also stems from the affection many people have in various parts of the world for the stories presented in those films. That people view U.S. movies is, in fact, a common argument for the relative merits of the United States: if it weren’t a preferable place, then why do people watch its movies, wear its t-shirts, and try to immigrate to live here?

The United States, it is claimed, accepts more immigrants than any other country. That’s actually true,[xlviii] though it’s not even close to true on a per-capita or a per-square-mile or a per-GDP basis.[xlix] It’s also not close to true when talking about refugees,[l] only when talking about all types of immigrants combined. U.S. immigration policies favor those with job skills and those from Europe.[li] The United States is also not ranked anywhere near the top of nations that are helpful to immigrants once they arrive, not even according to U.S. studies.[lii]

Still, a great many people are willing to abandon their former lives and start anew in the United States, both with legal permission and at risk of legal apprehension. Why? One reason is that, while the average life in the United States, as we will see below, is not the longest, happiest, or healthiest on earth, it’s very far from the shortest, most miserable, or most dangerous. The United States may not have Finland’s schools or France’s paid vacations or Germany’s clean energy, but most of its neighborhoods are safer than many places south of its border, for example.

This fact is not, of course, in conflict with the fact that the U.S. government has, in many cases, contributed to the misery from which people who come to the United States are fleeing.[liii] That the U.S. government has supported a military coup or trained and armed brutal death squads in a country can be condemned,[liv] even while urging that the people fleeing that country be admitted to a chance of a better life in the United States. Neither opposing U.S. militarism nor urging that immigrants be welcomed makes the United States 100 percent Evil or 100 percent Good.

At some point, the attempts to declare the United States Number One in some desirable category take on a quality of desperation. I would so characterize claims of global environmental leadership and claims of global generosity. Let’s look at these two concepts, one at a time.

A columnist listing things the United States is #1 in has included marine protected areas and CO2 emissions reductions.[lv] Regarding marine protected areas, the claim turns out to be that the U.S. has the largest area protected under any of six types of protection ranging from strictly protected to “sustainably used.” It is a claim not made on a per-square-mile basis.

If it is true that the United States has reduced CO2 emissions, it certainly needed to, because the United States still trails, at most, only China in this climate-destroying pollution, even considering Europe as one whole; and in CO2 emissions per capita the United States trails only six countries: Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkmenistan, and Australia.[lvi] In fact, the U.S. military alone, if it were a country, would rank high on the list of the world’s countries for CO2 emissions.[lvii] The comparisons are similar for methane and other greenhouse gases. Another study ranks the United States first in CO2 emissions, first in fertilizer use, second in water pollution, third in marine captures, ninth in species threatened, and second overall (behind Brazil) in environmental destruction[lviii], although the same study ranks the United States only 55th most destructive out of 179 countries when the level of destruction is adjusted in proportion to the resources each country has available.[lix] The British-based Happy Planet Index ranks the United States 137th best out of 140 (only three countries are worse) for ecological footprint.[lx]

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based Environmental Performance Index ranks the U.S. 27th best out of 180 countries.[lxi] However, this is a calculation that emphasizes the current quality of the environment within the United States, not the impact of the United States on the future of the entire planet. It is also a study that rewards the presence of laws, such as those protecting species, rather than focusing on the number of species threatened.

It’s worth noting that most environmental studies look at nations’ impacts on the world from within their nations’ borders, and for most nations that makes perfect sense. However, the U.S. military is a major global force for environmental destruction, with major bases in some 80 countries and with wars in several countries at any given time. The U.S. military is exempt from the Kyoto Treaty[lxii] and would not be exempt from the Paris Climate Agreement[lxiii] had the U.S. not (uniquely in the world) withdrawn from that treaty, which has been signed by 197, ratified by 175, and is maintained by 174 nations.[lxiv]

A final attempt at a gold medal in world performance is the claim that the United States leads the world in generous giving to the rest of humanity. The claim is sometimes based on government foreign aid and sometimes on private foreign charity, so let’s look at both. The latter claim turns out to be the stronger one.

It is routinely claimed that the U.S. government gives the most aid to the world of any government on earth, though less than Europe as a single whole.[lxv] If this were true, it would not be anywhere close to true as a percentage of gross national income[lxvi] or even per capita.[lxvii] But it isn’t true, because unlike other countries, the United States counts as 40 percent of its so-called aid, weapons for foreign militaries. Its biggest recipient of this “security aid” and of overall aid last year was Afghanistan, where the United States is fighting a war. Next was Israel, a wealthy nation to which the United States has given billions of dollars for weapons every year for many years. Third was Egypt. Fourth was Iraq, where the United States is fighting a war.[lxviii] In fact U.S. foreign aid, as a whole, seems to be directed largely around its military policies rather than the relative needs of people in various corners of the earth.

Using U.S. government figures for both private and public giving (including for weapons), one author finds the U.S. still ranked only 15th in foreign generosity as a percentage of income.[lxix]

However, U.S. private giving abroad is also studied by the U.S.-based Hudson Institute,[lxx] which identifies dramatically more such giving than numerous other studies.[lxxi] Hudson Institute finds $43.9 billion per year in 2013-2014 from private U.S. donations going abroad. This is, of course, regardless of the quality or efficiency of the charities given to. It is also the highest estimate I’ve found. Still, if it is accurate, it is indeed an indication of remarkable charitable giving, and without a doubt of remarkable good intentions, regardless of the effectiveness. It is also, if accurate, a real Number 1, even per capita and per GDP.

The Hudson Institute authors go on to add to their calculations for U.S. foreign aid, $108.7 billion in “remittances,” that is money sent home by migrants living and working in the United States. To that they add $179.3 billion in “private capital flow” to “developing nations,” with no mention of profits or resource extraction or debt payments or any “flow” in the opposite direction. Whether you want to include such figures as measures of U.S. generosity I leave to your discretion.

The above question should not be confused by studies of generosity in general. While the World Giving Index claims that the United States is the second most generous country on earth (after Myanmar),[lxxii] only a tiny fraction of what it looks at is foreign aid,[lxxiii] most of it is domestic, and a lot of it is for such projects as funding churches. In fact, about a third of U.S. charity goes to religious organizations, and the next biggest recipients are educational institutions, including universities the donors hope their kids will be admitted to. At most a third of U.S. charity helps the poor in any way, and less than 5 percent goes to help the poor outside of the United States. On balance, the tax deduction for charitable giving in the United States appears to enrich the rich.[lxxiv] Nonetheless, for better or worse, and regardless of how exactly it can be compared to very different societies, charity is very big business in the United States, and there is certainly something positive in that fact that should be encouraged and should give us hope as we progress through the more negative information that lies ahead.

As we have reviewed claims for first place, we have seen that very few pan out and that most are false, either across the board or when put into perspective by population or geography or wealth. I have tried to include all of the major claims commonly made. I have left out such claims to glory as most cheese, most cats, most dogs, and most rollercoasters, not because of any prejudice against such things, but because they seem less significant, less cross-cultural, and almost infinitely expandable. It is my contention that most people who wave U.S. flags and shout “we’re number one!” do not have in mind statistics on cheese or corn dog production. I have also excluded from the preceding discussion those claims to fame that I actually consider points of shame rather than pride, such as most expensive military, most foreign military bases, most square miles paved with asphalt, most television viewing, etc., all of which will be listed below. I will explain why I consider each category a negative, rather than a positive, and the reader can make his or her own judgment.

FAIR TO MIDDLING

First, however, I want to turn to some of the many other categories in which the United States does horribly in comparison with other wealthy countries but still pretty well in comparison with poor countries. Let’s call these the fair to middling categories. Some of those items already discussed above, as we have seen, actually belong here too.

Let’s start with a few of the features that I think it would be most important for a nation to excel at in order to claim a general superiority: life expectancy, health, and happiness.

The United States comes in 31st for life expectancy out of 183 countries according to the World Health Organization (WHO),[lxxv] 43rd out of 201 according to the United Nations,[lxxvi] 43rd out of 223 according to the CIA,[lxxvii] or tied for 26th out of 34 according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[lxxviii] People in the United States can expect, on average, to live longer than in most countries on earth, but not as long as in most other wealthy countries. Using the WHO numbers, of the 30 countries where life expectancy is longer than in the United States, 25 of them have a lower GDP per capita. Costa Rica, with a higher life expectancy, has less than 20 percent the GDP per capita of the United States. Of six nations with higher GDP per capita, only Qatar has lower life expectancy.

The U.S. health problem undoubtedly has many factors, but the healthcare factor is not a problem of failing to spend money. The United States spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation.[lxxix] But it spends it inefficiently,[lxxx] and its steadfast refusal to borrow health coverage ideas from other nations is an example of the damaging effects of exceptionalism that we will be looking at below. One key way in which the United States spends inefficiently is by not providing coverage for millions of people. Uniquely among wealthy nations, the United States does not provide health coverage as a universal right, but treats it as a privilege that some cannot afford, resulting in great suffering and great bureaucracy.[lxxxi] The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 29th in health.[lxxxii]

The U.S.-based organization Save the Children ranks the United States the 33rd best place to be a mother and raise children.[lxxxiii] The CIA ranks the United States 56th best in preventing infant mortality.[lxxxiv] Among world capitals in wealthy countries, Washington D.C. ranks worst for infant mortality.[lxxxv] A U.S.-based study of the 20 wealthiest countries found the U.S. worst for child mortality.[lxxxvi] The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) ranks the United States 26th out of 29 wealthy countries for overall wellbeing of children.[lxxxvii] Alone among 41 wealthy countries, the United States does not provide paid parental leave for all workers.[lxxxviii]

Contributing to U.S. shortcomings in life expectancy and health is its leadership in violence. The U.S.-based National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine looked at 17 wealthy countries and found the U.S. such a leader in violent deaths that it reached almost three times the violent death rate of the second-place nation.[lxxxix] By UN figures, the U.S. murder rate is worse than in 125 countries and better than in 93 countries.[xc] A study by the U.S.-based American Journal of Medicine of 23 populous, high-income nations[xci] found that,

“US homicide rates were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the gun homicide rate in the United States was 49.0 times higher. Firearm-related suicide rates were 8.0 times higher in the United States, but the overall suicide rates were average. Unintentional firearm deaths were 6.2 times higher in the United States. The overall firearm death rate in the United States from all causes was 10.0 times higher. Ninety percent of women, 91 percent of children aged 0 to 14 years, 92 percent of youth aged 15 to 24 years, and 82 percent of all people killed by firearms were from the United States.”

You may want to stand up, and jump around, and not sit down for this next one. A study published by the Lancet found that 75 countries had a smaller percentage of inactive adults than in the United States, while 44 countries had more of their adults inactive (getting very little exercise).[xcii] A study of 29 nations found that in only 9 of them did people, on average, spend fewer minutes on exercise than in the United States.[xciii]

Meanwhile, rankings for obesity place the United States anywhere from first[xciv] to 12th[xcv] to 18th[xcvi] to 19th[xcvii] to 27th[xcviii] out of the world’s nations for the prevalence of obesity in its population. Primarily Pacific island nations and some nations in the Middle East tend to be ranked ahead of the United States on this one. Some 200 other nations have less obesity than the United States.

So much for health and life. And we’ve previously looked at liberty. What about the pursuit (and attainment) of happiness? The UN-initiated, U.S.-, France-, and India-based World Happiness Report ranks the United States 14th in happiness out of 155 countries.[xcix] The British-based Happy Planet Index, which looks at wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality, and ecological footprint, ranks the United States 108th out of 140.[c]

The UN’s Human Development Index, which considers life expectancy, expected and mean years of schooling, gross national income (GNI), and GNI per capita, ranks the United States 10th, tied with Canada, and trailing the usual suspects from Northern Europe plus Singapore.[ci]

The British-based Good Country Index, which looks at science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and well being, is certainly not something I entirely agree with in terms of its priorities and values. But many people agree with much of it, and it ranks the United States no higher than 10th in any category, and 25th overall out of 163 countries.[cii]

Another key consideration might be all the things lumped under the heading of infrastructure. The Swiss-based World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index ranks the United States 25th in “basic requirements” including ninth in “infrastructure” (though it does put the U.S. first in “efficiency enhancers”).[ciii] Looking more specifically at the percentage of electricity in each country generated by renewable resources, the United States comes in at 124th place.[civ]

A central concern, both in my mind and in the common conception of the merits of the United States, is that of democracy — by which I mean majority, popular, or consensus rule. So, which countries are actually the most democratic? As noted in the discussion of freedom above, the British-based Economist Magazine‘s Democracy Index puts the United States in a three-way tie for 20th place.[cv] This index claims to look at “electoral process and pluralism,” “civil liberties,” the “functioning of government,” “political participation,” and “political culture.” It identifies 19 “full democracies” and places the United States among the “flawed democracies,” albeit at the very top of that group.

But let’s get more specific. Actual democracy means popular decision making. In some countries, including the United States, there may be more such democracy at the local or regional level, as there probably should be. But the U.S. national government dominates U.S. policy making, so it’s reasonable, as well as feasible, for us to compare national governments.

When it comes to the use of referenda to set national policy, Switzerland leads the way, followed by Italy.[cvi] But, of course, “democracy” most often actually refers to government by representatives who act on the basis of public opinion. So, which nations have the best representative republics? This could be investigated in endless depth and complexity, including by considering the number of constituents per representative, whether it’s easy for citizens to vote, whether elections are winner-take-all or proportional, whether ranked-choice voting is used, whether a less-representative body can overrule a more-representative one, etc. The United States would be unlikely to fare well in most such analyses.

One clearer comparison that cuts across much of this detail is the question of the financial cost of getting elected. In some nations, more of the money is recorded and duly tallied. In some it is more often silently slipped under the table. In some places we disdainfully speak of bribery and in others respectfully talk of “campaign contributions” (charitable people that we are). But when it comes to the bottom line, there is little doubt that no other country comes close to the U.S. level of financial corruption of elections.[cvii]

Money isn’t the only problem with U.S. elections. There are hurdles in the way of registering and of voting, long lines, malfunctioning and unverifiable machines, poor and unfair media coverage, names incorrectly stripped from voter rolls, obstacles to entering races and getting into debates and into the media, and many other factors. The Australian-based Election Integrity Project ranks the United States at the bottom of a list of 23 “democracies” from around the world.[cviii]

Regardless of what you think of U.S. “democracy,” the people who live in the United States think less of it than people in other countries think of theirs, as measured by the very minimal participation of voting. The U.S.-based Pew Research Center found that a smaller percentage of the voting-age public in the United States votes than in 13 out of 18 countries examined.[cix]

In the end, there is one true test of democracy, and that is whether public policies are determined by public opinion. In the United States they are not. Researchers at Princeton and Northwestern University have found the United States to be an oligarchy in which the wealthy elite largely determines government policy — which lines up with popular opinion only when popular and elite opinion agree.[cx] I haven’t found a similar study comparing the world’s nations, though I strongly suspect that the United States is not the only one most commonly called “democracy” and most accurately called “oligarchy.” The point is that not only are there other nations more democratic than the United States, but the United States doesn’t even enter into that competition at all. In fact it is hard to find a U.S. politician who doesn’t proclaim his or her independence by proudly claiming to ignore, rather than to follow, public opinion polls. (Another measure: the United States may rank first, possibly even ahead of the British, in obsession with the British royalty.)[cxi]

Related to the question of democracy is that of promoting or spreading democracy, as a beneficial service to the rest of the world. Nations that do this through leading by example also do it in a manner compatible with democratic tendencies. While “spreading democracy” is a common element in war propaganda, it is not clear that warmaking has actually helped in this regard. In fact, just the opposite may be the case. The United States has, in recent years, provided military aid to 73 percent of the world’s dictatorships, and military training to many of them.[cxii] The U.S. government, since World War II, has overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 84 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries.[cxiii] Many of the nations on the receiving end of these efforts were democracies.

In February 2018, New York Times reporter Scott Shane wrote:

“[According to two authorities, in recent decades] Russian and American interferences in elections have not been morally equivalent. American interventions have generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates challenge dictators or otherwise promoting democracy. Russia has more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule, they said.”[cxiv]

The very same article in which Shane quotes this claim includes a link to a scholarly report[cxv] that cites numerous recent cases of U.S. interference in elections within nations generally counted as democracies.[cxvi] Also in February 2018, former CIA director James Woolsey was interviewed on Fox News:[cxvii]

LAURA INGRAHAM: Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?

JAMES WOOLSEY: Oh, probably. But it was for the good of the system, in order to avoid the communists from taking over.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Yeah.

JAMES WOOLSEY: For example, in Europe in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians, we—CIA—

LAURA INGRAHAM: We don’t do that now, though? We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?

JAMES WOOLSEY: Well, mmm, yum, yum, yum, never mind. Only for a very good cause.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Can you do that—let’s do a vine video and—as former CIA director. I love it.

JAMES WOOLSEY: Only for very good cause—

LAURA INGRAHAM: OK.

JAMES WOOLSEY: —in the interests of democracy.

The United States also partners in wars with allies like Saudi Arabia that are among the least democratic on earth. The U.S. military may, in fact, be one of the greatest impediments to democracy in existence, which brings us to the subject of undesirable gold medals.

OH NO, NOT NUMBER ONE!

If you identify with the United States, you may want to jump ahead and read my advice against identifying with any nation, and then come back and read this next section. This is where we look at areas in which the United States is indeed ranked first but shouldn’t want to be. Some of these areas have already been mentioned above, but let’s start with the biggest ones.

Where the United States most dramatically stands apart from the rest of the world is in a general area on which a lot of U.S. films also tend to focus: war and “crime fighting” — or, more specifically, militarism and incarceration.

In military spending, the U.S. government has no peer. Using numbers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the United States spent $611 billion in 2016, almost three times the next nearest nation, and significantly more than the next nearest eight nations combined, six of which are U.S. allies that the U.S. State Department pushes to spend more.[cxviii] And U.S. military spending soared in 2017 and 2018, with the U.S. President proposing $727 billion for 2019.[cxix] In addition, careful analysts have found that beyond the Pentagon budget, a full count of U.S. military spending should include the nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, and the war activities of the State Department, Homeland Security Department, and numerous other agencies, including the secretive war spying agencies. That adds another $200 billion or so. A maximally inclusive military budget would also take count of spending on veterans and on the debt for past military spending. That adds yet another $400 billion or so, taking the total well over $1,200 billion per year.[cxx] Only 19 other nations on earth spend more than $10 billion per year. Seventeen of them are U.S. allies and weapons customers.

When military spending is considered per capita, using SIPRI numbers, the top nations are all U.S. allies.[cxxi] But the fourth, fifteenth, and twenty-first overall spenders (Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Singapore) jump ahead of the United States. (SIPRI includes no numbers for North Korea.) One of these nations, Israel, only achieves its position by virtue of billions of dollars for military spending that the United States gives to it as a present each year; whether you want to count that as Israeli or U.S. military spending is up to you. If such U.S. spending on Israel, Egypt, and other nations were added to the U.S. account, the United States might surpass Singapore as well as Israel in per capita military spending, but nothing any accountant could do would put any nation anywhere near Saudi Arabia. Both Saudi Arabia and Singapore are U.S. allies and weapons customers — Saudi Arabia its largest weapons customer and its partner in the current war on Yemen. There’s also a way in which the per capita comparison makes the U.S. spending appear even larger than a straightforward comparison, namely what a per capita comparison does to the world’s second and third biggest overall spenders, China and Russia. On a per capita basis China and Russia drop off the list of top military spenders, leaving only the United States and its chosen allies.

But the impact of a massive military is first and foremost on the rest of the earth, not on the nation that pays for it. And its creation is principally the action of an oligarchy, not a populace. So, while the per capita comparison is useful, the absolute investment remains, as we will see, enormously significant.

It’s popular, including among boosters of military spending, to rank military spending in proportion to each nation’s wealth or GDP. The reason should be obvious. If other nations are spending a tiny fraction of what yours spends on militarism, that hardly encourages the purchase of more expensive weaponry. But if those nations have small economies and are spending a higher percentage of their money on their puny militaries, the United States can more easily be persuaded to spend-spend-spend to try to close the percentage-of-GDP gap! Based on the same SIPRI numbers, which still do not include North Korea, 10 nations outpace the United States in military spending per dollar of GDP.[cxxii] Nine of them are U.S. allies and weapons customers. Six of them spend less than 2 percent what the United States does. One is Russia, which spends about 10 percent of what the United States does, according to SIPRI. (Incidentally, Iran spends about 2 percent what the United States does, and North Korea — even by the most extravagant estimates — about 0.5 percent.)

U.S. military spending is notoriously wasteful and unaccountable, but so is much of the rest of the world’s military spending. So how do dollars translate into actual militaries? Well, here’s a list of the top employers in the world:[cxxiii]

  1. The U.S. military.
  2. The Chinese military.
  3. Wal-Mart.
  4. McDonald’s.

In this case, “U.S. military,” means the Department of Defense, not even counting personnel in all of those other U.S. government departments that have military spending.

All non-U.S. nations combined have fewer than 30 military bases outside of their own territory, while the United States has at least 800.[cxxiv] The creation of quite a few of these bases has involved the eviction of the local populations. These include bases in Diego Garcia, Greenland, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Philippines, Okinawa, and South Korea.[cxxv]

Many U.S. bases are hosted by brutal dictatorships, which returns us to the topic of “spreading democracy.” An academic study has identified a strong U.S. tendency to defend dictatorships where the United States has bases. [cxxvi] A glance at a newspaper will tell you the same. Crimes in Bahrain (major base) are not equal to crimes in Iran (no bases). In fact, when brutal and undemocratic governments currently hosting U.S. bases (in, for example, Honduras, Aruba, Curaçao, Mauritania, Liberia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Mozambique, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Georgia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, or Singapore) are protested, there is a pattern of increased U.S. support for those governments, which makes eviction of the U.S. bases all the more likely should the government fall, which fuels a vicious cycle that increases popular resentment of the U.S. government. The U.S. began building new bases in Honduras shortly after the 2009 coup.

The world’s biggest military budget doesn’t produce an undisputed lead only in military personnel and foreign bases, but also in aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, nuclear submarines, military aircraft, etc.[cxxvii] The vast majority of the world’s nuclear weapons are in the arsenals of Russia and the United States, with the United States investing major new funds in that area.

Contrary to the notion that preparing for war prevents wars, increased military spending has tended to result in more wars — with the United States, by far, leading the world in the number of wars it takes part in, the nations in bombs, and the nations it strikes with missiles from drones. In recent years, the United States has engaged in serious bombing campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, and numerous smaller operations in many other countries. While NATO and other allies have assisted the United States in some of these wars, no other countries have done anything remotely like this level of war fighting far from their own borders. The closest parallel is Russian participation in a single war in Syria.[cxxviii]

Most of the nations where wars are fought do not manufacture weapons of war. Most weapons of war come from a handful of nations, led by the United States,[cxxix] resulting in numerous wars having U.S.-made weapons on more than one side of the war. In some cases, such as Syria, we’ve even seen U.S. armed and trained troops fighting each other.[cxxx]

I promised that I would explain why I think some claims to first place in the world are points of shame rather than pride. In very brief, and as elaborated on the website WorldBeyondWar.org and in some of my previous books, war is counterproductive on its own terms, generating more enemies than it kills. While making us less safe[cxxxi] in the name of protecting our “freedom,” war strips away our liberties.[cxxxii] Recent wars have brought us warrantless surveillance, drone attacks, imprisonment without charge, and all kinds of restrictions on speech and assembly. Militarism is the top destroyer of the natural environment[cxxxiii], top drain on wealth[cxxxiv], and a trade-off that one cannot morally make when fractions of military spending could save and improve many more lives than war damages. The United Nations calculates that $30 billion per year could end starvation on earth, and $11 billion end the lack of clean drinking water.[cxxxv] Go back and read the dollar figures for the U.S. military budget.

One of the results of U.S. militarism is the militarization of U.S. culture. As the only nation on earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child[cxxxvi] (which is not to suggest that all ratifiers fully comply with it) the U.S. military runs programs like the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) that train students to shoot guns in their schools. One such student engaged in the mass-murder of his fellow students in a Florida high school, just weeks before I wrote this book.[cxxxvii] The U.S. military also unloads its old weapons on local police departments and the general public, and engages in training local police departments. The rate of gun ownership per capita in the United States is an undisputed first place in the world, surpassing rich and poor nations, nations at peace, and nations at war.[cxxxviii] The closest competitor, Serbia, has about half as many guns per capita as the United States. One common justification for stockpiling guns in the United States is to supposedly fight off the U.S. government, the same government whose flag and anthem have acquired a status of holiness.

We’ve already mentioned violent deaths in the United States. One type is death by police, a category in which the United States absolutely dwarfs other wealthy nations,[cxxxix] while trailing some poor nations.[cxl] Another is death by state execution. In this category, the United States has fallen to seventh place among the 23 nations that are on the list at all, trailing behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt.[cxli] If drone strikes that U.S. presidents talk about as executions were included, the United States would jump into an easy lead.

Where the United States truly excels is not in executing prisoners, but in packing them into prisons and keeping them there. The “land of the free” leads the world in prisoners, both overall and by a per capita comparison (with the possible exception, on a per capita basis, of the Seychelles). [cxlii] The United States really does have less than 5 percent of the world’s people and almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The United States is also an outlier in its practice — again in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child — of putting minors in prison for life with no possibility of parole, as well as in its use of solitary confinement.[cxliii] In comparison with the prisons of other wealthy nations, U.S. prisons are notoriously brutal and often directed toward anything but rehabilitation. While the U.S. government is exporting prison-construction and increased incarceration to other countries, none of those others has begun to challenge the United States in the rankings.[cxliv] The U.S. lead in incarceration has not always existed and need not exist forever. I’d prefer to see it disappear by decarceration in the United States, rather than by greater incarceration elsewhere.

Beyond militarism and incarceration, the walk of shame takes the United States past some categories already touched on above: a possible (non-per-capita) first place in CO2 emissions and first in fertilizer use, [cxlv] a possible first in obesity per capita,[cxlvi] a possible first in lawyers per capita[cxlvii] (Sorry! Don’t sue me!), a first in billionaires[cxlviii] (I don’t apologize for finding that undesirable — any billionaire who reads this is welcome to share his/her wealth and cease to be one at any moment), and a resounding first in student debt overall and per capita and in amount of debt per indebted student.[cxlix]

There are a number of what I consider undesirable firsts that the United States holds that we have not yet examined: television viewing per capita,[cl] square miles paved with asphalt (beaten out by India when compared per total square miles of land),[cli] road motor vehicles per capita (unless you count San Marino or Monaco),[clii] wasted food per capita (a U.S.-based organization finds 40 percent of food wasted in the United States[cliii] and the UN reports that North America leads the world in wasting food[cliv]), cosmetic surgeries overall and probably per capita,[clv] and nobody else even close in pornography production.[clvi]

The United States, among the world’s nations, is only third worst in depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use, so that’s something.[clvii]

##

[i] —”List of Countries by Area,” Wikipedia, https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_area

—”List of Countries and Dependencies by Area,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_area.

—”Geography > Land Area > Square Miles: Countries Compared,” Nation Master, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Geography/Land-area/Square-miles#.

—”Countries of the World by Area,” One World Nations Online, http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/countries_by_area.htm.

[ii] —”List of Countries by Population (United Nations),” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_(United_Nations).

—”List of Countries and Dependencies by Population,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population.

—”Countries in the World by Population (2018),” Worldometers, http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country.

—”Countries of the World Ordered by Population Size,” List of Countries of the World, http://www.listofcountriesoftheworld.com/population.html.

[iii] “The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017,” Legatum Institute, https://lif.blob.core.windows.net/lif/docs/default-source/default-library/pdf55f152ff15736886a8b2ff00001f4427.pdf?sfvrsn=0.

[iv] Ian Vasquez and Tanja Porcnik, “The Human Freedom Index 2017,” the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/human-freedom-index-files/2017-human-freedom-index-2.pdf.

[v] “2017 World Freedom Index,” http://www.worldfreedomindex.com.

[vi] “Civil Liberties,” World Audit, http://www.worldaudit.org/civillibs.htm.

[vii] “Ranking 2017,” Reporters Without Borders, https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2017.

[viii] “2018 Index of Economic Freedom,” The Heritage Foundation, https://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates.

[ix] “World Index of Moral Freedom,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Index_of_Moral_Freedom.

[x] “Democracy Index,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index.

[xi] “Polity Data Series,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polity_data_series.

[xii] —Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Yes, U.S. Locks People Up at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Country,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/07/yes-u-s-locks-people-up-at-a-higher-rate-than-any-other-country/?utm_term=.5ea21d773e21 (July 7, 2015).

—”List of Countries by Incarceration Rate,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate.

[xiii] “Top Countries Having More PhDs in World,” The Educationist, http://educationist.com.pk/report-top-countries-having-more-phds-in-world.

[xiv] Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, “Elitists, Crybabies and Junky Degrees,” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2017/11/25/elitists-crybabies-and-junky-degrees/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.0f8160048a27 (November 25, 2017).

[xv] “Best Global Universities Rankings,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/rankings?page=10

[xvi] “World University Rankings 2018,” Times Higher Education, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats.

[xvii] Academy Ranking of World Universities, http://shanghairanking.com/ARWU2017.html.

[xviii] Kelsey Sheehy, “Undergraduates Around the World Face Student Loan Debt, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/articles/2013/11/13/undergrads-around-the-world-face-student-loan-debt (November 13, 2013).

[xix] —”College Access and Affordability: USA vs. the World,” Value Colleges, https://www.valuecolleges.com/collegecosts.

—”List of Countries by Tertiary Education Attainment,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tertiary_education_attainment.

[xx] —Drew Desliver, “U.S. Students Academic Achievement Still Lags That of Their Peers in Many Other Countries,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science (February 15, 2017).

—”Reading Literacy: Average Scores,” National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2012/pisa2012highlights_5a.asp.

[xxi] “Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trends_in_International_Mathematics_and_Science_Study.

[xxii] “All-Time Olympic Games Medal Table,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-time_Olympic_Games_medal_table.

[xxiii] “2018 Winter Olympics Medal Tracker,” ESPN, http://www.espn.com/olympics/winter/2018/medals.

[xxiv] “List of Countries by GDP (Nominal),” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal).

[xxv] “List of Countries by GDP (PPP),” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP).

[xxvi] “List of Countries by GDP (Nominal Per Capita),” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_ percent28nominal percent29_per_capita.

[xxvii] “List of Countries by the Number of Billionaires,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_billionaires.

[xxviii] —Elise Gould and Hilary Wething, “U.S. Poverty Rates Higher, Safety Net Weaker Than in Peer Countries,” Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/ib339-us-poverty-higher-safety-net-weaker (July 24, 2012).

—Max Fisher, “Map: How 35 Countries Compare on Child Poverty (the U.S. Is Ranked 34th),: Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/04/15/map-how-35-countries-compare-on-child-poverty-the-u-s-is-ranked-34th/?utm_term=.a3b0797b716e (April 15, 2013).

—Christopher Ingraham, “Child Poverty in the U.S. Is Among the Worst in the Developed World,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/29/child-poverty-in-the-u-s-is-among-the-worst-in-the-developed-world/?utm_term=.217ecc2c90ee (October 29, 2014).

—”Measuring Child Poverty,” UNICEF, https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc10_eng.pdf (May 2012).

[xxix] “The World Fact Book: Country Comparison: Distribution of Family Income: GINI Index,” Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html.

[xxx] “GINI Index (World Bank Estimate) Country Ranking,” Index Mundi, https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SI.POV.GINI/rankings.

[xxxi] “List of Countries by Distribution of Wealth,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_distribution_of_wealth.

[xxxii] Philip Alston, “Extreme Poverty in America: Read the UN Special Monitor’s Report,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/15/extreme-poverty-america-un-special-monitor-report (December 15, 2017).

[xxxiii] David Johnson, “These Are the Most Productive Countries in the World,” Time, http://time.com/4621185/worker-productivity-countries (January 4, 2017).

[xxxiv] —Elise Gould, “U.S. Lags Behind Peer Countries in Mobility,” Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/usa-lags-peer-countries-mobility (October 10, 2012).

—Ben Lorica, “Prosperity and Upward Mobility: U.S. and Other Countries,” Verisi Data Studio, http://www.verisi.com/resources/prosperity-upward-mobility.htm (November 2011).

—Steven Perlberg, “These Two Ladders Perfectly Illustrate the Evolution of Income Mobility and Inequality in America,” Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/harvard-upward-mobility-study-2014-1 (January 23, 2014).

—Katie Sanders, “Is it Easier to Obtain the American Dream in Europe,” Politifact, http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/dec/19/steven-rattner/it-easier-obtain-american-dream-europe (December 19, 2013).

[xxxv] “Patent Counts by Country, State, and Year,” U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/cst_all.htm (December 2015).

[xxxvi] —”World Intellectual Property Indicators,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators.

—”Patent Applications, Residents: Country Ranking,” Index Mundi, https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/IP.PAT.RESD/rankings.

—”Ranking of the 10 Countries That Filed the Most International Patent Applications in 2016,” Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/256845/ranking-of-the-10-countries-who-filed-the-most-international-patent-applications.

[xxxvii] “World Intellectual Property Indicators,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators.

[xxxviii] “The Most Litigious Countries in the World,” Clements Worldwide, https://www.clements.com/sites/default/files/resources/The-Most-Litigious-Countries-in-the-World.pdf.

[xxxix] Tomer Zarchin, “Israel First in World for Lawyers per Capita, Study Finds,” Haaretz, https://www.haaretz.com/1.5039519 (August 3, 2011).

[xl] “America’s Lawyers: Guilty as Charged,” The Economist, https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571141-cheaper-legal-education-and-more-liberal-rules-would-benefit-americas-lawyersand-their (February 2, 2013).

[xli] —”All Time Worldwide Box Office,” The Numbers, https://www.the-numbers.com/box-office-records/worldwide/all-movies/cumulative/all-time.

—”List of Highest Grossing Films,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films.

—Richard Wike, “American Star Power Still Rules the Globe,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/02/22/american-star-power-still-rules-the-globe (February 22, 2013).

[xlii] —”The Top Ten Best Selling Music Singles in the World (2017),” Top 10 of Anything and Everything, https://theverybesttop10.com/best-selling-music-singles.

—”List of Best-Selling Music Artists,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists.

—”Best Selling Music Albums,” Top 10 of Anything and Everything, https://theverybesttop10.com/best-selling-music-albums.

[xliii] —”List of Best Selling Books,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books.

—”Top Ten Best Selling Books of All Time in the World,” Top 101 News, http://top101news.com/2015-2016-2017-2018/news/education/best-selling-books-all-time-world.

[xliv] “Best Countries: United States,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/united-states.

[xlv] “Soft Power,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_power.

[xlvi] “List of Languages by Total Number of Speakers,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_total_number_of_speakers.

[xlvii] Kat Devlin, “Learning a Foreign Language a ‘Must’ in Europe, Not So in America,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/13/learning-a-foreign-language-a-must-in-europe-not-so-in-america (July 13, 2015).

[xlviii] “List of Sovereign States and Dependent Territories by Immigrant Population,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_immigrant_population.

[xlix] Amy Sherman, “Does the United States Have the Highest Number of Immigrants, as Marco Rubio Says?” Politifact, http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/may/13/marco-rubio/does-united-states-have-highest-number-immigrants- (May 13, 2015).

[l] —Brendan McBryde, “10 Countries That Accept the Most Refugees,” Borgen Magazine, http://www.borgenmagazine.com/10-countries-that-accept-refugees (January 22, 2016).

—”List of Countries by Refugee Population,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_refugee_population.

[li] David Cook-Martin and David Scott Fitzgerald, “How Legacies of Racism Persist in U.S. Immigration Policy,” Scholars Strategy Network, http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/brief/how-legacies-racism-persist-us-immigration-policy (June 2014).

[lii] “Best Countries for Immigrants,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/immigrants-full-list.

[liii] Juan Gonzalez, “Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America,” http://harvestofempiremovie.com.

[liv] —Dana Frank, “In Honduras, A Mess Made in the U.S.,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/opinion/in-honduras-a-mess-helped-by-the-us.html (January 26, 2012).

—Karen Attiah, “Hillary Clinton’s Dodgy Answers on Honduras Coup,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/04/19/hillary-clintons-dodgy-answers-on-honduras-coup/?utm_term=.392410e13225 (April 19, 2016).

—Tim Shorrock, “How Hillary Clinton Militarized US Policy in Honduras,” The Nation, https://www.thenation.com/article/how-hillary-clinton-militarized-us-policy-in-honduras (April 5, 2016).

[lv] Will Oremus, “The USA Is Number One (in Cheese Production),” Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/07/the_greatest_country_in_the_world_the_usa_is_tops_in_cheese_production_and_these_23_other_categories_.html (July 3, 2012).

[lvi] “List of Countries by Carbon Dioxide Emissions,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

[lvii] Naomi Klein, “Fight Climate Change, Not Wars,” NaomiKlein.org, http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/12/fight-climate-change-not-wars (December 10, 2009).

[lviii] Melissa Breyer, “Top 10 Countries Killing the Planet,” Care2, https://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-10-countries-ruining-the-planet.html (May 11, 2010).

[lix] Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Xingli Giam, Navjot S. Sodhi, “Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Countries,” PLOS One, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0010440#pone.0010440.s008 (May 3, 2010).

[lx] “United States of America,” Happy Planet Index, https://happyplanetindex.org/countries/united-states-of-america.

[lxi] “2018 EPI Results,” Environmental Performance Index, https://epi.envirocenter.yale.edu/epi-topline?country=&order=field_epi_rank_new&sort=asc.

[lxii] Danielle Knight, “Climate: U.S. Exempts Military from Kyoto Treaty,” Inter Press Service, http://www.ipsnews.net/1998/05/climate-us-exempts-military-from-kyoto-treaty (May 20, 1998).

[lxiii] Arthur Neslen, “Pentagon to lose emissions exemption under Paris climate deal,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/pentagon-to-lose-emissions-exemption-under-paris-climate-deal (December 14, 2015).

[lxiv] “Paris Agreement – Status of Ratification,” United Nations, http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php.

[lxv] Joe Myers, “Foreign aid: These countries are the most generous,” World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/foreign-aid-these-countries-are-the-most-generous (August 19, 2016).

[lxvi] Joe Myers, “Foreign aid: These countries are the most generous,” World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/foreign-aid-these-countries-are-the-most-generous (August 19, 2016).

[lxvii] “List of Development Aid Country Donors,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_aid_country_donors.

[lxviii] Max Bearak and Lazaro Gamio, “The U.S. foreign aid budget, visualized,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/which-countries-get-the-most-foreign-aid (October 18, 2016).

[lxix] Steven Radelet, “Think Again: U.S. Foreign Aid,” Foreign Policy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2005/03/01/think-again-u-s-foreign-aid (March 1, 2005).

[lxx] Carol Adelman, Bryan Schwartz & Elias Riskin, “Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances 2016,” Hudson Institute, https://www.hudson.org/research/13314-index-of-global-philanthropy-and-remittances-2016 (February 15th, 2017).

[lxxi] —”Statistics,” Philanthropy Roundtable, http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/statistics.

—Global Impact, https://charity.org.

[lxxii] “CAF World Giving Index 2016,” Charities Aid Foundation, https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/1950a_wgi_2016_report_web_v2_241016.pdf (October 2016).

[lxxiii] “Statistics,” Philanthropy Roundtable, http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/statistics.

[lxxiv] Dylan Matthews, “Only a third of charitable contributions go to the poor,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/30/only-a-third-of-charitable-contributions-go-the-poor/?utm_term=.b83df0d2f21d (May 30, 2013).

[lxxv] “List of Countries by Life Expectancy,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy.

[lxxvi] “List of Countries by Life Expectancy,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy.

[lxxvii] “List of Countries by Life Expectancy,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy.

[lxxviii] “List of Countries by Life Expectancy,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy.

[lxxix] “List of Countries by Total Health Expenditure per Capita,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capita.

[lxxx] “Where Do You Get the Most for Your Health Care Dollar?” Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-09-15/most-efficient-health-care-around-the-world.html (Sept. 18, 2014).

[lxxxi] Sean Gorman, “Dan Gecker says U.S. only wealthy nation without universal health care,” Politifact, http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2015/sep/01/dan-gecker/dan-gecker-says-us-only-wealth-nation-without-univ (September 1st, 2015).

[lxxxii] “The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018,” World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitiveness-report-2017-2018 (September 26, 2017).

[lxxxiii] — Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, “Map: The best (and worst) countries to be a mother,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/05/08/map-the-best-and-worst-countries-to-be-a-mother/?utm_term=.483da0062489 (May 8, 2015).

Save the Children, http://www.savethechildren.org.

[lxxxiv] “The World Factbook: Country Comparison: Infant Mortality Rate,” Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

[lxxxv] Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, “Map: The best (and worst) countries to be a mother,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/05/08/map-the-best-and-worst-countries-to-be-a-mother/?utm_term=.483da0062489 (May 8, 2015).

[lxxxvi] Megan Trimble, “U.S. Kids More Likely to Die Than Kids in 19 Other Nations,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-01-11/us-has-highest-child-mortality-rate-of-20-rich-countries (Jan. 11, 2018).

[lxxxvii] “Child well-being in rich countries: A comparative overview,” UNICEF, https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc11_eng.pdf (April 2013).

[lxxxviii] Gretchen Livingston, “Among 41 nations, U.S. is the outlier when it comes to paid parental leave,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/26/u-s-lacks-mandated-paid-parental-leave (September 26, 2016).

[lxxxix] “Explore findings from the new report: ‘U.S. Health in International Perspectives’,” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#violence.

[xc] “List of Countries by Intentional Homicide Rate,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate.

[xci] Erin Grinshteyn, David Hemenway, “Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010,” The American Journal of Medicine, http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(15)01030-X/fulltext (March 2016).

[xcii] “Which are the laziest countries on earth?,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/jul/18/physical-inactivity-country-laziest#data.

[xciii] “Average minutes per day spent on sport and exercise in OECD countries plus China, India and South Africa by gender, as of 2016,” Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/522015/time-spent-sports-countries.

[xciv] Amir Khan, “America Tops List of 10 Most Obese Countries,” U.S. News & World Report, https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/05/28/america-tops-list-of-10-most-obese-countries (May 28, 2014).

[xcv] “The Most Obese Countries In The World,” World Atlas, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/29-most-obese-countries-in-the-world.html.

[xcvi] Oliver Smith, “World Obesity Day: Which countries have the biggest weight problem?,” The Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/the-most-obese-fattest-countries-in-the-world (October 11, 2017).

[xcvii] “Report: Obesity Rates by Country – 2017,” Renew Bariatrics, https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries.

[xcviii] Ana Swanson, “The U.S. isn’t the fattest country in the world – but it’s close,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/22/youll-never-guess-the-worlds-fattest-country-and-no-its-not-the-u-s/?utm_term=.535bccee9a54 (April 22, 2015).

[xcix] “World Happiness Report 2017,” Editors: John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs, http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/03/HR17.pdf.

[c] “United States of America,” Happy Planet Index, https://happyplanetindex.org/countries/united-states-of-america.

[ci] “Human Development Index and its components,” United Nations Development Programme, http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI.

[cii] “The Good Country,” https://goodcountry.org/index/results.

[ciii] “United States: Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 edition,” World Economic Forum, http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-index-2017-2018/countryeconomy-profiles/#economy=USA.

[civ] “List of Countries by Electricity Production from Renewable Sources,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_production_from_renewable_sources.

[cv] “Democracy Index 2017: Free speech under attack,” The Economist, http://www.eiu.com/Handlers/WhitepaperHandler.ashx?fi=Democracy_Index_2017.pdf&mode=wp&campaignid=DemocracyIndex2017.

[cvi] “Referendums by Country,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum#Referendums_by_country.

[cvii] Nick Thompson, “International campaign finance: How do countries compare?,” CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/24/world/global-campaign-finance (March 5, 2012).

[cviii] Pippa Norris, “America is no model state: U.S. elections rank worst among Western democracies,” Salon, https://www.salon.com/2016/04/15/america_is_no_model_democracy_u_s_elections_rank_worst_among_western_states_partner (April 15, 2016).

[cix] Drew DeSilver, “U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/15/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries.

[cx] Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B (September 18, 2014).

[cxi] Caroline Bologna, “Here’s Why Americans Are So Obsessed With The Royals,” HuffPost, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/british-royal-family-obsession_us_5a4b0788e4b025f99e1d0a4b (January 12, 2018).

[cxii] David Swanson, “U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/warlist.

[cxiii] David Swanson, “U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/warlist.

[cxiv] Scott Shane, “Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too,” New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/sunday-review/russia-isnt-the-only-one-meddling-in-elections-we-do-it-too.html (February 17, 2018).

[cxv] Dov H. Levin, “Partisan electoral interventions by the great powers: Introducing the PEIG Dataset,” SAGE Journals, http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0738894216661190 (September 19, 2016).

[cxvi] Dov H. Levin, “When the Great Power Gets a Vote: The Effects of Great Power Electoral Interventions on Election Results,” https://academic.oup.com/isq/article/60/2/189/1750842 (February 13, 2016, Appendix 2).

[cxvii] “James Woolsey on the Russians’ efforts to disrupt elections,” Fox News, https://video.foxnews.com/v/5735486561001/?#sp=show-clips (February 16, 2018).

[cxviii] “List of Countries by Military Expenditures,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

[cxix] “Trump’s FY2019 Budget Request Has Massive Cuts for Nearly Everything But the Military,” National Priorities Project, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/analysis/2018/trumps-fy2019-budget-request-has-massive-cuts-nearly-everything-military (February 12, 2018).

[cxx] Chris Hellman, “Tomgram: Chris Hellman, $1.2 Trillion for National Security,” TomDispatch, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175361 (March 1, 2011).

[cxxi] “List of Countries by Military Expenditure per Capita,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditure_per_capita.

[cxxii] “List of Countries by Military Expenditures,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures.

[cxxiii] Niall McCarthy, “The World’s Biggest Employers [Infographic],” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/06/23/the-worlds-biggest-employers-infographic/#5a79fdb2686b (June 23, 2015).

[cxxiv] David Swanson, “What Are Foreign Military Bases for?,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/what-are-foreign-military-bases-for (July 13, 2015).

[cxxv] David Swanson, “How Outlawing War Changed the World in 1928,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928 (September 12, 2017).

[cxxvi] David Swanson, “What Are Foreign Military Bases for?,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/what-are-foreign-military-bases-for (July 13, 2015).

[cxxvii] “List of Top International Rankings by Country,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_top_international_rankings_by_country.

[cxxviii] “Mapping Militarism,” World Beyond War, http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/statplanet/StatPlanet.html.

[cxxix] “Mapping Militarism,” World Beyond War, http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/statplanet/StatPlanet.html.

[cxxx] W.J. Hennigan, Brian Bennett and Nabih Bulos, “In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA,” Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html (March 27, 2016).

[cxxxi] “War Endangers Us,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/endangers.

[cxxxii] “War Erodes Liberties,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/liberties.

[cxxxiii] “War Threatens the Environment,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/environment.

[cxxxiv] “War Impoverishes,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/impoverishes.

[cxxxv] “We Need $2 Trillion/Year for Other Things,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/2trillion.

[cxxxvi] “Ratification of 18 International Human Rights Treaties,” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, http://indicators.ohchr.org.

[cxxxvii] Pat Elder, “GI Nik Cruz,” World Beyond War, http://worldbeyondwar.org/gi-nik-cruz (March 5, 2018).

[cxxxviii] “Estimated Number of Guns per Capita by Country,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country.

[cxxxix] Jamiles Lartey, “By the numbers: US police kill more in days than other countries do in years,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/09/the-counted-police-killings-us-vs-other-countries (June 9, 2015).

[cxl] “List of Killings by Law Enforcement Officers by Country,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_by_countries.

[cxli] Devon Haynie, “Report: The U.S. is the World’s 7th Largest Executioner,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-04-10/report-the-us-is-the-worlds-7th-largest-executioner (April 10, 2017).

[cxlii] —Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Yes, U.S. Locks People Up at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Country,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/07/yes-u-s-locks-people-up-at-a-higher-rate-than-any-other-country/?utm_term=.5ea21d773e21 (July 7, 2015).

—”List of Countries by Incarceration Rate,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate.

[cxliii] Joshua Manson, “UN Report Compares Solitary Confinement Practices in the U.S. and Around the World,” Solitary Watch, http://solitarywatch.com/2016/10/28/un-report-compares-solitary-confinement-practices-around-the-world (October 28, 2016).

[cxliv] David Swanson, “Talk Nation Radio: Nasim Chatha on Prison Imperialism,” Let’s Try Democracy, http://davidswanson.org/talk-nation-radio-nasim-chatha-on-prison-imperialism (February 6, 2018).

[cxlv] Melissa Breyer, “Top 10 Countries Killing the Planet,” Care2, https://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-10-countries-ruining-the-planet.html (May 11, 2010).

[cxlvi] Amir Khan, “America Tops List of 10 Most Obese Countries,” U.S. News & World Report, https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/05/28/america-tops-list-of-10-most-obese-countries (May 28, 2014).

[cxlvii] “The Most Litigious Countries in the World,” Clements Worldwide, https://www.clements.com/sites/default/files/resources/The-Most-Litigious-Countries-in-the-World.pdf.

[cxlviii] “List of Countries by Number of Billionaires,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_billionaires.

[cxlix] Kelsey Sheehy, “Undergraduates Around the World Face Student Loan Debt, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/articles/2013/11/13/undergrads-around-the-world-face-student-loan-debt (November 13, 2013).

[cl] —Ian Graham, “Media: Television viewing: Countries Compared,” Nation Master, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Media/Television-viewing.

— “Average daily TV viewing time per person in selected countries worldwide in 2016 (in minutes),” Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/276748/average-daily-tv-viewing-time-per-person-in-selected-countries.

[cli] “List of Countries by Road Network Size,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_road_network_size.

[clii] “List of Countries by Vehicles per Capita,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita.

[cliii] “Food Waste,” NRDC, https://www.nrdc.org/issues/food-waste.

[cliv] “Global Food Losses and Food Waste,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e.pdf (2011).

[clv] Lizzie Dearden, “Top 10 Countries for Cosmetic Surgery Revealed as Figures Show Rising Demand for Penis Enlargements and Other Procedures,” Independent, https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/top-10-countries-for-cosmetic-surgery-revealed-as-figures-show-industry-is-booming-worldwide-9636861.html (July 30, 2014).

[clvi] Peter Nowak, “U.S. leads the way in porn production, but falls behind in profits,” Canadian Business, http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blogs-and-comment/u-s-leads-the-way-in-porn-production-but-falls-behind-in-profits (Jan 5, 2012).

[clvii] Deidre McPhillips, “U.S. Among Most Depressed Countries in the World,” U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-09-14/the-10-most-depressed-countries (September 14, 2016).

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