The Land of the Free — America has just been stripped of its favorite longstanding self-designation — the official title of ‘Land of the Free’ now belongs to its neighbor to the north, Canada.
In fact, the Legatum Institute’s 2015 Prosperity Index found Canadians experience the greatest personal freedom and general social tolerance of all 142 nations in the report — while the U.S. trailed behind in ninth place. But that’s only part of the story.
Regarding the feeling of safety and security, America fell two spots from last year’s embarrassing rank to 33rd on the list — landing literally just ahead of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
According to Foreign Policy’s Siobhán O’Grady:
Americans fear more for their safety each day than people living in Egypt, Bangladesh, and Sudan — countries that suffer from regular terrorist attacks, civil unrest, and war.
Just what exactly Americans have to be so scared about isn’t exactly clear [… ] And while 17 percent had property stolen in 2014, that was still below the global average of 17.5 percent.
O’Grady’s tongue-in-cheek query sharply derides Americans’ unfortunate, gullible tendencies to believe whatever subject or object the government deems must be the target for fear. In many ways, the Legatum report proves fear-mongering works.
If all of this weren’t sufficient to prove the freedom in which Americans ostensibly bask remains little more than illusion, the U.S. stood alone among Western nations with high levels of State-sponsored violence — right in line with Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine. Legatum suggested recent uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore were the reason for this startling comparison, though the general rise in police violence coupled with an astonishing lack of accountability shouldn’t be ignored.
Canada’s actual tolerance and freedom could be a lesson for U.S. politicians who insist on touting the tired Land of the Free moniker — especially now that it no longer applies.
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