A new study reveals America is in trouble, lots of trouble.  The disheartening research by a nonprofit, nonpartisan group called the Social Progress Imperative reveals that our quality of life has fallen in numerous ways.  In a 2011 study by the same group, we ranked 19th overall, but in the 2020 research we have slipped to 28th out of 163 countries, falling behind countries such Cyrus, Greece and Estonia. The study assesses and ranks 163 countries on 50 dimensions dealing with the quality of life, examining such areas as health, education, nutrition, personal freedom and environmental quality.  We did do well on some variables. The US remains number one in the quality of our universities and in access to advanced education. Yet in access to quality education, we rank 97th.  Likewise, access to quality health care is a pitiful 97th.  Maternal mortality is shamefully high at 73rd, and child mortality is 45th.  Contrary to those who believe we are doing well environmentally, we rank only 119 in environmental quality. Sadly, but not surprisingly, in discrimination and violence against minorities we place 100th.  According to the report, the US is one of only three countries that have declined in social progress over the past decade. 

These poor rankings confirm what we already know: we face complicated and challenging problems that demand a program of renewal for our country not seen since the 1930s. As a result, we can no longer tolerate the political gridlock in Washington that prevents almost any action. In order to make effective changes, we must retain Democratic control of the House; elect a competent, honest, and healing President; and sweep out the Republican obstructionists in the Senate. Nothing less will allow us to put our country back on an upward track.


Thomas Hill

Lansing