Although America has made a lot of progress on several important fronts and is considered to be a relatively advanced, progressive, and civilized nation, these shocking graphs paint a very different picture (click to enlarge all graphs):
Do we care about our mothers and newborns?
Not exactly in good company, the United States remains one of the four countries that don’t mandate corporations to offer paid maternity leave, joining Liberia, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea.
“The U.S. is the only high-income nation not to have paid maternity leave, while almost all middle- and low-income countries offer it, too,” says Jody Heymann, founding director of McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy and author of Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth That We Can’t Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone.
While the rest of the world looks on in amazement, only about half of all first time moms in the United States take any paid leave after giving birth, and just the fifth of working women with young children are given maternity leave with full pay.
Access to quality and affordable healthcare?
Our healthcare system is relatively inefficient, especially given the fact that there are over 50 million Americans that are one tragedy away from bankruptcy as they struggle without access to affordable and quality healthcare in the world’s richest country.
Adding insult to injury, the US spends more than any other country on health care, with each American spending an average of $8,000 per year and the government spending $4,000.
The Affordable Care Act, once fully implemented, will do a lot to increase access and quality, but the ultimate goal should universal healthcare. There is no reason why any American should go without access to medicine and treatment.
Want to take a break? Pay for it.
While most other advanced nations require paid vacation leave, one in four American workers doesn’t receive any paid time off, as there is no federal law mandating paid vacation.
This means that 25% of American workers can only take a vacation if they agree to endure what is, in effect, a cut in their pay.
Gender equality? Not where it matters.
America’s male-dominated power structure ensures that it is nearly impossible for women to clear sexist hurdles and rise through the ranks of corporations and congress.
Incredibly, only 14% of all corporate executive officers in the United States are women. What is more likely, that men are simply that much better at managing employees, or that our sexist power structure is impeding American women from fully developing the careers they deserve?
Safe? Maybe, but very violent.
Due to several factors including, but not limited to, the War on Drugs, a bought-and-paid-for “NRA Congress”, socioeconomic inequality, and lack of investment in social and general welfare programs, America is unusually violent, given our inexplicably high assault rate (gun violence, stabbings, etc.).