Thanks Will for a much-needed article. As a European who lived & worked & traveled extensively across the USA for 27 years, I suspect one of the reasons so few US citizens understand how poorly the US performs is because so few people travel abroad, and when they do, they do so as insulated tourists having a Disney experience. As the USA is isolated between two vast oceans and dominates its immediate neighbors, there’s little awareness of how far down the ladder the USA has slipped.
The fact is, the USA sort of got frozen in the 1970s. Infrastructure is ancient and crumbling, politics is now 100% dysfunctional, the average citizen is a waddling mass of chronic ailments, and primary & secondary education are a joke. Add in a level of gun violence that exceeds that found in war zones and you get not “the best country in the world” but a fear-ridden debt-laden nation full of exhausted terrified fat people desperately trying to make themselves feel fractionally less awful by means of constantly buying things they don’t really need.
Which is why I’m so very happy to be back in Europe, where things really are so much better than anything the average US citizen could even begin to imagine.