Is the United States “a hellhole”?
“A hellhole” is how Donald Trump describes the United States.
I have lots of criticisms of my country, but according to Trump, the country is sliding into Third World status and is militarily and economically impotent.
Is that true? No, says Washington Post columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria. Even though we live in a more complicated world and the United States will have to continue to work with international partners, the country is still the world’s preeminent military, economic, and innovation power. A sampling:
In fact, it is increasingly clear that the United States has in recent years reinforced its position as the world’s leading economic, technological, military and political power. The country dominates virtually all leading industries — from social networks to mobile telephony to nano- and biotechnology — like never before. It has transformed itself into an energy superpower — the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas — while also moving to the cutting edge of the green-technology revolution. And it is demographically vibrant, while all its major economic peers (Japan, Europe and even China) face certain demographic decline…
…there are nine global tech platforms (Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Facebook, etc.) that are used by more than 1 billion people. All dominate their respective markets — and all are American. The dollar is more widely used for international financial transactions today than it was 20 years ago…
…China is the closest the United States has to a rising rival but only on one measure, gross domestic product…
…The United States’ inclusive wealth totaled almost $144 trillion in 2010 — 4½ times China’s $32 trillion.
China is far behind the United States in its ability to add value to goods and create new products…
In 2013, China took in less than $1 billion, while the United States received $128 billion. In 2012, America registered seven times as many “triadic” patents — those granted in the United States, Europe and Japan.
In the military and political realm, the dominance is even more lopsided. There are many ways to measure this, but take just one: the most potent form of force projection, aircraft carriers. The United States operates 10. China has one, a secondhand Ukrainian ship that it had to retrofit. In the realm of high-tech warfare — drones, stealth — Washington’s lead is even greater. And perhaps most important, the United States has a web of allies around the world and is actually developing new important ones, such as India and Vietnam. Meanwhile, China has one military ally, North Korea.
Military and economic power aren’t end games for the human race, of course. You can, as Jesus tells us, gain the world and lose your soul.
And we do have major problems in this country that need to be resolved.
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[Blogger Mark Daniels is the pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church, Centerville, Ohio.]Click here for reuse options!
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