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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The United States is the Best and Greatest Country in the Whole History of Absolutely Everything and We’re #1 and God Bless—Hey, Wait a Minute!

posted by on March 25 at 9:00 AM

There are other countries that are more stable and prosperous?!? How’d that happen?!?!

A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries and dependent territories has put the UK joint seventh in the premier league of nations. The top ten comprise also the Vatican, Sweden, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and the Irish Republic.

The US lies 22nd…. [The] US had fallen down the scale, partly because of the proliferation of small arms owned by Americans and the threat to the population posed by the flow of drugs from across the Mexican border.

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For the US and your posting skills.

Posted by hunh? | March 25, 2008 9:40 AM


The majority of those countries in the top 10 are the size of Renton. Not really a very meaningful comparison.

Posted by michael strangeways | March 25, 2008 9:41 AM

yeah, being small is a HUUUUGE advantage in world politics and trade and stuff, so this comparison is not faaaaaiiiiiir to the USA. We're toooo biiig so it doesn't count!!

I guess an apples to apples would be to compare them to Renton?

Interstingly, Sweden has about the same GDP and population as Washington State plus not a few cultural similarities. But with social democrats running the show, there's health care, vacations galore, second homes, little crime etc.

In fact, I'd bet the common denominator of all the nations at the top of the list is:

1. socialized health care.


2. gun control.
and then let's not forget no. 3:

3. not starting multi $$$ trillion wars for no reason.

Posted by unPC | March 25, 2008 9:48 AM

the vatican? seriously?

Posted by jake | March 25, 2008 9:58 AM

imagine if washington state didnt have to pay into the federal government too.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 25, 2008 9:58 AM

If Renton were a soverign nation, the US might be 21st on the list.

Posted by nbc | March 25, 2008 10:08 AM


Posted by umvue | March 25, 2008 10:08 AM

Apparently they can't read their own poll. The US is #24, between Canada and Belgium, which is pretty good company. Syrup and beer!

Posted by DOUG. | March 25, 2008 10:14 AM

the vatican is nothing more than a heavily subsidized disneyland. to call it a country is just plain goofy.

Posted by SeMe | March 25, 2008 10:15 AM

The only relevant countries on this list are the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, and Sweden. The rest is a list of fabulously wealthy city-states, most of which are successful because they're tax havens or gambling establishments for the already rich and famous.

Oh, and Gibraltar isn't even an independent country, it's a British crown posession.

Posted by joykiller | March 25, 2008 10:16 AM

One of my goals in life is to go to San Marino. It just seems so absurd, a tiny sovreign country tucked right into the center of Italy.

They're participating in Eurovision this year too. Unlike actual Italy, who haven't since 1996.

Posted by Abby | March 25, 2008 10:17 AM

The Vatican? Puh-leez. Same with San Marino, Gibralter, Monaco, and Lichtenstein. Those are all countries only on a technicality. That puts the US up to number 20. USA! USA!

Posted by Douchebag | March 25, 2008 10:20 AM

A much more telling ranking is countries by suicide rate - check it out. Sweden beats the crap out of us there too.

Posted by Providence | March 25, 2008 10:22 AM

Yeah, huge and diverse countries like the US and Canada typically don't do so hot on these sorta lists.

What I want to know is this:how come the Vatican, Monaco, San Marino and Liechtenstein rank so highly as city-states, but not as cities?

Posted by Tdub | March 25, 2008 10:23 AM

@3: Another things countries at the top of the list largely have in common: highly restrictive immigration policies.

Posted by Eric F | March 25, 2008 10:32 AM

The one thing that this moronic study doesn't consider, is that the reason these countries are so stable and prosperous, is that they enjoy the freedom of sovereignty because they are protected by the might of the US military.

Let's not forget that it is easy to devote your resources at everything else when another country is doing your guard duty.

Including "gun control" as a valid reason for one country being more successful than another reeks of political correctness gone wild.

It's sad such a promising poll had to go that route, as it throws the results into question.

Ignorant fools that conduct research with a bias are the worst kind of scientists.

Posted by Ryan | March 25, 2008 10:47 AM

Now that you mention it, I haven't bought a new gun in months. Maybe I'll take a walk over to the gun shop this afternoon. But first, I'm gonna do a few hits of that good ol' smuggled-from-Mexico marijuana. Just doing my part to keep this country great.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 25, 2008 10:50 AM

Little principalities like San Marino exist only as trade zones. San Marino is basically a really big duty-free shop, not a country.

My question would be, which UK? Which America? We here in Seattle live better than the people in, say, Barrow-in-Furness do. Your average Londoner is better-off than your average rural Mississippian.

Posted by Fnarf | March 25, 2008 10:56 AM

What @15 said. New York City, on average, is neither prosperous nor stable. Yet for generations it has sucked in penniless immigrants from around the world and given them a shot at prosperity and stability that they never would have enjoyed in their home countries. Americans could be, on average, more prosperous and stable if we didn't open our country up to immigration. But as anyone who has ever visited a homogenous and static country like Japan knows, that would really, really suck.

Posted by viva | March 25, 2008 11:06 AM

@17: I like that plan... I know what I'm doing after work! Only I think I'll sub out the Meican weed for some of that sweet Peruvian nose candy they were talkin' about yesterday in the morning news post.

I can't feel my face...

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | March 25, 2008 11:16 AM

Did not need a study to confirm this. There are other countries that have a better standard of living. Places where elections are run smoothly and are fair. Places far safer than the US.
I have always wondered when the right to bare arms made a country better because owning guns made you feel like you were not oppressed. Arms means any weapon not just guns why not own a missile. Isn't it your right. Or are there controls over what arms you can have?
See you actually do have controls over what "arms " you can own.

Posted by -B- | March 25, 2008 11:17 AM

This is a pretty stupid list, indeed. The only country ranking worth looking at is the Transparency International corruption index. The ability of a government to successfully carry out policy goals is more important than anything else.

The US is #20, just below Belgium and above Chile. Danes, Finns, Swedes and Kiwis are the top five along with Singapore. Important city-states deserve rankings (Hong Kong: 14 Luxembourg: 12), relics like San Marino don't.

Posted by Some Jerk | March 25, 2008 11:17 AM

Sorry I meant to type "bear"
But if bare arms can be sexy. So I think you should put that in your constitution instead.

Posted by -B- | March 25, 2008 11:23 AM

Does that jingoistic douche bag Medved know about this list?

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | March 25, 2008 11:28 AM

#5 brings up a good point about poor rural red states leeching off of prosperous urban blue states via federal taxes, meanwhile advocating tax cuts and railing against "tax and spend" Democrats (as opposed to "borrow and spend" Republicans?). The idiocy of it all is astounding.

As for this story, it seems sort of tortured to try to roll all of these things into a single metric. It did remind me of one of my favorite arguments against pro-lifers, though, which is that the United States ranks about #40 in infant mortality rates. The lifers could probably accomplish their goal if they worked on lowering infant mortality rates rather than stopping people from getting abortions, but I guess once the fetus is out, fuck em? This was pointed out to me by a NUN on Democracy Now.

Posted by w7ngman | March 25, 2008 11:34 AM

Oh so now we are deciding what should be on the list so that it will push up the US by a few positions.
22 or 20 it is still bad.
Lets face it we all need to improve. The world is a mess.
Speaking of mess, time to clean my kitchen. Now if I lived in some other country I could hire cheap help to do it. It would make my kitchen cleaner but probably push my countries ratings lower on the scale. It would also prove that I am either messy or lazy, or both. Or that I live alone and get to do whatever I want. Think I will just shoot my dishes with my gun.

Posted by -B- | March 25, 2008 11:35 AM

It isn't a rating of the highest quality of life countries, or the happiest countries, guys. It's stable and prosperous.

Thats why its topped by small sovereign cities, or nations with smaller populations: smaller size would naturally equal easier manageability, therefore STABILITY. Thats one specific aspect of a nation.

Chill out.

Posted by mintygreen | March 25, 2008 11:42 AM

Looks like someone finally told the rest of the world that places like Detroit, Compton and the South Side of Chicago actually exist.

Posted by Gomez | March 25, 2008 3:06 PM

Not to be completely redundant, but saying Vatican City, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, and Liechtenstein are more prosperous and stable than the U.S. is like saying The Pacific Place mall is doing better than Victor Steinbrueck Park.

The Netherlands and Ireland, on the other hand; that's interesting.

Posted by Dougsf | March 25, 2008 3:35 PM

@28, Jim Croce told us all about the South Side of Chicago. We just forgot.

And have you ever been to the South Side of Liechtenstein?

Posted by joykiller | March 25, 2008 3:55 PM

Not to be over-serious, but a few points from the Swedish perspective:

The suicide rate is higher, but there are more factors involved than relative prosperity, like religiosity and such. And a lot of people are depressed during the cold, dark winters.

Immigration. Not to brag, but something like ten percent of Sweden's population was born outside of its borders (including, though, cross pollination with neighbouring... nations) and Södertälje municipality had, in some stretch of time, taken more Iraqi refugees than all of the US. On the other hand, it takes some money to get here (neighbouring countries do well too), so we don't get that many broke people.

And, as some have said, I think the US is too big. It gets too much power and influence, wastes too much and is too divided.

In the end, it's not a horse race, and it would be nice if you did well. Less with the Jesus, the warring and the consumption, though, please...

Posted by Karl | March 25, 2008 6:26 PM

It's nice to know the country I'm about to spend a week and a half in* is so high on the list.

The reason for the high suicide rate for Sweden is because a lot of psychiatrists will just give you pills, as opposed to trying to actually helping you deal with your problems. At least that's what my family told me.

*= Sweden, if anyone cares.

Posted by Emma | March 25, 2008 7:04 PM

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