Thursday, July 21, 2016

America Number One

1) Incarceration Rates

The US leads developed nations in sending people to prison. In October 2013 the International Centre for Prison Studies reported that America had the highest prison population rate in the world - 716 per 100,000 of the national population.

2) Military Spending

The US surpasses all other nations in terms of military spending, making up 37 percent of the world’s military budgets in 2015. The US spent $596 billion on the armed forces last year, more than the next seven countries combined.

3) Gun Violence

The US has established a league of its own in terms of gun violence, with other western countries paling in comparison. Homicides totalled 11,961 in 2014, according to the FBI. This rose by nearly 17 percent in 2015, according to a Wonkblog analysis of preliminary crime data, reported by The Washington Post. This is the biggest annual deterioration since 1990.

4) Police Killings of citizens

US police kill more people in days then other countries do in years. An analysis by The Guardian’s police killing tracker ‘The Counted’ compared its rates to a range of countries and found a huge disparity. The spotlight has again turned to the high numbers of African-American men shot dead by US police after the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier this month. Widespread protests by the Black Lives Matter movement have taken place in recent weeks. Police killed at least 346 black people in the US last year and 160 this year, according to Mapping Police Violence.

5) Healthcare Inequality

A study carried out at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance in 2009 found that nearly 45,000 deaths annually in the US are associated with a lack of health insurance. The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, noted that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts. The US has been ranked as having the most expensive healthcare system in the world with the poorest outcomes for patients. It has consistently been noted as the worst performing by the Commonwealth Fund, which compares health systems internationally on quality of care, access to doctors and equity throughout the country.

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