Nicholas Kristoff reminded us yesterday that our country is continuing to slide down.
"A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else."
" The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s."
The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.
The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.
Another area where we have slipped is in respect. The last time that America was the most respected country in the world was when Obama was president. I've seen a variety of polls that shows us as low as #22, but a recent Gallup poll puts us as #2, but a long way from Germany, which is #1.
The US had a 33% global approval rating for 2019, just one percentage point ahead of China and 3% ahead of Russia. Germany outshines all three by a long stretch, with a 44% rating. These were the only four countries respondents were asked about.
The survey of a thousand adults in each of 135 countries was carried out around the world in 2019, before coronavirus struck. Washington’s global standing could suffer even further in light of its mismanagement of the pandemic, which has left the US as one of the worst hotspots for the disease
Donald Trump has frequently claimed that he has made the US respected again in the world, but the poll figures suggest the opposite. The US was the most admired country in the world for every year of the Obama administration except one (when it came a close second to Germany in 2011), but then its popularity plummeted 18 percentage points after Trump’s took office, recovering marginally after that at just over 30%.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that a survey that only asks about 4 countries is not a very valid survey. According to the Reputation Institute, America comes in at #22. In this poll, Germany comes in at #15, and Canada came out on top. Since the survey below was conducted 4 years ago, there have been some changes.
The list was updated in 2018, and we have dropped even further - to #36. The reputation of the U.S. has been in steep decline since 2016, dropping two spots to No. 36 on this year’s list, below even the Philippines, which ranked a surprising No. 35 in spite of President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous regime.
Unlike the U.K., which, despite having a less-than-stellar global standing, has managed to maintain much of the support of its citizens, the U.S. seems to have lost the trust of stakeholders both internationally and domestically, perhaps a consequence of the nationalist rhetoric that sometimes emanates from the White House. “There’s a disconnect—the economy is thriving, business is great, but what does it stand for? What does the government really represent?” Levy says. “The U.S. is at an ethical and moral crossroads,” Hahn-Griffiths adds. “It’s not good enough to have an advanced economy—it’s about what you’re doing to help society progress in the right way.”
There WAS a time when our educational system was the best in the world, but now we are ranked at #17. Ironically, our educational system is as good as it has ever been, but the 16 countries ahead of us have done more to improve, which is why Finland is #1. The article below goes into more detail: