OP-ED: “America is Not the Freest Country in the World” — by Balthasar Rodellega (originally written 08/04/20)

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In an recent article written by the Ny Post (https://nypost.com/2020/07/23/america-ranked-among-worst-countries-to-raise-a-family-study/), the United states is said to be ranked as the second worst country amongst developed nations to raise a family. In fact America’s report card would be an F due to factors such as high health costs, high cost of living, income ratio, being one of the only countries in the world, whose employers don’t offer maternity leave, as well as having some of the highest police brutality and incarceration rates in the world.

Another dynamic of why the United States is a bad place to raise your kids, which ultimately boils down to freedoms, is that your, so called “constitutional rights” are completely striped within a work place. Add in the mix the most school shootings in the world and you have a country with its expensive higher education and competitive job market a place that is virtually impossible to make it in. Freedom is not just measured by what you can do, but also financially, and although many European countries have high taxes, the cost of living is generally low, and you don’t have to pay for everything and/or a tax on everything. Furthermore establishment bought or oligarch owned media outlets, make it so that, according to the Press Freedom Index, America is ranked a whopping, 45th out of 160 countries (https://rsf.org/en/ranking_table)! With the persecution of Julian Assange and his Wikileaks for essentially telling the truth, as well as companies like Google and FaceBook (at one time) stealing and selling your data, it is hard to see the United States as “free country”.

Many would say that without rules, there is more margin to get away with crime, but it seems that countries with less laws (most of the time) have lower crime rates. For example, J-Walking, although not often a law upheld by police, is a law in the United States. The thing is Americans still do it, alot! This has nothing to do with the law, but with the people. Most Social Scientist say that societies came first and then came law, so in other words laws are molded around societies. For example if a place that has no J-Walking laws, but yet has lower incidents of injury or death from J-Walking is much lower, is a place that has different ethic and respect to cars and traffic as do the motorist for pedestrians. In other words it comes down to ethics and not law. Some would argue that ethics is a form of law, but that could be for a later debate. The aggressive, fight to make your place, dynamic in America, in which in most of the big cities, its usually the motorist verse the pedestrian or the cyclists, is another major factor of how safety ties to ethics and not law.

According to the Heritage Freedom Institute (https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking), the United States only ranks 17th, which something I would argue that should be much lower than that. What is Ironic about this recently updated list, is that Hong Kong ranks second, but is yet portrayed by western media as being in the dark clutches of China, and constantly battling to keep their “freedom” and their “democracy” intact when in fact Hong Kongers had zero freedom or democracy under British Rule. In reality it wasn’t until Hong Kong came back, to its home, China, it was given back those freedoms and a democracy. That is another story all on its on, but a good one for the future.

In an article from Reason, they state that the United States has at least the superiority having the most economic freedom, but in reality Hong Kong has the most economic freedom and in reality the United States is not even in the top ten of economic freedom, but only sits right outside at around 13th. With nearly 25% of Americans with no healthcare, and with a large number of people in their 60’s and up going bankrupt paying medical cost, it is easy to say that USA is far from free.