Monday, February 05, 2007

Congrats to the Colts, the new Super Bowl champs. It was the soggiest SB that I can remember with the rain playing a big factor in the game (8 total turnovers). In the end, the Colts clearly dominated and deserved the win, as did Manning the MVP.

Speaking of number ones, a few weeks ago Parade magazine featured an article titled, "Is America Still No. 1?" Below are the areas where the U.S. leads and where it lags:
We're No. 1 in the world in:

• Billionaires: 371, worth a reported $1.1 trillion

• 2004 Olympic medals: 102 in the summer Games

• Internet users: 205,327,000

• Nobel Prize-winners: 296

• Military abroad: 460,000 armed forces stationed in 144 countries

• Roads: 3.98 million miles

• Airports: 14,858

• Gold reserves: $157.88 billion

Where We Lag

America needs to do better in some critical areas:

• Doctors: 43 countries have more physicians per capita than we do

• Infant deaths: 33 countries have lower rates

• Male life expectancy: Residents of 27 countries live longer

• Murders: 15th-highest murder rate

• Prisoners: Highest per capita rate of people in prison

• Women in national legislatures: 71 countries do better

• Voting: Of eligible citizens who vote, U.S. is 139th of 172 nations
Really take a good look again at the above groupings. It's quite sad. A good number of the areas we lead in are quite dubious, yet the several areas where we lag are in very important categories. We apparently have lots of roads, internet users, and very rich people, but obviously our health care system is not the best in the world, the crime and prisoner situation is pretty abysmal, and for all our much vaunted freedom we falter when it comes to full representation (non-male) and participation (81% of the countries cast voting ballots at a higher rate than we do).

In short, we lead where we should be a bit ashamed and we lag where we should be very much ashamed.

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