America is NOT the greatest nation in the world, anymore…

The full transcript of the pilot of The Newsroom, a series for HBO, is here:


In it, TV news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) makes the following key points, that we are:

  • Seventh in literacy
  • Twenty-seventh in math
  • Twenty-second in science
  • Forty-ninth in life expectancy
  • 178th in infant mortality
  • Third in median household income
  • Number four in labor force
  • Number four in exports

We lead the world in only three categories:

  • Number of incarcerated citizens per capita
  • Number of adults who believe angels are real
  • Defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.

(I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to verify all these, but am working on specifying just a few of my own: taxes, welfare, and infrastructure:

41.2% (yes, almost half, I prove it here) of my income is taken away and being given away to people giving little or nothing in return. This has got to cease.