According to the latest Good Country Index, the U.S. is ranked 38th among 149 countries (The Good Country, n.d.). The worst indicators include a global contribution to international peace and security (108th place) and environmental protection (82nd place), while the best sphere is health and well-being (9th place). The presented data signifies that the U.S. still struggles to contribute largely to the prosperity and security of the world. Therefore, I would like to discuss what can be done to improve our country’s position in the list of “good” states.
From the political perspective, I think it is reasonable to start addressing the questions concerning the areas in which the U.S. has failed to significantly contribute to global well-being. First of all, it is important that the country joins and initiates more international environmental agreements (i.e., similar to the Paris Agreement). The efforts in this sphere would allow putting an end to the uncontrollable global climate change. Next, the U.S. should seek to reduce the exports of weapons and stimulate other countries to do the same. According to the World Peace Foundation (2021), major arms exporters supply most of the world’s conflicts.
In my opinion, that impacts the number of casualties among both militaries and civilians and the severity of the war overall as an increased number of people can possess technologically advanced weapons. Finally, the U.S. should seek to promote ‘cultural diplomacy’ instead of a ‘commercial’ one, meaning that the government should spread its cultural influence in order to increase mutual understanding rather than receive economic benefits (Varga, 2013). However, I think that now the U.S. is leaning towards the latter strategy and ignores the former.
From a personal perspective, each of us should seek to understand other cultures and view them as equal to our own. To some extent, the U.S. is struggling to do that due to its dominant economic position in the world, which makes us think that “our way” is better. However, I believe that an education system that teaches us to value other cultures can remedy that situation. Especially, the development of international student exchange programs can be of great help, as the ability to see the world through other nation’s eyes is cultivated naturally in that case. Therefore, the ability to view U.S. culture as one among equally important others can reduce prejudices and promote international peace and understanding.
The Good Country. (n.d.). The Good Country Index. Web.
Varga, S. (2013). The marketization of foreign cultural policy: The cultural nationalism of the competition state. Constellations, 20(3), 442-458.
World Peace Foundation. (2021). Business as usual: How major weapons exporters arm the world’s conflicts. Web.