James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Monday, August 01, 2016

How does the U.S. compare?

(Adapted from a Facebook post of August 1, 2015)

Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt are "football players." That's the general profession they've chosen. Both are great, in their own way. And you can decide who's "better" by deciding which one you'd pick first if you were building a team.
But the comparison ends there. The players are so different in size, abilities, and role that you can't criticize one for not doing, or not being able to do, what the other does.

The United States and Denmark are countries. That's how history unfolded. You can decide which country is "better" by  deciding which one you'd rather live in (if indeed it'll let you in), but the comparisons end there. Judging them by what their governments will do or can do, however, is a different story.

I looked up lists of country populations and area. Because China and India each have approximately a billion more people, I don't see how they can compare to the U.S. A different tier.

It seems the only countries in the same tier as the U.S. are Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia. Even then there are vast differences.

Countries smaller in area and/or population will generally be less diverse ethnically and won't have people separated by vast wilderness. There's greater cohesion making them easier to "govern."  

Those who want to compare the United States as a whole to smaller, more homogeneous European countries would be better off comparing some states to some countries of similar area and size. That the country as a whole falls behind in some statistics shouldn't be that surprising. It's too large to "govern."

Lew Rockwell, in a speech years ago, suggested a world of 30,000 city-states.

At least then, we might be able to make comparisons.

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