Jeremy Truitt

An attempt to understand the world of current events, finance and the economy on a level that allows me to teach it. I'm a journalist. Oh and the occasional post about family, life and kids!

Beyond Politics: Moving Forward. Where Does America Stand?

I’m avoiding politics. Whomever wins today has work ahead of them. I want to take a minute to discuss WHERE the U.S. is in terms of a few metrics, as well as move forward.

First, I digress. Why is voting so important? It’s important because it’s the lifeblood of our democracy. It allows our political engine to operate and move forward. To do this it requires a well-informed people, a well-informed electorate. When thinking about past generations, I’ll quote Will McAvoy in the fictional show The Newsroom (yeah I’m a fan):

“We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons, we waged war on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouth was…we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, we inspired to intelligence. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election…we were able to be all these things because we were informed….by great men. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”–Will McAvoy

That’s a bitter pill to swallow for me. I love this country. I love what we stand for, what we are willing to do to win and to grow and evolve. Where I worry is in the above statement. It’s true. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. Is this Barack Obama’s fault? Is it George W. Bush’s fault? How about Bill Clinton? I said I wasn’t going into politics so that’s a rhetorical question :).

Regardless, here’s some stats. I collected them to the best of my ability so feel free to fact-check.

  • The U.S. is 7th in high school graduation rates among developed countries. (According to OECD)
  • The U.S. is 14th in college educated citizens among developed countries. (According to OECD)
  • The U.S. is 17th in reading proficiency among developed countries. (According to OECD)
  • The U.S. is 32nd in math proficiency among developed countries. (According to OECD)
  • The U.S. ranks 37th in life expectancy among developed countries. (According to the CIA Factbook)

So….where does the U.S. rank really high? How about this?

  • The U.S. is 1st in incarcerated citizens among developed countries. It incarcerates 754 people per 100,000. (According to the World Prison Population list)
  • The U.S. is 1st in defense spending among developed countries. (According to the DOD)
  • The U.S. is 1st in teen-pregnancy among developed countries. (According to The National Campaign)
  • The U.S. is 1st in sexually transmitted infections among developed countries. (According to The National Campaign)

I don’t mean to take a left turn down negative lane but c’mon. This is NOT a Republican or Democrat problem. This is an American problem. The United States of America used to be the greatest country in the world. I still believe it is in a lot of areas but one can’t simply ignore the facts. The fact is we’re in decline. The fact is, it’s been happening for a long time.

This may seem like a sappy way of appealing to “bi-partisanship” and reaching across the aisle, but it’s more than that. We need to change something and I don’t believe it’s political. I don’t have the answer. I hope someone does. Because my kids depend on it.

Whom I voted for today is nobody’s business, but what I will say is whomever is declared the victor late tonight or early tomorrow morning, it’s time to move on. Lick your wounds if you lost, rejoice if you won and get to work. At the end of the day, what we are teaching our children is where the country will head. Good or bad. So we must yet again unite as a nation and keep moving forward.

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6 comments on “Beyond Politics: Moving Forward. Where Does America Stand?

  1. Beau Harrington
    November 6, 2012

    Jman, You have hit on some major points that are completely true. A lot of problems in America are directly linked to ourselves. We all have a mindset of instant gratification. The belief of hard work and dedication are lost qualities it seems anymore. People are relying on the government to survive. When the people rely on the government instead of the government relying on its people, that is where everything goes down hill. This is the situation that our current government is in.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 6, 2012

      Hey Beau! Thanks for the comment!

    • Arnold Watson
      November 7, 2012

      I could not agree more…good point of view. I remind my sons of the value of knowledge and self worth on a daily basis. I remind them that success is the end result of self willed effort.

  2. ianamclennan
    November 7, 2012

    As a Canadian, I’m well versed in all the failings of the USA: it’s a Canadian national pasttime. However I’m also in awe of the USA for being a country founded on the values of the enlightenment, particularly the worlds first secular constitution. My country is founded on British Colonial Rule and its legacy. It is my belief that America will get back on track when they again realize that they are a diverse nation of immigrants working together under the worlds greatest constitution. Great post, though I wish you WOULD get into politics.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 7, 2012

      Hi there! Thanks for the comments! You make a very good point and I do agree with you.

C'mon I KNOW you have an opinion!

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2012 by in Education, Life, News, Personal, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , .
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