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America is a third world nation



By Judy Bachrach
I’ve always sort of wanted to know the definition of a third-world nation, and how such a nation compares to other countries in loftier categories. This is because for one truly terrible year I lived in a third-world country—at least the United States State Department bestowed that epithet on it—and during that entire time, although I was allowed to make (genteel, sympathetic, clucking) references to the “third world” in which I was stuck and its many problems, I was not permitted to describe the United States, not even once, as a “first-world nation.”

“Calling us first world makes you sound elitist,” I was informed by American embassy personnel on the rare occasions I was able to talk to them about this issue over the phone (that’s because the phones in that country basically never worked), or even in person (because public transportation was almost nil).

Essentially, I was to discover, the category “first world” had been dropped down the memory hole of prescribed diplo-talk. As had “second world,” for that matter, because “second world” meant Communist. So there was absolutely no rational means of comparing nations, their economies, and their prospects, and one was left only with the worst, most enfeebled category at one’s disposition. It was like playing Jeopardy! in the sure expectation of winning zero cash.

But there are, it seems, certain hardcore definitions of what it means to be a first-, second-, or third-world country. These are readily available on a helpful website, which quotes the Encyclopedia of World Geography. Unlike the State Department, it is not afraid to use the words “first world” and “second world” as points of comparison.

A third-world nation, it turns out, is “generally categorized as poor with unstable governments.” A key factor, we are told, is “the lack of a middle class—with impoverished millions in a vast lower economic class, and a very small elite upper class controlling the country’s wealth.”

Also: “Most third-world nations have a very large foreign debt.”

Now, let’s examine all this. Last year, the United States had over $14 trillion in debt—$4.4 trillion of itheld by foreign governments, which certainly sounds “very large” to me. China, once considered a second-world country, currently owns about $892 billion of American debt; and Hong Kong, which is basically part of China these days, has about $138 billion in US securities. Iran, on the other hand, has only around $13.5 billion in external debt; and Ecuador almost as much. So who among these countries would we qualify as third-world?

What about poverty, another big indicator of third world–dom? Two years ago, 43.6 million Americans were categorized as poor, up from 39.8 percent a year earlier. Even worse: About 19 million Americans now live in extreme poverty. Meanwhile, according to the Los Angeles Times, the number of millionaire US households has climbed 15 percent in one year—to 4.7 million. (Quote from Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC: “The recession is going to end up accentuating the inequalities of income and wealth…”). What he means is: the middle class is becoming ever-smaller. What he also means is that a tiny elite seems to be controlling much of US wealth.

And now let’s get to that last indicator of third world status: by which I mean unstable government. Let’s imagine a country where the House Speaker walks out on debt ceiling negotiations. Where the president openly complains that this same legislator refuses to return his calls. Where nothing is safe any longer, and no one knows when or if a job/corporation/bank/state government is going to dissolve. Or a once all-powerful nation is about to default.

Now that’s what I call third-world.----

Source:
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/judy-bachrach/has-america-become-third-world-nation


Added: Jul-29-2012 Occurred On: Jul-29-2012
By: MB-UK
In:
Politics
Tags: america, third, world, usa, downfall, poor, debt, instability
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 2507 | Comments: 144 | Votes: 7 | Favorites: 3 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Eveyone that believe this shit should GTFO.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Honestly I can say that if I lived in the US i would be looking at relocation options if obummer gets back in.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • even a designated "poor" American has access to the internet and can post on LL crap like ur whiny screed - comparing the legal civil activities of the USA government to the chaos of a truly third world nation is absurd

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @chronecro “the lack of a middle class—with impoverished millions in a vast lower economic class, and a very small elite upper class controlling the country’s wealth.”

      you disagree with that indicator ?

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @Othman There will be a new name for what we're living in the history books. Some sort of hybrid.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @Othman It's a real shame the USA is so polarised between right and left and the polrisation/gulf between the classes with a shrinking middle class is a by product of the clowns in American politics.

      It's also because there are too few with far too much money/influence. Many politicians play ball with this.

      I largely agree with your statement.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • You want to fix this country? Stop all the fucking IMPORT of cheap garbage, buy only American made, and watch the economy take off. Business will not only rehire, new ones will be created.
    The cost of living and wages need to be brought closer together if the middle class is to ever return.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Lol. We're not a third world country. That's absolute nonsense.

    By the way, you want to help the middle class? Institute tort reform to make healthcare cheaper, stop federal subsidization of college loans so families don't have to save so much to send their kids to college, and stop taxing them so much for pointless, wasteful govt programs.

    We aren't a third world nation, but we need serious change...and it starts with a return to REAL conservatism.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • like the U.K is any better, the entire structure of the country rests on a massive welfare state

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @golem And is controlled by Islam.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @golem ignore fotoman.

      he keeps preaching the same ignorant rhetoric spoken by a lot of dumbass right wing americans who thing the UK is islams second home.

      they'd do themselves a huge favour worrying more about their own country.

      standard of living in britian and western europe is better than in the USA because of the free healthcare and education system.

      USA thinks it's number one but certainly doesn't provide and treat it's citizens as if they were

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @yourboss

      Western Europe has a significantly lower per capita GDP than America, the U.K is a glabal Islamic terrorist base, it was official policy in the 90's to offer Jihadists sanctuary, and most of their major cities such as london, manchester have vast Islamic populaces.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @golem Standard of living; I fancy the health and education system over the US any day. I think a lot of people would consider this a better standard of living....specially those millions of Americans who aren't provided health care without insurance (which is only a discount in the USA anyway), despite living in the worlds sole super power.

      Pretty ridiculous situation.

      As for England being an Islamic state; this isn't accurate. We have a small percentage of Indians/Pakistanis in the UK, but More..

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @yourboss

      hispanics don't bother me, they don't try to impose their taco worshipping diety onto me

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • The death of the middle class is greatly exaggerated. There are those who obsess about wealth disparity. It's quite the topic for those who use the government as a social engineering tool to rob Peter to pay Paul. Those labeled as "poor" in the U.S. have on average 2 color televisions, 30% of which are flat screen, cell phones, microwaves and a host of conveniences that 60 years ago were unthinkable. Don't confuse cultural squalor with poverty. Those britches aren't below their butts b More..

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Wishful thinking from a jealous foreigner...

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @Martyr_Machine
      "Has America Become a Third-World Nation?"

      under oBama?? not yet

      hmmmmm....
      four more years of oBamanation and we will have to review why 25% unemployment rate is good for such a welfare state of his making

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @Airedale

      Most people on social programs since the great depression.

      That is all the evidence anyone needs.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • comparing the health system in america to some much lesser economically developed nations holds some water when you consider that the USA health care system is absolutely terrible.

    western europes very high standard of free healthcare gives their populace a standard of living better than most americans

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @yourboss Yet the wealthy from Europe, India, Asia, Middle East come to america to have major surgeries. America has the best health system in the world. The system may be corrupt but the healthcare is the best.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @russiancrashdummy Yep best healthcare money can buy. Unfortunately, most Americans don't have enough money for it.

      Posted Jul-31-2012 By 

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  • Wishful thinking by those that seem to think that America's downfall would inherently prop up their status in the world, thus regaining what was lost. Such a ignorant worldview that is.

    Sorry, doomsayers have been prognosticating our doom and gloom for many decades. Guess what, we're still here. Deal with it!

    PS Stupid and ridiculous image and title. Poster must be butthurt.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @BuzzBuster

      I've seen the uploader refer to America as a "sh|thole" in other posts. It seems he'll embrace any idiotic BS, so long as it denigrates us.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @jafll

      The true nature of the English reveals itself here on LL. No wonder the Scots, Walsh and Irish hate them so.

      I think if more Americans cared to see the Poms for what they really are we certainly wouldn't think of them as our "friends."

      The truth is that most Americans couldn't give a shit about them...and that probably irks them more than anything else.

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @jafll
      Must be a leftist hugo chavez oBama democrat

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Its not yet, but its getting there. And if you vote Republican OR Democrat, you will only hasten our doom.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Man fuck you

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Man, Judy Bachrach needs to look at actual third world countries before she decided to try to edgy with her article.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • No it's not. Atleast not yet. Vote for Obama if you want it to be.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • If we started killing all the dead beats off and those without jobs, soon eveyone would be employed and taking care of their biz.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Should we start sneaking into Mexico now.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • the dream only allowed you to hide the reality

    welcome
    theLAB

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Anonymous has been trying to warn the American people of this for a very long time. Sad part is, all you ever get from people in America, when you tell them this, is go live in another country and you will respect America more. Unfortunately, those people can't see that unless you move to somewhere like Haiti, Jamaica, Uganda, Ethiopia, you are not getting worse by moving. There is a reason Americans are fleeing to Canada right now. They have incorporated our country into third world status. Yet More..

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • MB-UK always posts "bad" shit about America because he can't stand America. I just typed in England news financial bank of England and all kinds of "bad" shit popped up but you know what? I love England, Canada just like I love America and I would wish NO HARM to them. If you seen where I lived you would be kicking your own ass for posting this because it damn sure isn't "3rd world." Try posting stuff about your own country so you can get a sense of what is tru More..

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

    • @Saint2814 Hasn't it occurred to you that he might be posting what he does, because he's afraid of the consequences of the world's leading superpower collapsing?

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'MB-UK' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'CatJuggler' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @MB-UK couldn't agree with you more.

      America is becoming polarised in a number of contexts.

      As a result of the bickering between them little of any substance is getting achieved to move the country up and out of its rut and driven forward. The USA has more than the capacity to pull itself out and pull away from everyone if it played the game right.

      I'm from the countryside between Bristol and bath and couldn't feel more away from an Islamic state if I tried. You always hear the same same r More..

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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    • @MB-UK

      Are all you Britons world class pricks? It sure seems like it if all I had to go by was LL.

      You must have some issues because it certainly appears that you're obsessed with us "Merkins," as you so rudely put it.

      I'm glad to live right here and not where you come from. I'd hate to live in a place that turns out miserable wankers by the dozen.

      Cheers

      Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'DirtyUncleBerty' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Some called it change.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • The traditional definition:

    First World - U.S. and Western Europe
    Second World - Soviet Bloc nations
    Third World - everyone else

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Could be election year Urinalism.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • Funny words coming from someone that lives in a Muslim country. At least we won't turn Islam like you. I'd rather be a THIRD world country than be controlled by Islam like you guys.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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  • LOL.

    If we are dead then the rest of the world is a rotten maggot invested corpse.

    Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

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