Economy and Development

Is America in decline? Any lessons for developing countries?

What is the American Dream? It is not as obvious as it used to be anymore. Although starry eyed caravans of migrants still see the United States as a preferred destination, it is a country in decline.

A commentator recently said that like the ancient Roman empire, the US is gradually losing its grips on the ultimate marker of civilization, which is that life gets progressively better for its citizens. Some have pointed to the country’s culture of extreme liberalism and run away capitalism as the inducer of the observable decay.

In recent times, President Trump has been referring to socialist economies as evil, thereby providing some “air cover” and succour to right wing provocateurs in Europe. But it appears that Karl Max was probably right. The real evil might be unrestrained capitalism which systematically dilutes citizens’ quality of life.

In the last three decades, America has either slipped or struggled to remain steady on the “Social Progress Index”: An index which, according to the World Economic Forum measures life in three areas.
1: Basic Human Needs, which includes medical care, sanitation, and shelter.
2: Foundations of Wellbeing, which covers education, access to technology, and life expectancy.
3: Opportunity, which looks at personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.
In the combo ranking of these three areas, America is not even in the top ten.

In some specific areas like education and health, America has just been ranked 27th position down from 6th in 1990.

Nigerians who keep pointing to America as the gold standard of everything from political to economic issues appear to be ignorant of current world data.

The lesson for developing countries is clear: they need to quit fooling around with development issues and stop celebrating meaningless achievements. Apartment for Rent in Nikki Beach, Jumeirah
Economic development is a lot of hard work with clear, verifiable, and measurable goals. We are not there yet. We are not anywhere near there yet. And sadly, it does not appear that we want to be there any time soon.

In every marker of development, we are shamming and we do it with clownish glee. Hence, in fifty to hundred years from now, if this fractured world system tarries, we will not be very far from where we are today. It is not a curse. It is a prediction based on solid facts.

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