In the past few years, many surveys have found that Americans are unsatisfied with their financial situation. Sentiments like these seem to be growing every year- Americans believing their financial hardships are unique to The United States. Many people also believe poverty rates in America are higher than our first world counterparts. Ironically enough, a lot of these claims are based off misinformation. Let’s take a closer look.
The simple truth is- the poor in America are better off than the poor in any other country in the world. This statement seems laughable, but it is largely backed by evidence. The Economist found that the socioeconomic status of the bottom 10% of Americans is better than the equivalent in England, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Japan, France, Italy, and many more.Additionally, the United States was barely behind Canada, Sweden, and Australia. Relative to population, however, I believe this slight difference is irrelevant. It is amazing, with our vast population, that we are comparable to these other countries, let alone a leader.
If I had a quarter for every time I heard about the “soaring poverty in America,” I could have bought Twitter myself. This false claim can be accredited to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). The OECD compares most American and European countries in terms of quality-of-life indicators. According to them, we have a higher poverty rate than Mexico. Their data hardly seems credible, and their criteria shows why. They consider you impoverished if you make half of the median household income of your country. This does not mean you are impoverished, especially in America, where wealth distribution is very unequal. They also fail to factor in government benefits. Not only does this distort reality, but it also paints a negative picture of America. According to the official government statistics on poverty, it was 11.4 in 2020. This is lower than nearly every country in the world. Additionally, it has been proven that the bottom 20% of Americans have more purchasing power than the average citizen of almost all first world countries. That alone should show you the privilege of living in America.
As we continue to grow as a nation, we must make sure our criticisms are truthful and show the full scope of how great America is. We indeed have numerous problems, but we can continue to move in the right direction! God Bless America.