A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day in America. And, like it or not, there isn’t a person on this planet who doesn’t have an opinion about America. The Land of Milk and Money generates some pretty strong passion — for and against. So here are a few facts about America that most people either ignore or forget to remember.
Every year, the US government gives $32 billion dollars in non-military foreign aid to the rest of the world. That’s free money, folks — courtesy of the US taxpayer. FYI, nearly one billion of that goes to free vaccinations for children all over the world.
Not to be outdone, individually, Americans donate 258 billion dollars — that’s $258,000,000,000.00 — to charity (domestic and foreign) every year.
There are more museums, art galleries and live theatres in the United States than there are in any other nation in the world.
Plus the US has more public libraries (read: free) than all the rest of the world combined.
There is more medical and scientific research conducted in the United States than in any other country.
Americans have won more Nobel prizes — in every category, except literature — than any other nation.
In 2016, the United States used less fresh water than it did in 1970 — which is a good trick, considering most of the world is going the other way.
In real terms, the United States generates more sustainable energy and uses more renewable energy than any other country on the planet.
There are more electric cars driven in the United States than in the next two countries, China and Japan, combined — most of them in California.
If California were a country, it would have the 8th largest economy in the world.
Every single weekend, the night life of New York generates more money than the GDP of 80 of the world’s poorest nations.
The poorest 5% of Americans are still richer than 68% of the rest of the world.
And finally, two of my favourites:
Officially, the United States, like the rest of the world, uses the Metric System. (It was signed into law by President Ford in 1975.) However, most Americans couldn’t care less what a few politicians in Washington DC do and still use gallons, pints, pounds, ounces, miles, feet and inches.
Originally, the President of the United States did not pick the Vice President. Constitutionally, the Vice President was the person who got the second highest number of votes in the Presidential election. Think about it! If the Constitution hadn’t been amended, back in 1800, Donald Trump’s Vice President would be Hillary Clinton!
Happy Independence Day, America!