Third World America?


Can a country reverse its growth? Because it seems that the United States of America has been. While globalization is helping many countries worldwide develop, America itself is suffering. As a whole, the US is massively in debt to other countries and the majority of its states are on the verge of bankruptcy. Even having only read four cases so far this semester, each adds additional support for America’s economic downfall.

The Enron and AIG crises show political corruption, an increase of which resembles less developed countries. The Nike case exemplifies the newly common practice of outsourcing that American firms have adapted, which takes away jobs from citizens of the US, adding to the country’s increasing unemployment rates. Furthermore, exporting raw materials so that manufactured products can be imported is a pattern common to Third World countries. Wal-mart highlights the fact that while American firms are still making money, their employees are not. The divide between the American upper and lower class is widening instead of closing. Currently, a CEO in the US makes 475 times the pay of the average worker, while in Venezuela CEOs make only 50 times what the average worker earns. Average worker salary hasn’t increased relative to inflation in the past half-century. Due to this increasing inequality, at some point last year, 50 million American citizens were unable to buy enough food to remain healthy.

According to many economists, some main characteristics common to Third World countries include high debt levels, rising unemployment, income inequality, political corruption, and declining public health. According to these criteria and the examples of cases we have read, I would argue that the United States is indeed losing its status as a First World Country.

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8 Responses to Third World America?

  1. Just a disclosure: I understand that using the terms “Third-World”, “First World”, “Developing” or “Developed” to describe a country’s economic status is not ideal. However, for lack of better descriptors and because adressing this issue could be a blog in itself, I have settled on using these terms. Please forgive me and look past the poor terminology.

    • Jordi says:

      I actually thing here it works better because you mean to invoke the concern or even scorn one may have towards “backward” countries. Your point it that the US is going backwards.

  2. Alyssa Haglund says:

    It would be extremely interesting to see the demographics of the unemployed. According to Business Insider, “a 19-year-old obese black male high school dropout, who was laid off from an El Centro construction job over 27 weeks ago” is most likely to be unemployed. In this case, is the fault of unemployment the government’s inability to produce good schooling systems or American’s unwillingness to take available jobs?

  3. ALXLIONS says:

    Your post makes me think like the large banks, America is believed to be “too big to fail”. How can a country that is believed to have the most advanced military, the best standard of living and the best technologies ever fail? Maybe our country has too much pride and we can’t look in the mirror and realize the problems that right under our nose.

  4. mike cardinute says:

    Look at Europe too. Their in debt up to their heads. The European debt crisis is way worse then the financial crisis in the U.S. in 2008. In fact, I read that Greece was paying off Goldman Sachs and other large banks since 2001 to arrange transactions that hid the actual level of borrowing they were doing from the EU. So by doing these shady deals with the banks allowing them to hide the deficit gave them more reign to continue spending and get more in debt. I wonder people are having an #OccupyGreeceStreet protest in Europe?…lol

  5. katiebaum13 says:

    I completely agree with you Eli about United States moving backward compared to many other countries who seem to be moving forward. I believe a major part of this reason is the amount of outsourcing American companies use to manufacturing their products. By outsourcing, it is taking millions of jobs away from US citizens, adding to the huge unemployment rate that is a major problem for the United States. I think more companies should try to focus on moving their manufacturing back to the United States in efforts to try and fight this problem. My brother currently stated a new clothing line and part of their appeal is that their clothing in made in America, creating more jobs for Americans. They are a fairly new company and have had a lot of recent success due to the fact that everything is made in America. Many contracts that they have made with larger department stores have been due to this reason because more companies are trying to make a bigger effort in supporting companies like this. I feel things can change for the better if more companies try to take this approach in helping other American companies that manufacture in America.

  6. Pingback: Blog awards round 2 | Biz Gov Soc

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