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USA now number 12

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Every time I hear the nightly news or a political commentator or a stock market analyst say that we are the world's richest economy I cringe, because it is not a good comparison. It is simply how to lie with statistics. Here's why: As a nation we are the world's richest economy, but we are not the world's richest economic entity. There are other entities in this world besides nation status. Whether or not Europe ever unites into one large country is rather irrelevant when we are comparing countries, because calling America a larger economy than any single European country for instance is a silly comparison. It's like comparing apples to oranges.

A better comparison might be comparing individual US states to European countries. Or we could call the USA a region compared to the Euro zone. If we did that then the title of largest economy goes to Europe. But even all that is rather silly, because of population differences.

The best comparison overall is actually on a per capita basis. Such a comparison puts the USA as number 12 in the world with the average person in tiny Liechtenstein earning a whopping $141,100 per year compared to the average American income of a mere $49,000. The wealthiest state on a per capita basis in the USA is not even a state. DC is #1 one in the country averaging $174,500 per year. If it were a country it would also be #1 on a per capita basis. Mississippi is last in the country with a little over $32,000 (less than Macau in China and the Isle of Man in Europe). Second richest in the USA is Delaware which, if it were a country would make it fourth in the world equal to Bermuda on a per capita basis.

But even that is an inadequate comparison. National greatness cannot be measured in terms of economic might alone. True greatness is measured in terms of righteousness, goodness. The nation that follows God and places love of neighbor ahead of selfishness will have peace, a smooth way forward and the people will shout for joy (Isaiah 26). What a day that would be when America is respected and loved around the world because she blesses other nations and does not abuse them. What a day when all Americans can look at their national leaders and call them blessed because they have done the right thing by their country.

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