America’s Greatness by the Numbers

by | Nov 26, 2019 |

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The average American, good, bad and indifferent, produces about seven times as much as the average world citizen outside the USA.
The IMF estimates that the World GDP is $84.7 trillion USD. The United States accounts for 24.1% of this amount, or $20.5 trillion. It is very interesting to compare the per capita amounts for each country. The top ten countries in per capita income contain only 364 million people of which the US is home to 329 million of them. The per capita income then in the United States is $62,274 per person.
The second largest country in the top ten is Switzerland, with 8.5 million residents. Other countries in the top ten range from Denmark with 5.8 million residents down to Luxembourg with 614,000.
Other major world powers rank well below the United States. Germany averages $48,000 per capita. China, the second largest world economy averages a per capita GDP of only $9,596, after its gross product is spread over its vast 1.4 billion population. For the world as a whole the average GDP is $11,259 per person; without the USA the average drops to $8,926.

With the exception of America’s Native American population, every resident of this country is either an immigrant or a descendant of an immigrant, yet on average these people are seven times more productive than the average of the world they, or their ancestors, left behind. This is the essence of American greatness.

The American system provides a way for each citizen to prosper far beyond their fellow world citizens. We do not believe that the American population is intrinsically any smarter or superior to their world counterparts, but they are certainly more successful. Think about that when you hear someone glibly suggest that they have a better way.
The lack of recognition of how well off our country is came home to me (Dr. Lehr) in an essay I read by a graduate student by the name of Alyssa Ahlgren which appeared some time ago on the Internet. She had been reading comments from young people about how we needed to fix this country while sitting in a coffee shop watching the people around her working away on their computers apparently blind to all the advantages they were surrounded with, their vehicles, food, technology and freedom to associate with whom they choose. She recognized that these things are so ingrained in the American way of life that we do not give them a second thought. They are so well off that the U.S. poverty line begins orders of magnitude above the global average. Actually no one in America would be considered poor by global standards.
You can hear Alyssa Ahlgren on The Voice of a Nation here on America Out Loud.
The lack of appreciation for what Americans have is evident by the popularity socialist policies are gaining. Alyssa quoted a speech by New York Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez who said an entire generation of young people have grown up without seeing American Prosperity. How blind are these people to our amazing standard of living. Why are people dying to get into the United States of America? 
Why has the mainstream media tried to indoctrinate young people to being unaware of what we have? The answer is that the millennial generation and younger have only seen prosperity with no contrast to life elsewhere or earlier in this nation. They did not live through a depression, two world wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism elsewhere.
They do not know what life is without the internet, color TV and smart phones. We do not have a lack of prosperity problem, Alyssa says, “we have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem and it is spreading like a plague”. 
Heaven help us all, if socialism takes over America as many of the Democratic nominees for President in 2020 are planning for!


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lists the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of every country, as of 2018. The population figures we use are the latest available from the United Nations, as of July 2017.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Mr. Tom Harris’ and Dr. Jay Lehr’s assert that America has “an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem and it is spreading like a plague.” Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris are correct but not in the manner they think.
While the average income of Americans has risen, it hides the fact recent gains have going almost entirely to the wealthy leaving the rest behind. In the United States, the income gap between the rich and everyone else has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for more than 30 years. https://inequality.org/facts/income-inequality/
The extremely wealthy have benefited disproportionately in recent decades. President Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy have blown a massive hole is the federal budget. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/11/07/trump-tax-cuts-hiked-deficit-republicans-want-more-editorials-debates/4168022002/
Mr. Harris’ and Dr. Lehr’s assertion that the “…millennial generation and younger have only seen prosperity with no contrast to life elsewhere or earlier in this nation” is not supported by the facts. Millennials entered the workforce during or in the wake of the Great Recession. Among Millennial college graduates, unemployment and underemployment, at 8.8 percent and 18.3 percent respectively, are historically high compared with the same age cohort in prior generations, and wages for employed Millennials have dropped 7.6 percent since the onset of the Great Recession.(Sources Patricia Reany, “Youth employment: Recent U.S. college graduates disillusioned, underemployed says poll,” Huffington Post, April 30, 2013, Heidi Shierholz, Natalie Sabadish, and Hilary Wething, The class of 2012 labor market for young graduates remains grim, Economic Policy Institute, May 3, 2012)
High unemployment levels and low wages are making it difficult for many Millennials to make even minimal payments on their record-high amounts of student loan debt. At present, loan default rates are approaching historic highs, damaging Millennial credit scores along the way. (Source Natalie Sabadish, and Hilary Wething, The class of 2012 labor market for young graduates remains grim, Economic Policy Institute, May 3, 2012)

Tom Harris
2 years ago

This Disqus profile – https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JzQ88MTX2I/following/ – shows that since March 31, 2016, Mr. James has made 4,180 comments. Here is a sample of some of his many, many posts apparently trying to discredit my writings in online article comment sections: https://www.google.ca/search?site=&source=hp&q=%22Tom+Harris%22+%22Dave+James%22&gws_rd=cr&ei=nyGDWefuDavcjwSb-oK4DA . I already explained to Mr. James that many of his points are either wrong or misleading . I will not waste any more time explaining this to him, unless other people bring up the same or similar questions.

Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Tom Harris is mistaken. Mr. Harris’ credibility is determined by his words not mine. Mr. Harris is being less than honest when he vaguely asserts he has address my criticisms of his opinion piece somewhere else. Mr. Harris refusal to discuss his opinion piece shows a lack of confidence in the content of his arguments. Mr. Harris dodges because he understands that his ideas don’t do stand-up well when exposed to open and honest debate.

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