Do Americans Appreciate Their Good Fortune?

By Donald A. Collins | 19 March 2024
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

For people living in the countless middle class suburban neighborhoods in the US, it is natural for those of us who are so lucky to NOT have a vision of how seriously impacted the world has become as our earth reached the number of people that is now 4 times greater than the world I was born into in 1931!

A friend recently emailed me this statistical breakdown of some of the multiple categories of the population of Earth whose homo sapiens now around 8 billion. For most people, it is a significant figure. I do not attest to the perfect accuracy of this information, but it has the ring of plausibility which I found reasonable.

It begins,

If you condensed 8 billion into 100 persons, and then into various percentage statistics, the resulting analysis is relatively much easier to comprehend.

Out of 100:

11 are in Europe,
5 are in North America,
9 are in South America,
15 are in Africa,
60 are in Asia.

49 live in the countryside
51 live in a city,
75 have mobile phones,
25 do not.

30 have internet access,
70 do not have the availability to go online.

83 can read,
17 are illiterate.

33 are Christians,
22 are Muslims,
14 are Hindus,
7 are Buddhists,
12 are other religions,
12 have no religious beliefs.

26 live less than 14 years
66 died between 15 – 64 years of age
8 are over 65 years old.

If you have your own home,
Eat full meals & drink clean water,
Have a mobile phone,
Can surf the internet,
and have gone to college,
You are in the minuscule privileged lot.
(in the less than 7% category)

Amongst 100 people in the world, only eight live or exceed the age of 65!
If you are over 65 years old, be content & grateful Cherish life. Grasp the moment.
If you did not leave this world before the age of 64, like the 92 people who have gone before you, you are already the blessed amongst humankind.

The average longevity worldwide is about 30 and the average age of the Chinese is 38!

My friend’s statistics underline the fact of our general well-being is exemplified by the US average age which is 77, despite the massive turmoil and tragedy we see others exposed to daily in out mass media.

Are we fearful, apprehensive, and not optimistic about the future? Clearly.

A recent PEW poll said:

Americans feel generally pessimistic about the future of the United States when it comes to several aspects of society, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. In particular, 63% of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s moral and ethical standards, and 59% are pessimistic about its education system.

You can read the full results of the PEW poll here.

Many Americans feel they can have little influence on the future or are not part of the solutions to what they perceive as our main problems.

As you know, the USA and our allies since WWII have been and still are hugely influential in molding the way the world goes!

The outcome of the 2024 election bears on the future more than any in my lifetime. The question of whether we embrace the progress we have made or fall back into the prejudices of past failed orthodoxies remains in the balance.

Two of many failed biases. That religious beliefs should govern secular scientifically proven decisions on anything. That our imperfect democracy has failed when compared to autocracies of various types.

The flaws here at home which we now experience and keep flagellating ourselves about are not to be dismissed but addressed with a renewed sense that reforms can occur. Example: the wealth gap I wrote about in my 3/14/24 op ed entitled “Trump’s Likely Path to Victory? The Wealth Gap!” which could derail our democracy and allow a dictatorship to mold our future.

Read my views again here.

We need to wake up, look around and understand the remarkable level of average life most of us in the USA enjoy, which exceeds the average of every other nation in the world.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”, “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024” and “Democracy at Red State Risk”.

How Gen Z’s pessimism will impact the 2024 election | The Hill

Why Americans Feel So Poor | CNBC Marathon

Biden vows to raise taxes on the rich, corporations | REUTERS

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