Yes America has issues. Yes there is poverty, yes the people are dumb, but mostly religion is blame for that (I'm not kidding, compare the map of most impoverished states to the map of most religious states). But the Constitution at least sets up basic freedoms that people in some other countries can't experience, and there is opportunity if you work hard enough.
Despite our current flaws, mainly government corruption, there is no doubt in my mind that the United States is still the best place to live on Earth. The freedoms we enjoy here aren't found in most other countries.
Things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a trial by jury, and especially the right to bear arms, aren't found in a lot of countries. There are a lot of people who think America isn't a good country, but I guarantee if they watch the news and see what life is like outside of the US they'd appreciate what they have here.
The definition of great is, "of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average" or, "of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average.". The fact that both of these definitions contain multiple qualifiers (intensity, ability, quality, quantity, etc.) it is very easy to find some aspect of American society to fit one of them. Lets take quantity for instance. In terms of money, our nation is the wealthiest in the world, we have more college graduates than another nation, we give more foreign aid than anyone else, etc. The same can be done for quality. We have the strongest military in the world, we are the most diverse nation in the world, our space program is second to none, etc. Their are a lot of things that America has going for it, so it is as good of a candidate as any for "Greatest" that your ever going to find.
You bet it is. America land of the free baby!!!!!!
NO but in all seriousness I think America is great overall. More economic opportunities then any other big nation, not super expensive to live at, great job opportunities, a lot of educational opportunities, Democracy, now sure some things about America is bad but the problem is people assume that because America has this status as "The best country" it has to be perfect. America isn't perfect its just the best all around country.
Being that the U.S. is now in 46th place (internationally) with regards to freedom of the press, 29th in the global school rankings, and despite being lauded as the bastion of capitalism and the free market, ranks a paltry 12th on the economic freedom front, it would be a far fetch to claim that America is the greatest nation on earth. To do so would be to ignore every major statistical ranking out there. Having the largest military budget in the world and being the greatest war monger and meddler of other nation's internal affairs doesn't exactly make a country "great" either. The U.S. does score an impressive #2 on the worlds most polluting nations, so America does excel in this area (the only area it excels in to my knowledge). It also excels in income equality, ranking number 43 along side with Uganda and the Philippines.
First of all I do not believe a country can necessarily be the best and I don't believe that America was ever the best in the first place. Though America has a large GDP, population, and a large amount of innovation we are still lacking in many areas. We still have capital punishment while every single country in Europe besides Belarus has outlawed it. We have many acts of shooting and terrorism and more crime than other nations. Also the United States is in a large amount of debt and has a huge 2-party system which causes government gridlock. Also the government especially under more conservative parties is heavily based on religion. The United States does not have a Universal Healthcare system like many other nations and the United States is constantly putting its nose in other countries' business. Also many people claim that the abundance of rights in the United States make it the best. Many other countries have these same rights especially in European nations. The United States is not the best because of two reasons. The first reason is that a nation can not simply be the best due to too many things to measure and take into account. The second reason is that if it were possible the United States has quite a few flaws that keep it from reaching first.
Of course many other countries haven't reached perfection (and never will) but we are farther from progress than many other nations. We have continued to support a huge gap between the rich and the poor, leaving so many people in poverty. We are too stubborn to raise the minimum wage and refuse to tax the one percent, which earns at least (keep in mind that this is the minimum amount earned yearly to be in the 1%) half a million yearly. That could help pay for so much.
Our health care system is awful (unless you have the money to pay for it, but most can't as stated before) which kills so many people for not being able to receive the treatment they needed. Insurance companies try to weasel out of the services they promise to provide, leaving more people in debt as well.
Our education (although not the worst) is really terrible compared to most first world countries. We have a gigantic teen drop out rate and our students don't do as well when compared to other countries, which is just sad.
The only thing we are #1 in is our military, which isn't even a good thing. We only use it to invade countries which could provide us with resources. Many of our recent wars have been used to take advantage of the supplies in other countries. We have caused disorder in the middle east and they haven't done all that better since we decided to come in and "fix" everything. If we actually wanted to help we would have done a much better job than that, but America was powered by greed.
We have massive issues with gun control, which is nothing for other countries, first world countries which have little or a lot of gun control (there are both types which do better than us.)
Our "freedom" is illusionary as well. There are laws being passed not allowing people to record the police, so for those of you which want police reform, America is not a fan of justice. The government is allowed to spy on American citizens as well, and they could take them to a foreign country where their rights can be taken away illegally. That means you could be accused of being a terrorist and you would have no "rights" which you normally have here.
Need I say more? The list goes on and on.
(The worst part is that other countries don't deal with several of the problems listed here.)
America is a nice place to live sometimes, and other times it is awful/fatal, just like any other country. We have basic rights and fine infrastructure, so we have a lot to be thankful for, but really, can you give countries "points" to rank them? Be glad it's not Somalia.
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America has more gun violence than any other first-world country, and although we ranks
fourteenth in education around the world, we've succeeded in forcing all federally funded schools to adhere to the oppressive common-core standard. 35% of Americans are obese. Our federal government is slow and decentralized, and has managed to accumulate over 18 trillion dollars of debt. It took us two full years longer to legalize gay marriage than it did the UK. Our politicians get fought up in petty power struggles, and time and time again they attempt to use bigoted logic sway the votes of the ignorant, unwashed masses. And you know what? It works. That's exactly how messed up and backwards our 'great nation' has become. The electoral college continues to hold more power than the popular vote, and the Supreme Court has legalized bribery. We no longer have a democracy. Rather, America is gradually becoming a plutocracy, ruled by dynasties of wealthy beurecrats. We don't need beurecrats. We need leaders.
I'll give you an example of a real country. Belgium. Belgium ranks eighteenth in education, but college is FREE there. They have the lowest crime rates in the world, and they're known for hosting the Nobel Prize, and their exceptional chocolate. They have a Monarch, usually a king. The king makes decisions swiftly, and he gets things done. He isn't King of Belgium, mind you. He's "king of the Belgians". Which means that the people have the power to overthrow the king at any time, in favor of a parliament, or to elect a new King. In short, Belgium is awesome. I'm going to move to Brussels some day, and stay there for maybe a year or two, then come back just to see how much better it is than America. Then I'm probably going to stay in Belgium.
It has been disputed for many generations whether or not the U.S is truly the "greatest country in the world", besides the fact that this debate is full of bias on either end it's a futile argument because of how subjective the measurement of "the greatest country in the world" even is; that being that people have perceptions of how to measure that, and it can be ranked on a plethora of criterion.
However, it is also true that America has steadily sustained the world leadership title in only three areas:
 Number of Incarcerated Citizens Per Capita - The U.S has more people in prison than any other nation on earth [taking into account African and Middle Eastern nations, as well].
 Number of Adults Who Believes Angels are Real - The U.S is known for its bountiful religious populace, giving it first place in the number of adults who believe the supernatural beings of 'angels' are real and not just fictitious.
 Defense Spending - The U.S spends more on national defense than the next 26 economic powers combined; 25 of those economic powers being political allies. The U.S has sustained this title four going on five years now.
Besides the above, here is a list of current issues the U.S is facing that most other first world nations are not.
Washington Corruption, Money in Politics, Corporate Welfare, Poverty (40%), Gender Wealth Gap, Racial Stigma, Militant Police Force, Climate Change Denial in Legislation, Continuation of Trade in Fossil Fuels, Extremely High Prison Rate, Corrupt/Expensive Healthcare System, Strict Immigration Policy, Intolerant Legislation in Dealing with Syrian Refugee Crisis, Transgender Rights, Separation of Church and State/Adhering Basic Constitutional Laws.
If America can fix these issues, I'll consider it.
Although America is a well developed country which follows human rights and gives citizens freedom of speech, like many places still needs vast improvement. Issues like social stigma around minorities such as people of colour, homosexuals and those who are trans, gun laws which cause innocent children to be killed when they should be feeling like they are in an area of safety. However, other countries have this problem solved. The right to bear arms, which can be found useful in some situations, can be downright dangerous. Often, the case is that firearms are necessary to protect yourself from other firearms. Compared to the whole world, America is a good place but there are other places in the modern world that are just as good, if not better