Everyone should read these 15+ Things Americans Don’t Know About the United States of America and learn to look at the world globally
Hello Aluxers, it’s great to have you back for another really interesting article, this time on the things Americans don’t know about the United States of America.
You might be familiar with some of them, but you should always consider expanding your knowledge.
Feel free to look into every fact on this list and learn more about the topic.
Despite the title saying there are only 15, we crammed over 50 facts into a single article for you to enjoy.
Here are 15+ things Americans might not know about the US:
1: The United States is no longer the largest economy in the World!
According to the International Monetary Fund, China overtook the US as the largest economy since 2014. [source] This has to do with the labor force along with manufacturing being too expensive to be done in the country and also the fact that the taxes in the US are pretty high. Although the US has shifted from an industrial economy to a service and technology one, this is by no means enough to keep up with other fastly growing economies. Because both the taxes and production costs are high, the most valuable companies in the US choose to move overseas. For Example, Apple is manufacturing in China and is using its subsidiary in Ireland to pay taxes there, because it’s cheaper. [source] The taxes paid by Apple, Google, Microsoft, don’t enter the US economy. For Example, in 2010 General Electric made over 14 Billion dollars in profit but ended up paying 0 dollars in taxes in the US. [source]
We have a video on the countries with the most billionaires in the world and by the end of the year China will overtake US in that department also, they’re getting a new billionaire every 5 days and a lot of the international investments that were supposed to go in the us markets are now redirected there, further fueling the gap.
2: The United States is responsible for one of the largest genocides in world history.
Numerous historical documents show that when the original settlers came to America the population of native Indians across the continent was between 50 and 100 million. In just a few hundred years almost all of them were wiped out. Many historians estimate the lowest number of Indian deaths to be around 20 million and on the higher end, up to 98 million.[source] That’s 10 times more than Hitler’s Holocaust.[source] When the settlers came in, they brought with them more developed technology, more firepower and 3 of the deadliest biological weapons of that time: smallpox, influenza, and bubonic plague. While the Europeans were already treating these 3, the Indians were not given access to medicine. They didn’t stand a chance. By the 19th century only a few hundred thousand native Indians were still alive.[source] Something interesting we found when doing our research is that Before the Holocaust, Hitler gave the US and many other nations the option to take in Jewish refugees. They all refused.[source]
3: The United States was one of the last countries on Earth to abolish Slavery!
On December 1865 the US finally abolishes slavery. [source] Great news! What about the rest of the world? It turns out Russia did it 150 years before the US, in 1723. China in 1725. Portugal 1761. 1790 Denmark & Norway. 1793 Canada and one year later, France. In the early 1800s, not only did the British figured out slavery is a bad thing, they even started paying other countries to cease their slave trade. The only countries that took longer than the US to abolish slavery were remote colonies and the middle East. [source] A quick fact we wanted to slip in: America’s first documented slave owner was a black man![source]
4: America is NOT the greatest country in the world!
The US ranks 14th in Education, 44th in health care, 35th in Math, 15th in Literacy, 22nd in Science, 49th in Life Expectancy, 14th in Happiness, 19th in internet connection, 47th in press freedom, 89th in child vaccination and we’ll stop there. These numbers are very easy to fact check for yourself. [source]
But wait Alux, America can’t be that bad? At the end of the day, America’s always number 1 right?
Ok, let’s have a look!
5: America is Leading the world in:
Number of people in prisons. There are an estimate of 9 million people in prisons around the world. A quarter of all of them are in the US. [source]
America is number 1 in energy consumption per individual. The average american consumes 3 times more energy than the average European and 15 to 20 times the average Indian or Chinese.[source]
The US is also the country that did the most damage to the Ozone layer causing Global Warming.[source] Only recently China overtook the US as the main polluter in the world, but the US has been at it for a lot longer than China and still is massively polluting the environment.
America is also leading in Obesity, Self-esteem, Ignorance on what is happening around the world, people who believe that angels are real and military spending[source] – we’ll talk about the military later in this article.
6: 4 Earth-size planets would be required to sustain the level of consumption of the United States.[source]
The average American consumes around 35 tons of food during his lifetime. That’s 80 times more than the average human needs. The US is the largest food waster in the world & also The largest water consumer in the world.[source] This is a little weird considering the fact that 6% of the population say they never bathe [source] and because of the massive water consumption almost half of the US is abnormally dry or officially in a drought. [source] You can fact check that! Also a quarter of all energy in the world is consumed by the US every year. [source]
Let’s take a look at the people in prisons:
7: At least 1 in 25 people sentenced to the Death penalty in the US is innocent.[source]
Over 60% of the people in prison can’t read. [source] Over 90% of the people in jail are blacks or hispanics [source] and it costs the US over 2.3 Million dollars to keep 1 prisoner in Guantanamo. [source] Here’s something we weren’t expecting. Police killed twice as many whites than black people in 2015 and it wasn’t an odd year [source], but African Americans are twice as likely to be shot that white folks.[source]
8: Interracial Marriage was banned up 50 years ago [source] and same sex marriage was just recently legalized.
This is just crazy! Before 1967 you couldn’t get married if you belonged to different races, which means that when your parents were born or when you grandparents were of your age you couldn’t get married to the person you loved because of their skin tone. Also, there are 17 other countries that didn’t take as long as the US to acknowledge same-sex marriages.[source]
9: There are more shopping malls than high schools in the US.[source]
Not to mention that the cost of education increased 5 times in the last 30 years way beyond the cost of living, inflation and other economic indexes.[source]
10: During the prohibition years the Government actively added poison to alcohol reserves killing over 10,000 people in the process. [source]
Until 1933 the government was strongly against alcohol consumption. Today, every hour at least 1 person is killed by a drunk driver in the US.[source]
11: There are at least 100 people in the US named “ L O L” [source]
But that’s not all, last year we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of babies named after Instagram filters! The top pics were Valencia, Ludwig, Amaro & Reyes.[source] But maybe baby names should be the last of your worries, as It costs $245,000 to raise a child in the US, before college! [source]
12: If you live in the US, you now have a 50% chance of getting cancer before you die![source]
1 in 5 deaths every year is caused by smoking[source], you are twice as likely to commit suicide than be killed by someone [source] and medial errors are the 6th leading cause of death in the US.[source]
13: There are more Americans on Facebook right now, than the number of people who voted in this election![source]
14: As of October 18th, 2016, there have been a total of 2,386 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. The number of civilians killed in the process is around 30,000. [source]
The US loves war, because it’s been incredibly profitable for the country. 1 in every 5 dollars you pay in taxes goes to the army in one form or the other.[source] The US has the highest military spending in the world[source], and it leveraged that to gain access to valuable commodities like oil. For example: The Caspian Sea region has potentially the world’s largest oil reserves. [source] Afghanistan is strategically situated between the Caspian and the markets of the Indian subcontinent and east Asia. Now you might figure out for yourself why the price of oil at the gas stations in the US is twice if not 3 times cheaper than in Europe.[source] Also, the Afghan war is the longest in US history.[source]
15: The United States is the only country in the history of the world to ever use an Atomic bomb, and that was against a non atomic country: Japan. Approximately 250,000 people have been killed in Hiroshima & Nagasaki combined.[source]
There are a ton of more facts and incredible information we’ve discovered while researching for this video, but if we were to put it all together we’d end up with an hour long documentary.
After hearing all this we wanted to know: Does this information change the way you perceive the United States? We’d like to hear from both US citizens and folks from other countries. As always we’ll be around in the comments.