Friday, June 29, 2012

The 2012 Elections: Is Aaron Sorkin right?

English: Tax rates for the highest (red) and l...
English: Tax rates for the highest (red) and lowest (blue) income brackets since 1913 with the United States public debt (green) in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is America no longer the greatest country in the world?

Some observations:

"Consider this, you are the only people in the developed world without a single-payer health system. Everyone in Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand has a single-payer system. If they get sick, they can devote all their energies to getting well. If you get sick, you have to battle two things at once, your illness and the fear of financial ruin. Millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills, and tens of thousands die each year because they have no insurance or insufficient insurance. And don’t believe for a second that rot about America having the world’s best medical care or the shortest waiting lists: I’ve been to hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore, and Thailand, and every one was better than the “good” hospital I used to go to back home. The waits were shorter, the facilities more comfortable, and the doctors just as good."

"America has the highest debt rate in the world. This is because an enormous percentage of American tax dollars go towards supporting the military. Each United States citizen would need to contribute about $45,000 to get rid of that debt. This compares to about $21,000 per capita for Canadians. However, although European countries have a lower overall debt, because they have fewer people, the per capita rate is much higher. For instance, In the UK, the per capita rate is $150,000.
While the Wikimedia list is outdated, it does show that while the US debt is the highest in the world, the per capita repayment lies in the medium range. Countries in eastern Europe have very little debt.
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