According to Wikipedia, the term “third world” originally described countries that did not align themselves with either the capitalist USA or the communist USSR. As time has marched on and the Soviet Union has disappeared, the definition has changed.

This is a definition that seems to describe the modern definition of third-world countries:

… nations which struggle to compete because of a lack of one or more of the following: health, education, employment, resources, money, and other various factors. Many are also hampered by corrupt governments who have long ago given up on looking after their own people and use funds to fatten their own wallets while their citizens are starving in the streets. Some are hampered by war or out of control epidemics such as AIDS. These factors make it next to impossible for them to compete in any real way with the industrialized nations.

Sound like anyone you know, America?

We have no guaranteed health insurance, and if you can manage to get covered the cost is skyrocketing. Our nation is struggling because of a lack of health care.  (The health care world map can be found at this link.)

Our education system is hampered by the disastrous “no child left behind” policy of the previous administration. “No child left behind” taught kids how to pass tests but not how to think or learn. Our nation is struggling because of a lack of education.

The U.S. has incredible natural resources which we are despoiling for short-term gains. Meanwhile we are squandering the precious resource of our minds with a mass media that does not promote critical thinking or scientific fact. Our nation is struggling because of a lack of resources.

Money? Oh yeah, we have issues with that too.

America is also struggling because of various other factors. We are hampered by a corrupt government that long ago gave up on looking after our own people. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky is a perfect example of how congress members fatten their own wallets while their citizens are starving in the streets. After he leaves his Senate seat, let’s just see how long it takes him to take that job lobbying for Northrup-Grumman. I’m betting it takes him one month to make the announcement.

We are conducting two wars that we know about, and countless wars we don’t know about. Our nation is struggling because we are hampered by war.

As the definition concludes, “These factors make it next to impossible for them to compete in any real way with the industrialized nations.” America cannot compete in any real way with industrialized nations – you know, like China. What is made in America any more — I mean, besides excuses and credulity?

America, we are a third world country.

I realized recently just how far behind the curve America really is. I like to try to make political and/or sociological points using goofy songs and cartoons and such, and I started to make a virtual Sarah Palin paper doll using fashions worn by women who are politically powerful. As I began research I was surprised to learn that women are running countries all over the world – from Iceland to Australia to the Philippines to the outgoing president of Chile. And yet we keep hearing “America isn’t ready for a woman president,” and there is data to support that belief.

America desperately needs a lifeline. We are not an emerging nation; we are a submerging nation.