The United States is among the top half of these developed nations:
Not only is the correct answer to each of the questions "false," but even more sobering is the fact that on the first eight questions the United States dead last. On the combined index of the number of social and health problems the United States is clearly last. The common factor accounting for the quality of life in these countries is the disparity of wealth and income within the nation.
The Gini coefficient is recognized worldwide as the standard measure of income of inequality. In the US, the coefficient is reported annually by Bureau of Census and is published in the Statistical Abstracts of the US, as are the other national statistics used for the comparison with the other countries.
It has not always been this way. For over 200 years we were the model of equality and prosperity. Now, we have become the exception to our own ideals. This is in direct contrast to how we see ourselves. We have lost our perspective on the quality of life in our own country.
We can recover the historical standing we have had as the American ideal. The mechanisms responsible for smaller disparities of national income and wealth are well known. Countries with higher levels of health and happiness, and fewer social problems have:
All six have been part of our own history. It is not that we do not know this, but rather, we have lost the will, and perhaps the capacity, to use them.
The Occupy Movement is a wakeup call to our civic consciousness. We have become an exception to what we have always believed ourselves to be.
Will we hear the wakeup call, and take America back, or continue on in our 30 year snooze.