2018-12-06 / Letters

U.S. lags in life index

To the editor:

The purpose of government is to provide for its citizens. In USA we have a system that translates that into a very strong military, the most expensive health care system in the world, a world class college and poor K12 education, and crumbling infrastructure. When you bundle these features and look at a country’s citizens you can quantify their success based on life expectancy, literacy, and quality of life ratings.

USA is the most capitalistic country in the world where our total tax as a percent of GDP is only 26 percent. Socialist countries have much higher tax rate: United Kingdom, 34.4 percent; France, 47.9 percent; and Sweden, 49.8 percent. But how do our citizens prosper vs these countries? Not very well. The CIA reports the 2017 life expectancy in USA is 80.0 years, 27th in the world behind Sweden at 82, 12th; France at 81.9, 13th; and UK at 80.8, 22nd.

Another important metric that can grade our capitalist system is literacy. USA is an also-ran with only 86 percent. Finland, Norway, and Cuba are among the leaders at 100 percent followed by France, Sweden and United Kingdom at 99 percent.

A subjective measure published by “US News and World Report” is Quality of Life. In this rating the top four countries are Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway followed by USA in a distant 17th place. We are led by more socialist countries.

I am a capitalist and I recognize the creative genius and brilliant leaders that our system has developed: Edison, FDR, Ike, Jobs, Gates, and recent self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos of Amazon. The list is endless but within our system our citizens have not shared in the benefits of our society compared to the more socialist countries. And these socialist countries harness technology for mankind. EU’s Airbus and China’s manufacturing are two examples.

John Lombardi
E Spinnaker Lane
Suttons Bay

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