February 25, 2005

Annoying facts

Taken from the (oddly) rather tepid "No. 1?" article in the Minneapolis City Pages. As in, the US is #1 in which ways? Some of the items are so apalling as to demand repeating though. (Many of the others in the article reflect more on the author than the status of the US, in my opinion.)

  • Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

  • Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).

  • Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

  • The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).

  • Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.

  • As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

  • "Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (Rifkin, The European Dream, p.28).

Posted by duver001 at February 25, 2005 7:21 AM