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State of The Union: 55 Things You May Not Know . . . but Should

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 13, 2014 6:06 AM |

Every now and then there are selected commentaries brought to my attention that just scream, “SHARE THIS!” To that end, I thank the reader who sent along the following article with voluminous links.

Think our society is not in distress and decline? I compel you to take a few minutes to review a listing of 55 items compiled by Michael Snyder of The American Dream. Please let me know which of these items most disturb you and what you think of the “state of our union.” Let’s navigate.

#1 We are supposed to have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are.

#2 Americans spend more on health care per capita than anyone else in the world by far, and yet we only rank 35th in life expectancy.

#3 Only one state in the entire country has an obesity rate of under 20 percent.  11 states have an obesity rate of over 30 percent.

#4 Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese.  Mexico is #2.

#5 Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese, but it is being projected that 42 percent of all Americans could be obese by the year 2030.

#6 According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 31 percent of all food in the United States gets wasted.  In case you were wondering, that amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food a year.

#7 America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a wide margin.

#8 In America, we even put 81-year-old women in prison for feeding the birds.

#9 According to a Newsweek survey taken a few years ago, 29 percent of all Americans could not even name the vice president.

#10 Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.

#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”.  Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.

#12 36 percent of Americans admit that they have yelled at a customer service agent during the past year.

#13 Incredibly, one survey found that 30 percent of all Americans cannot remember in what year the 9/11 attacks happened.

#14 There are more “deaths by reptile” in America than anywhere else in the world.

#15 Right now, 29 percent of all Americans under the age of 35 are living with their parents.

#16 Average SAT scores have been falling for years, and the level of education that our kids are receiving in most of our public schools is a total joke.

#17 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug.  An astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.

#18 Americans spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs each year.

#19 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.

#20 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.

#21 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.

#22 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#23 According to the federal government, the number of heroin addicts in the United States has more than doubled since 2002.

#24 It is hard to believe, but 56 percent of all Americans now have “subprime credit”.

#25 America exports more weapons to other countries than anyone else in the world.

#26 The United States has the most complicated tax system on the entire planet.

#27 Corruption is rampant throughout our society.  In fact, America leads the world in money given to fake charities.

#28 America leads the world in soft drink consumption by a wide margin.  Today, the average American drinks more than 600 sodas a year.

#29 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”.  In 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be “middle class”.

#30 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.

#31 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968 after you account for inflation.

#32 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6 Americans is on food stamps.

#33 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low.  Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.

#34 In the United States today, more than half of all couples “move in together” before they get married.

#35 America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.

#36 America has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.

#37 100 years ago, 4.52 were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.

#38 According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.

#39 For women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.

#40 At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.

#41 In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old.  Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.

#42 America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.

#43 Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.

#44 America has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.

#45 According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are 20 million new sexually-transmitted infections in the United States every single year, and Americans in the 15 to 24-year-old age range account for approximately 50 percent of those new sexually-transmitted infections.

#46 As I wrote about recently, there are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the U.S. according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

#47 America produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.

#48 America has the most lawyers per capita in the entire world.

#49 If you choose to be a “Constitutionalist” in America today, you may get labeled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.

#50 America has the largest national debt in the history of the world.  Back in 1980, the U.S. national debt was less than one trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 17 trillion dollars.

#51 According to the Congressional Budget Office, interest payments on the national debt will nearly quadruple over the next ten years.

#52 Americans spend more money on elections than anyone else does in the world by a very wide margin.

#53 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”.  That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.

#54 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.

#55 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”

OUCH!! Not in every item, but what do I see on display in much of this list? Two things:
1. A decline of values widely associated with a strong nuclear family.
2. A lack of real leadership.

What to do?

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy.

For those reading this via a syndicated outlet or receiving it via e-mail or another delivery, please visit the blog to comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents.’

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The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • happel

    Well, I read ,then re-read this list and have come up with my answer to your request, Larry.

    #16 Average SAT scores have been falling for years, and the level of education that our kids are receiving in most of our public schools is a total joke.

    I would have to say many of these other awful things I read have to do a lot with choices; obesity, STDs, political affiliations, drug use, prescription or illegal all involve personal choice. Education is not a choice in our country. Property owners are taxed every year, regardless of productive output of this product. Educators are not held accountable for falling grades or rising illiteracy or drop-out rates. Of all of these things, our taxes are most forcibly ripped from our hands to continue funding a failing program: Dept. of Education, and it slogs along at that same snail-like pace, burning holes in the pockets of every hard-working tax-paying citizen.

    My $.02.

  • Barry

    Frightening .. if you put a picture of “socioeconomic” next to its definition, I guess it would be the good, old USA!






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