“… there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.” So President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio address.
President Obama’s comments that every and any nation in the world would “trade places” came as a reference to the U.S. economy. He was not talking about the unusual freedoms that Americans have that are secured by the rights of free speech or to bear of arms. The president’s reference was not about the country’s military prowess or its position as a the world’s largest creator of advanced technologies.
He is mistaken when his comments are directed at countries that see Americans who are out of work, out of credit and out of money to pay for their homes.
Among the nations that would almost certainly not trade place with the U.S. are:
Australia, which has an AAA rating for its sovereign debt and among the richest deposits of minerals in the world.
Switzerland, which also has a AAA rating and has not been involved in a war in centuries. It is also the best place to ski, with the exception, perhaps, of the Rockies.
Norway, another AAA-rated economy, has significant oil deposits. The government also provides significant government services to every man, women and child. Norway is also one of the most crime-free nations in the world despite the recent tragedy.
Canada, yet another AAA economy, which is the most mineral and oil rich country in North America, and has ready access to U.S. products and services because of NAFTA. Canada also has a remarkably low crime rate
Sweden and Finland, which have many of the same advantages as Norway.
Germany, the financially healthiest country in the Europe, with its massive export machine and strong national balance sheet.
Singapore, the richest nation in the world based on GDP per capita.
China, with a economy that has grown recently at a rate of 9%, compared to America’s 2%.
And, New Zealand, a country that is so remote it is hardly part of the global economy at all.
Beyond that list of nations, the president is probably right.
Douglas A. McIntyre