We’re Not No. 1! We’re Not No. 1!

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, April 3, 2014

We in the United States grow up celebrating ourselves as the world’s most powerful nation, the world’s richest nation, the world’s freest and most blessed nation.

Sure, technically Norwegians may be wealthier per capita, and the Japanese may live longer, but the world watches the N.B.A., melts at Katy Perry, uses iPhones to post on Facebook, trembles at our aircraft carriers, and blames the C.I.A. for everything. We’re No. 1!

In some ways we indisputably are, but a major new ranking of livability in 132 countries puts the United States in a sobering 16th place. We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.

In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety. Even in access to cellphones and the Internet, the United States ranks a disappointing 23rd, partly because one American in five lacks Internet access.


This Social Progress Index ranks New Zealand No. 1, followed by Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. All are somewhat poorer than America per capita, yet they appear to do a better job of meeting the needs of their people.

The Social Progress Index is a brainchild of Michael E. Porter, the eminent Harvard business professor who earlier helped develop the Global Competitiveness Report. Porter is a Republican whose work, until now, has focused on economic metrics.

“This is kind of a journey for me,” Porter told me. He said that he became increasingly aware that social factors support economic growth: tax policy and regulations affect economic prospects, but so do schooling, health and a society’s inclusiveness.

So Porter and a team of experts spent two years developing this index, based on a vast amount of data reflecting suicide, property rights, school attendance, attitudes toward immigrants and minorities, opportunity for women, religious freedom, nutrition, electrification and much more.


The bottom spot on the ranking was filled by Chad. Just above it were Central African Republic, Burundi, Guinea, Sudan and Angola.


China does poorly, ranking 90th, behind its poorer neighbor Mongolia (no. 89). China performs well in basic education but lags in areas such as personal rights and access to information.


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  • Luca

    One can only wonder how America would rank if not for massive amounts of money spent defending and helping the rest of world. We have about 150 foreign military bases where we maintain a very expensive presence.

    Then there is all that foreign aid going to Iraq Afghanistan and Israel.

    Then there is the massive amount of time and money going for the domestic woes like minorities, immigrants, drugs, crime etc.

    There are more issues of course, but none of these other countries even come close to doing what we do, so comparing us to them is basically apples to oranges.

    If we had more money and effort applied to our domestic “problems” and if they were handled properly, we could be the fantastic country we were prior to 1964.

    • Johnson was a lying sociopath. Ditto most or all of them since then. Sociopaths seek self-aggrandizement, and so overreach in trying to prove their greatness. Will sociopath Obama make it to Mt. Rushmore? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if his mug doesn’t end up defacing the monument.

      • Luca

        “Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice—the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects.” – Benjamin Franklin.

        This sums up Obama and Johnson pretty well. I never cease being amazed at our founders and the other brilliant men of the past, those with timeless common sense and wisdom.

        • Paleoconn

          The worst Presidents ever, and I’d throw in Wilson, FDR, Lincoln, Bush 2…hell Bush I as well, to fight for the next rankings.

      • DiversityIsDeath

        Oh you just know they are going to have to “fix” Mt. Rushmore because it is simply “too white” to be tolerated nowadays. It’s just a matter of time. Must get in there and muddy it up, just for spite. Must destroy the balance and symmetry of this amazing work of art, must desecrate this monument by slapping some inferior, mythologized token minority up there.

    • John K

      Don’t forget all the billions flushed down the African toilet.

    • Where foreign aid is concerned, Iraq was ahead of Israel in 2011, with nuclear-armed, failed-state Pakistan and that open, running sore commonly known as “Haiti” trailing close behind Israel. Wikipedia has a nice run-down on where our money is going, under “United States foreign aid”.

    • evilsandmich

      Keep in mind that “foreign aid” is often just U.S. corporate welfare parading as goodwill. For instance aid to Egypt is often in the form of credits to (amazingly enough) purchase U.S. military gear while food aid is often in the form of credits that can be used to purchase food from American agri-giants (much has been written about how free stuff, and food in particular, has destroyed local specialization and knowledge when it comes to native production).

      • Free (donated) clothes has largely wrecked the black African clothing industry. How can local manufacturers – even operating their establishments in sweatshop conditions and employing child labor – possibly compete with “free”?

  • Eagle_Eyed

    So the 30% or so NAM population drags our totals down. So what? Let’s see these rankings by taking only suburbs and rural areas into account.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Of course the US was #1 five or six decades ago when it was 90% white.

      That changed with mass Turd World immigration, cheered on by likes of Nicholas Kristof and the New York Slimes newspaper.

      • kenfrombayside

        Keep the pressure on your reps in congress. Giving 11 – 30 million (nobody knows for sure) criminal lawbreakers legalization pure insanity. Plus, they could sponsor their relatives; that would bring the total up to about 50 million aliens in our midst. Of course, these new citizens will vote for the vile democrats and their socialist giveaways. Most of them will be unskilled, uneducated, low IQ etc. Stop this outrageous bill now. Don’t sit on the sidelines.You are not wasting your time. The American people don’t want this bill. You have to do all you can do to stem the third world assault:
        – Contact your 2 US Senators and rep in congress.
        – after biz hours, leave a message on your DC rep’s voicemail. All US Senators have multiple offices so it would be a good idea to hit all of the. Remember, be civil and don’t threaten
        – go to NUMBERSUSA then go to the take action button. You will be able to send faxes to your 2 US Senators and congressional for free. (I also gave a $50 donation).
        – use Business Reply envelopes to state your opposition to America’s insane immigration policies and the proposed amnesty. Don’t give the parties any money.
        – join an immigration group like FAIR. Strength thru numbers!
        – go to the RNC & DNC sites to email them.
        – Use the media: call a talk radio program; write a letter to your local paper. If the media outlet is liberal, then talk about economic impact of massive third world immigration.
        – text everybody in your cell phone queue now.

        • Whitetrashgang

          Since 1965 its to late unless you want to get hard, the tribe controls everything , sorry.

  • Economic inequality is not and should not be a political issue. It is a fact of life. That’s a good segue to this week’s AR feature, “The Son Also Rises.”

    That said, mass immigration from non-white countries makes income and wealth inequality worse.

  • MekongDelta69

    We’re Not No. 1! We’re Not No. 1!

    Did Kristof say this, or NoBama?

    Same thing…

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Top of the list… bottom of the list… let’s see, what is obvious here? Yes, all groups of humanoids are the same, from Scandinavia to the Sudan.

  • A country filled with people with third-world minds will be a third-world country. Simple, but too complicated for libtards to grasp.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      The liberal elites are extremists. All cultures are equal and all human beings are equally interchangeable. They are also equally disposable. Since America is a propositional nation, all that matters is the idea of freedom. Nationalism and patriotism are retrograde parochialisms from a barbaric past. Because the liberal elitists belong to the proletarian dictatorship of the new world order, they will lead us to the promised land, a land of milk and honey, where everyone will live in multicult harmony.

      Whether the elites really believe in multiculturalism and globalism and any other “ism” is irrelevant. What matters is that these two ideas are extremely useful when it comes to increasing both power and the amount of hard cash in your bank account.

  • If we had just a few terabuckers and 50% unemployment, (and at the rate it’s going, that’ll be reality by the time I’m an old man), then that would be prima facie evidence of something being wrong. The income distribution curve should be very close to that of a normal probability distribution, a bell curve.

    But even that ideal world, there will be income inequality. The way the left deals with the issue is entirely meant for vote trolling.

  • HJ11

    Diversity is not only not our greatest strength, it is our greatest weakness.

    A non-White America is no different than any other non-White cesspool People matter. Genes count.

    • Ahnenerbe

      America has never been White America through race. America was founded on White Supremacy. White supremacists came with their black slaves to a Indian land. It has always been multi-racial/culture. It’s just Whites were ruthlessly in charge.

      • DailyKenn

        White people ruthlessly invented the light bulb, airplane, automobile and virtually every other thing you see around you other than nature itself.

        Credit ruthless white people with enhancing the lives of the humanity with healthcare advances and a quality of life that far exceeds anything known in history.

    • SaggyGenes

      Genes? What are those?

      You mean the things that make babies gay?

  • Diana Moon Glampers

    …attitudes toward immigrants and minorities…

    Hmmm. So I imagine countries with positive attitudes about being occupied and replaced by darker-hued people rank as better off. Having our blonde daughters raped by Africans is the best way to be a top-tier nation.

    • benvad

      When New Zealand lets in 13% of their populations worth if Nigerians, then! We’ll see how well they do. The U.S would be at the top if they could turn back the clock to 1951, before the Civil Rights debacle.

      • Ella

        But in reality, we cannot. I really believe that the damage is irreversible. We will have to carve out new boundaries or become “intermixed” in this new media-cult society.

        • benvad

          I feel for you.

  • silviosilver

    That said. Economic inequality is also a contributing factor to our misery as well.

    I guess more immigration may be the only soution that problem.


  • MBlanc46

    Converging with Mexico, no doubt.

  • DailyKenn

    A submerging nation. And that is the cultural Marxist objective.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Honestly, when you dig deep and really think about their motivations it is mostly an anti-White thing; whether it be guilt-ridden and self loathing brain washed White progressives or envious, bitter third-world low IQ non-White narcissistic tribal parasites.

  • Would you be talking about those oh-so-brave FEMEN types who run around topless to scream and yell at octogenarian Catholic priests because they’re involved in a vast conspiracy to take away their precious aborticide rights, even though those same Catholic priests who live in almost universally Catholic countries were unable to stop those countries from enacting aborticide rights?

    Real brave to lash out at old people with no power.

    I’ll believe these FEMEN types have real courage when they drop the bras and storm a mosque.

  • CourtneyfromAlabama

    I have been feeling like we are somewhere in between Third and Second World for some time now.

    Think about it:

    1) At most gas stations you stop at, you can almost count on the pump that you happen to pull up to having an “out of order” sign on it.

    2) We keep hearing stories about rides getting stuck at uncomfortable heights at amusement parks. We also hear stories about people getting trapped in elevators constantly.

    3) Going to the hospital or the DMV feels more like prison.

    4) Most of our roads and interstates are ugly.

    5) Our public restrooms are usually either out of order or gross.

    6) Most of us can’t live in nice apartments downtown where we can just walk from where we live to get groceries or go to work. There was once a time when that was the common way white people lived.

    There are probably 100 points to this lists, but I guess this is enough.

    • “5) Our public restrooms are usually either out of order or gross.”

      Political humorist P.J. O’Rourke once said that a public restroom is a microcosm for all things public in the United States: “dirty, disgusting and probably dangerous”.

      • Zaporizhian Sich

        It’s even worse at work more often than not. Where I work, I feel sorry for the cleaning ladies who have to clean up after people who regard America as an open air toilet.

  • WR_the_realist

    Translation: If you want social progress, keep your country white. If you want to experience social collapse, keep your country black. I am happy that the New York Times has pointed that out. Given the policies of liberals on immigration it is obvious that they want social collapse, whereas I, a benighted paleocon, want social progress.

    • IstvanIN

      So called conservatives also want social collapse. Perhaps we should divide people up by loyal and traitors.

  • Bobbala

    There is nothing wrong with African dirt.

  • LHathaway

    “Everyone is opposed to economic inequality, the ones that aren’t simply haven’t encountered enough of it yet”.

    Interesting last sentence. If one were to reverse this one might say, “Everyone is opposed to social engineering the ones who aren’t simply haven’t encountered enough of it”.

    You could have also said, “Everyone is opposed to diversity, the one’s who aren’t simply haven’t encountered enough of it yet”.

    It would seem our rulers are working frantically hard to make sure we encounter enough of it.

  • benvad

    We should hit them every chance we get, whether it’s warranted or not. That’s how these jackals learn. You notice they never take swipes at mafia type thugs, because they realise, their people you don’t mess with.

  • The Right Fight

    If the 20 or so largest school districts (all failing urban schools) were excluded from America’s totals, we would probably rate in the top 10 globally.

    That’s still too low, given our potential, but it speaks volumes about how lousy America’s city schools are at doing their job.

    • IstvanIN

      The city schools are lousy or the pupils are lousy? It is the pupils, not the school buildings, the teachers, the teacher’s union or a lack of funding. You can not make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  • Paleoconn

    It’s clear the USA doesn’t have enough Mexicans, and its military not enough women. This ought to improve things.

    PS not to pick nits, but NBA and CIA shouldn’t have periods

  • MooTieFighter

    Of course we are falling, and as our black/Hispanic population rises our power will continue to do so. It’s just that simple.