Shifting Perspectives: 10 Factors That Challenge America’s Status as the Greatest Nation

By Krystal Brown

In a constantly changing global panorama, the concept of greatness needs to evolve, mirroring a nation’s accomplishments, hurdles, and path forward. The United States, once celebrated as a symbol of distinction, is now navigating a narrative in flux. Challenges such as gun violence, healthcare disparities, declining life expectancy, and socioeconomic gaps are reshaping the perception of its trajectory.

Expensive Healthcare System

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The United state healthcare system is one of the most expensive in the world. The stifling economy has been a nemesis for a large section of the uninsured and underinsured population resulting in unreasonable healthcare. American citizens have to choose between selling off their properties, filing for bankruptcy or paying excessive healthcare bills. The main cause of this problem is the consolidation of hospitals across the country, leading to zero competition among them; this grant healthcare provider the chance to increase prices arbitrarily. 

Frequent Gun Violence 

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The lax gun control has led to thousands of annual gun-related deaths and injuries in the United States. More than 100 daily fatalities and injuries are linked to gun violence. Compared to other developed nations with lower rates. The American government has a clutch to the rhetoric of fixing the gun law from time immemorial without any breakthrough due to one reason or the other. This has enabled easy access to guns without recourse to the sanity and temperament of the person, leading to unsafe communities and other important places. The upward trajectory of gun-related violence continues to dim America’s shiny light of greatness.

Dwindling Life Expectancy

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You can’t have a life expectancy rank of 46 out of 193 nations and call yourself the greatest country in the world. With a life expectancy of 73.5 years for males and 79.3 years for females, America has fallen behind countries like Switzerland, with 83.2 years for males and 87.9 years for females and Italy, with 80.6 years for males and 85.7 years for females. Although people still regard the United States’ number as good, it is relatively low compared to the above two countries with similar resources and infrastructure. 

High Suicide Rates 

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This  is unbefitting to the number one country in the world. There is an estimated daily occurrence of 67 suicide death in the United state. Suicide is a national public health concern that must be addressed. America has failed to uphold this and get to the root cause of the suicide pandemic. As a wealthy country that is  widely regarded as the greatest on earth, having a messy suicide rate is embarrassing and unsuitable for optics. 

Increase Poverty Metrics 

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The poverty threshold in the United state is a sickening and embarrassing reality for a country once regarded as the greatest in the world. As of 2023, 2.75% of the American population earns less than $10 per day, with just 22 countries having a lesser percentage. This has further plunged many people into abject poverty, with more than 11.6% of United state citizens living below the poverty level. Compared with countries like Netherlands and France, which have 8.3% respectively. 

High Crime Rate 

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America has been ridden with a number of crimes in the past few years, making it one of the highest crime rates in the world. The numbers are scary; America has a 6.81% crime rate per 100,000 citizens, which places them among the top 10 countries with the highest crimes committed. A large chunk of this is persistent in areas with high levels of inequality and poverty. The biggest enabling factors for this embarrassing violence sequence can be poor education and low employment opportunities, leading to frustration and resentment. 

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices 

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The widespread acceptance of junk foods such as Macdonald’s has led to the theme of obesity, smoking, and unhealthy lifestyle among American citizens. People are dying, and there’s no evidence of actions from those in power to sensitize them about the dangers of this lifestyle. Healthy living is part of the repertoire of a great country. There has been an evident fall in the health index of Americans, with most of them in the res zones due to their unending appetite for junk foods.  

Low Safety Ranking 

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No one wants to be attached to a country that fails to protect the lives and property of its citizens. America has faltered in this regard with the persistent mass shootings, violent protests, and other embarrassing displays of brutality. This is not the case with other developed nations with extensive security and sanctity of life. America ranked 129 on the list of the most peaceful nation on earth, further outlining why the country has fallen from grace to grass. 

Rising Cost of Living 

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The crown of the greatest country in the world is fast becoming elusive for America, with the rising cost of living being a difficult situation for many citizens and not befitting of a country regarded as the greatest in the world. Looking at the current metrics, America ranked 8th in the list of expensive countries compared to other world power like China, which was ranked number 135. This figure is a testament to the amount of distress people live inside, bordering from an inability to make ends meet and others. The increasing cost of living has widened the gap between the upper and lower classes and turned America into a less attractive destination for foreign investment, which further explains the fall in America’s status as the greatest country in the world. 

Rising Income Inequality

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The increasing income gap between the rich and the poor has created a vacuum filled with exacerbated economic constraints and multidimensional poverty. This has now ranked America among the highest of all other developed nations. The changes in labour demand and the rapid pace of information technology have further relegated the lesser-skilled Americans. This is evidenced in a recent report published by the pew research centre, where they found that American income inequality estimates have increased by 20% from the 1980s to the 2020s.