You would expect a world class performance from a top athlete, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you expect the same from the world’s leading nation? Well, guess again. Here are 5 stunning ways how the US fails its citizens and which they prefer to keep silent on.

1. Education

If the US would be a student, it would not have passed his mathematics and science exam. According to the Pew Research Center the world’s leading nation ranks poorly in these fields of education.

It reaches this remarkable conclusion on the basis of one of the biggest cross-national tests, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Every three years it measures the reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, place the U.S. on an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.

Paradoxically, a college education in the US costs a fortune. Families will spend at least 58% of their income to send their child to university. Students who graduated college in 2014 have an average loan debt of $33,000. The U.S has over 12 trillion loan debts and 7 million borrowers are in default.

The price to attend college has risen over 500% since 1985. Basically, a $10,000 education in the ’80s is now worth $50,000 — a price that the wealthiest of families are able to afford while middle class and low-income families are left out in the cold.

2. Healthcare

The World Health Organization compared healthcare among countries in regards to quality of the care, access to see doctors, efficiency in services, fairness and overall health of citizens.

Believe it or not: the U.S received an F in the recent report.

“The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance”, the report finds.

The majority of Americans barely have enough money to see their doctors and many are forced to choose alternative routes to treat themselves and their families. Americans are more likely to die earlier compared to Canadians, Australians and the French.

3. Crony Capitalism

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reichmade an argument in his Netflix special Saving Capitalism that:

“In the United States, the rules are increasingly set by big corporations, Wall Street, and very rich individuals. The rest of the country has little or no voice. That means the rules of capitalism, the rules of the game, are tilted increasingly toward those at the top. We are the most unequal of all advanced economies. We have the highest rate of poverty. We have the highest CEO pay. We have the most extraordinary concentration of wealth and power of any other advanced economy. This is really the issue.”

Reich is not making the point that capitalism is bad per se but that crony capitalism is which he defines as:

“An economy that is nominally free-market, but allows for preferential regulation and other favorable government intervention based on personal relationships.”

Or in other words: the more money you have, the more power you hold.

4. They don’t mind their own business

Americans are in great disagreement on whether or not Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.

19.5 million Americans watched former F.B.I director James Comey testify in Washington and many even missed work for it.

Several congressmen and congresswomen stated that the idea of Russia interfering with the US democracy is in violation of what the latter stands for: freedom.

Isn’t it striking that the land of the free has interfered itself many times, 80 times to be exact, with other countries’ elections? Is it simply getting a taste of its own medicine?

5. Human rights violation

According to Human Rights Watch:

“…many US laws and practices, particularly in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice, immigration, and national security, violate internationally recognized human rights. Often, those least able to defend their rights in court or through the political process—members of racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, children, the poor, and prisoners—are the people most likely to suffer abuses.”

What are your views on these issues? How would you rank the US?

Speak out in the comments below and check out Ideapod’s discussion on the land of the free.