America is not the greatest country in the world. As McAvoy said, we lead the world in “number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending”. We do not lead the world in having the highest GDP per capita, income equality, college enrollment, life expectancy, or math scores, as reported by the Washington Post. By numbers, we are not the most free, smart, equal, or best people in the world. The United States may have freedom, but so do many other countries. The United States may be a better place to live than many third-world countries, but Europe and Japan are just as nice places to live, and they also have modern militaries, solid infrastructure, and the same rights as we do.
The Washington Post had an article today in which it was asserted that the United States is slipping, or has slipped, to the number two spot for world’s largest economy. The writer of the piece, economist Charles Kenny, says that this change is not one that heralds the end of US power, but is instead one that could herald in a new age of peace. Kenny said, “The world increasingly shares aspirations, priorities and attitudes similar to ours. This is a success story for US stewardship of the global economy”. Acknowledging the fact that we are not the greatest country in the world could benefit our foreign relations, as a more humble national attitude towards our allies and enemies could create more calls for equal cooperation as opposed to commands. We are not the greatest country in the world, but we are an extremely powerful and influential one despite that fact. It is impossible for one country to be the most free and the most “star-spangled awesome” in such a complex world.