Donald Trump opened his mouth and something racist came out, shocking approximately zero persons. Specifically, he whined that the U.S. was mostly attracting immigrants from “shithole” countries. The clapback and backlash were swift, especially since Donald Trump and the Republican party are doing their damnedest to make the United States itself into a true shithole.
However, I’m feeling charitable, so I’ll give Trump the benefit of the doubt and assume he is genuinely curious why so many immigrants aren’t interested in coming to the United States. Here’s a brief, and by no means exhaustive, list of reasons why:
- We have an undemocratic thing called “the electoral college” which made Donald J. Trump the president, even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes.
- 62 million Americans voted to make Donald J. Trump the president.
- Our health care prices are some of the highest in the world, but we don’t have better outcomes. Compared to other high-income countries, we have lower life expectancy, more chronic health problems, and higher infant mortality rates than other developed nations. We pay more for less.
- The top 10% of earners in the United States now make 50% of all pre-tax income and own 75% of total household wealth, according to a number of economists and a recent report from Deutsche Bank.
- The United Nations is investigating the U.S. crisis of extreme poverty. Yes, there is a crisis of extreme poverty in one of the wealthiest nations on Earth.
- The city of Flint, Michigan has had a years-long crisis of high lead levels in their tap water, which made it undrinkable and forced them to rely on bottled water. Some Flint homes are still facing higher-than-average lead levels in their water. They are not the only U.S. city with unsafe lead levels in the water.
- Our own American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United States a D+ on its infrastructure report card. It would take an estimated $4.59 trillion to get our infrastructure to an adequate B by 2025.
- A college education costs more in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, as calculated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
- According to the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, the United States ranks 38th out of 71 countries in math, and 24th out of 71 countries in science.
- The United States and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that don’t guarantee paid maternity leave under the law.
- With a long history of police brutality, the United States still has a crisis of police killings of civilians. U.S. police kill more people in a few days than many other developed countries kill in a few years, and they disproportionately target minorities.
- 33% of Americans cannot name even one of the three branches of government, and 37% of Americans can’t name any of the rights protected by the First Amendment.
- The U.S. Congress just passed a historically unpopular tax bill which overwhelmingly benefits the super-wealthy, but they cannot pass gun control legislation favored by 94% of Americans or protections for DREAMers favored by 76% of Americans. Why are their priorities so profoundly undemocratic?
- The United States is on track to become the only country in the world that won’t be part of the Paris Climate Agreement, come November 2020.
- It bears repeating. 62 million Americans voted to make Donald J. Trump the president.
Now, obviously, no country is really a “shithole country,” because countries are made up of human beings who have intrinsic worth and value; every nation on the planet has made some positive contributions to human culture, innovation, and politics. But before Donald Trump talks trash about the rest of the world, he might want to look a little closer to home—and a little closer at how his own policies are exacerbating America’s problems.
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