Americans think they’re free.
You could say Americans think they own the “Freedom” brand, epitomizing the freest people in the world.
For a free people, Americans don’t get out much.
According to the State Department, 64 percent of Americans don’t own a passport.
So it’s fair to say that more than two-thirds of Americans have never experienced another country. Meaning: when they talk about how free America is compared to other countries, they don’t know what the fu*k they’re talking about.
Are there other countries where people feel more free than Americans?
According to a recent Gallup poll, and Americans themselves, America doesn’t even rank in the top ten of the freest countries in the world.
And while Americans often contrast their beloved freedom against China as perhaps an example of a comparative lack of freedom, Chinese people themselves (over 80 percent of them) report being satisfied with their freedom.
Just like Americans.
China BTW isn’t in the top 10 either.
There are so many countries where people feel free, it’s impossible to claim America has a monopoly on that idea conceptually or actually. Now Gallup does make this important caveat. It applies I think to countries like China:
“The appearance at the top of the list of countries not usually associated with freedom could reflect social desirability to answer this question positively, as well as fear on the part of respondents about how a negative answer might be interpreted.”
But this caveat doesn’t apply to the vast majority of countries in the top ten, which includes Denmark, Finland and Norway, Canada, Sweden, and Costa Rica, many of which are somewhat democratic socialist countries. All the top ten scored above 90 percent in self-reported freedom satisfaction.
America scored in the 80s.
– – –
Many of the countries scoring better than America tax their citizenry more than the US.
Might there be a strong positive correlation between high taxes (a hallmark of socialism) and the freedom citizens feel?
Seems like it.
The same correlation may hold true between higher taxes and happiness.
For all the things they spend money on, it’s odd Americans are loathe to give up some money in return for less stressful, happier lifestyles and, according to this poll, more freedom.
Seems awfully counter-intuitive. Like a lot of things about America.
This is why we’re focusing our energies on a better way. It not only can outperform capitalism while giving all Americans “on all sides” of any argument what they want, it can do so without taking anything from anyone.
This better way can also out perform even the most progressive nation state.
We recognize the world has some catching up to do to appreciate what we’re offering. We’re ok with that.
Because we have all the time in the world to allow real freedom for everyone.