Edition: English Asia Pacific Africa Europe | Español Français العربية Pусский | 中文简体 中文繁体
Homepage > News

Can America really be great again? (II)

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

01-27-2016 16:06 BJT

Editor's Note: CCTV.com Panview will post a two-part series about the rise of the US economy and signs that the nation could be headed towards more gloomy financial conditions. We invited Sol Palha, a prominent business news writer from the USA, to write the series. This is Part 2.

By Sol Palha, senior analyst at Tactical Investor newsletter, based in New York, NY. USA

Jobs should be easy to get, right?

In 2013, 9.6 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 10.5 percent in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation's 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had, at least, one employed member in 2013.

A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage. In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the US and in 16,127,000—or 20 percent–no one had a job.

We are in an economic recovery, the picture is rosy, all is well, but 20% of households do not have even one family member employed. What gives. 

Unemployment is not dropping; the only thing dropping is the number of Americans looking for a job. The BLS uses a twisted formula that does not count someone who is unemployed if they stop looking for a job. 

Based on the employment-population ratio, the percentage of working age Americans that have a job has fallen below 59% for more than four years. 41% of working-age Americans do not have a job, according to CNN.

About one-third of American households live "hand-to-mouth," meaning they spend all their paycheck funds. 66% of these families are middle class, with a median income of $41,000.

While they don't have liquid assets, such as savings accounts or mutual fund holdings, they do have homes and retirement accounts, with a median net worth of $41,000. "We don't expect them to be living paycheck to paycheck," said Greg Kaplan, study co-author and assistant professor of economics at Princeton University.

If members of the middle class lose their jobs, they will have no savings and will join the ranks of the poor and destitute. 

Now you know why Russia and China are not only challenging the USA, but they are also teaming up; they know the end is near for American imperialism. You cannot push other countries to the limit when internally everything is falling to pieces.

Health care should be top notch

Regarding health care, the USA is close to the bottom of the barrel coming in at a distant 37th. Other countries are performing better than US in ensuring the health of their populations. The World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, ranked the U.S. health care system 37th in the world.

Despite claims by many in the U.S. health policy community that international comparisons are not useful, the rankings have figured prominently in many arenas.

It is hard to ignore that in 2006, the US was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita, but ranked 39th-infant mortality, 43rd-adult female mortality, 42nd-adult male mortality, and 36th-life expectancy. Why do we spend so much, but get so little in return?

Education should be top-notch

The US should be at the top when it comes to education, but it appears that we are closer to the bottom.

Students in the US made scant headway on recent global achievement exams and slipped deeper in international rankings, according to test results released recently.

American teens scored below the international average in math and roughly average in science and reading, compared to dozens of other countries that participated in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), administered last fall.

Vietnam, which had its students take part in the exam for the first time, had a higher average score in math and science than the US. Students in Shanghai — China's largest city with upwards of 20 million people — ranked best in the world, according to test results. Students in East Asian countries and provinces came out on top, nabbing seven of the top 10 places across all three subjects.

The great USA  does not even make it to the top 10. It ranks 17th in reading and 21st in math; in math, it could not even make it to the top 20. So, what does superpower mean?

Accordingly, the USA is far from a superpower and more like a super beggar. The USA thinks it's slim, trim and wearing a fantastic expensive outfit, but it's bald, fat, ugly, naked and broke.

Individuals with young children would do well to teach their children Chinese

Real economic opportunity for decades to come will be mostly found in Asia and other developing nations.

Quality of life should be very good.

New York, NY, June 16, 2014—Despite having the most expensive health care system, the US ranks last overall among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

Other countries included in the study were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Sweden Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. While there is room for improvement in every country, the U.S. stands out for having the highest costs and lowest performance—the U.S. spent $8,508 per person on health care in 2011, compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom, which ranked first overall.

Regarding the happiest countries in the world, the USA is not in the top five and barely makes it in the top 10. It holds the number 10 position.    

And just because the U.S has more weapons than most nations and it spends the most on its military that does not make it a true super power. Its superpower status had been bought with money it does not have. Once the petrodollar is eliminated, all these channels of easy credit will come to a grinding halt. 

While the US-led mainstream media scream that Russia is headed towards doom, the reality is that America is already there. The problem is that most Americans are too blind to see it yet.

Well, if China is a paper dragon, then the USA is a paper cookie. Reality hurts, and it will hit those least-prepared the hardest.

Additionally, when it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the US is, indeed, No. 1. In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations.

(The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent and 5 percent respectively.) From 2004 to 2013, Washington was also the No. 1 weapons exporter in the world.

Moreover, given the U.S. government's almost unbroken series of wars and acts of military intervention since 1941, it also seems likely that it surpasses all rivals when it comes to international violence.

This record is paralleled on the domestic front, where the US has more guns and gun deaths than any other country.

A study released in late 2013 reported that the US had 88 guns for every 100 people, and 40 gun-related deaths for every 400,000 people―more than any of the 27 economically developed countries studied.

By contrast, in Britain there were 6 guns per 100 people and 1 gun-related death per 400,000 people. Yet, in many other areas, the US is not No. 1 at all.

US superpower status is based on a false assumption that the nation can borrow unlimited amounts of money forever, because the dollar is the world's reserve currency.

This status gives it an unfair advantage and allows it to create as much money as it needs with the stroke of a button. The number of countries bypassing the US dollar and conducting bilateral trade using their currencies is increasing each passing day. 

This unfair advantage will come to an end one day and when it does the whole military war machine will come to a grinding halt. You cannot live on borrowed money forever; eventually, you have to pay the piper.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat

We Recommend

  • World Heritage China Part 29
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 2
  • Along the Coast Part 41
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 1
  • Dreams and the business reality
  • Philippines' beauty pageant obsession
  • China's love for basketball
  • Box office online
  • Jixi: Land of luminaries II