2023-05-23 18:28:18 UTC
"Those who cling to the fading notion of American supremacy, shout back that China will not overtake the U.S. or rather will not be permitted to assume global leadership.
Economic data and statistics are used to show the rise of China and the fall of America. It makes sense to do so. It immediately shows that one economy is clearly in the ascendency. Economics matter. It is a fact that economic structures determine political factors. It is also a fact that an economy and political structures exist because people exist.
People are important. Their social interactions, health and well-being are important. All of this must be considered when determining who is rising and who is falling. Social factors and data are inextricably linked. This is never more obvious than when considering who occupies anything like the high moral ground. How children are treated is a starting point. How social aspirations are met is another.
The USA, as the leading capitalist economy for decades, recorded a steady rise in life expectancy, positive health outcomes, a decline in infant mortality and maternal mortality rates. Other countries tended to follow. This upward trajectory in the United States has not simply slowed, or even stalled, but is in serious decline.
An appalling statistic was recently published in the Financial Times. One in 25 American children are not expected to live to see their 40th birthday. Former U.S. Secretary to the Treasury, Larry Summers, could only remark that the figures are ‘the most disturbing set of data that I have encountered in a long time'.
There are many factors that make up this despairing analysis. Thousands of children die each year in America from gun violence, but growing poverty remains at the very heart of the crisis. 15.3% of all American children live in poverty. There are 38 million officially poor Americans, or nearly 12% of the total population. There has never been a richer nation on earth. Its GDP per person is more than $70,000. Something is fundamentally wrong."