The Weekly Issue/El Semanario Advisory Board
Do you remember Donald Trump’s MAGA campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again”? Regrettably, under his administration, the United States has instead declined. Our country has continued its downward slide again, steadily, as seen in a major international ranking of social progress, dropping from #18 in 2017 down to #28 in 2020.
The Social Progress Index Findings Report is a yearly, international report generated by the Social Progress Imperative association. It ranks all countries in the world according to three major social criteria: I) Basic Human Needs; 2) Foundations of Wellbeing; and 3) Opportunity. According to the 2017 report (we review the 2020 report below), they define ‘social progress’ as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential (see socialprogress.org including for methodology).
The Social Progress Imperative ranks all countries world-wide for those that provide sufficient data for evaluations, 128 countries in 2017, increasing to 163 in 2020.
Data sources are obtained from such major agencies as the WHO/World Health Organization, UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, Gallup World Poll, Yale University and Columbia University centers, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (among many others).
With the Presidential election only a few weeks away for mail-in ballots in Colorado, we urge readers to “Get Out the Vote” for Vice President Joe Biden as the next President of the United States! As President, Joe Biden will reverse our falling status under Trump and set us, again, to Build Back Better.
According to the 2017 rankings, the United States was at #18 of all 128 countries that supplied sufficient data to be studied (see the rankings pdf). We draw on the year 2017 because on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump assumed the presidency. Today, only 3 years 8 months later, the United States has declined dramatically from #18 in 2017 to #28 in 2020 (see socialprogress.org/index/global/results for 2020, especially “Results” and “Explore… data” links).
Effectively, Donald Trump inherited the United States’ #18 ranking from President Obama, a rating at odds even then with the “We’re Number 1!” boasting endemic to the U.S. However, President Trump could not even keep the U.S. hanging on to that 2nd-Tier ranking, but has somehow managed to steer our country in exactly the opposite direction, inverting the false promise of his “Make American Great Again” slogan. Instead, he “Made America Number 28”! Expanding our time frame for this The Weekly Issue/El Semanario article back to 2011, according to the 2020 rankings report, of the G7 countries, from 2011—2020, “The US is the only G7 country that has gone backwards on social progress. It is also one of only 3 countries where social progress has declined, along with Brazil and Hungary,” with much of that decline occurring since 2017 (see page 17, Socialprogress.org ).
Our readers would be correct in wondering what the criteria are for evaluations of the countries included. The first major heading and sub-headings are as follows:
Basic Human Needs: 1) Nutrition and Basic Medical Care; 2) Water and Sanitation; 3) Shelter; 4) Personal Safety.
Foundations of Wellbeing: 1) Access to Basic Knowledge; 2) Access to Information and Communications: 3) Health and Wellness; and 4) Environmental Quality.
Opportunity:1) Personal Rights; 2) Personal Freedom and Choice; 3) Inclusiveness; 4) Access to Advanced Education.
Subsumed under these three major headings and twelve sub-headings are 50 specific criteria. For example, under I-B Water and Sanitation, we are #15 for “Populations using unsafe or unimproved water sources” but #41 for “Usage of clean fuels and technology for cooking.” For II-C Health and Wellness, we are #31 for “Access to essential services” but #97 for “Access to quality healthcare.” For 3-D Access to Advanced Education, we are #1 for “Quality weighted universities” but #22 for “Women with advanced education.”
For readers of The Weekly Issue/El Semanario, a crucial, germane consideration comes under one of the three major headings, Opportunity, specifically, III-C “Inclusiveness.” One of the lowest rankings of all 50 criteria for the United States in the 2020 rankings is, tragically, “Discrimination and violence against minorities,” for which the U.S. is ranked #100 out of all 163 countries evaluated. Another of the lowest, as already noted, is #97 for “Access to quality healthcare,” perhaps concomitant with discrimination. (The absolute lowest is “Greenhouse gas emissions” at #189, beyond the 163 countries ranked, possibly including countries not providing sufficient information to employ the rating system.)
We the undersigned are the Advisory Committee for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario. We bring the rapidly declining United States international rankings to our readers to believe President Trump’s hollow “M.A.G.A.” boasting and to pronounce that he has “Made America Lowly Now,” or “M.A.L.N.” With the Presidential election only a few weeks away for mail-in ballots in Colorado, we urge readers to “Get Out the Vote” for Vice President Joe Biden as the next President of the United States! As President, Joe Biden will reverse our falling status under Trump and set us, again, to Build Back Better.
Members of The Weekly Issue/El Semanario Advisory Board: Ramón Del Castillo, Ph.D.; Ray Ayón, Retired DPD Detective; Steve Del Castillo, Ph.D.; and Luis Torres, Ph.D.
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