Labor Day seems like a good time to share this interesting link. It is called IfItWereMyHome.com. What it does is compare living standards from around the world. There are different ways to do it, but the most obvious, and most eye-opening for internationally-challenged Americans, is to compare the US with similar industrialized countries. Take Germany for example.
According to the site, Germans, on average,
consume 50% less oil (!),
use 47% less electricity,
make 26% less money
are 83% less likely to have AIDS,
spend 48% less on health care, and
live one year longer
To be sure, some of the stats can be misleading; the risk of AIDS in the US is not evenly distributed. And though the US continues to show high per capita income, that fact completely masks the reality of extreme income inequality experienced in the US. Outsized incomes on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and in entertainment are the only reason average income in the US remains high.
Some trends consistently pop up when you compare the US with other industrialized countries; the US has much higher health care costs, terrible figures on child mortality, uses far more energy than most, and has a much higher class divide.
But hey, those Labor Day parades. Makes you so proud to wave Old Glory and to see all those politicans who have done so much for labor, especially those Republicans, marching and waving and such.
They must really support working families. What more proof could you want?