GRANTHAM: Here are 12 ways people get America all wrong

Jeremy GranthamMorningstar.comJeremy Grantham

People prefer good news over bad news.

That bias is theme of Jeremy Grantham’s new quarterly message to GMO’s clients.

“As a bear in the bull market of 1999 I was banned from an institution’s building as being ‘dangerously persuasive and totally wrong!'” the investment legend wrote. “The investment industry also has a great incentive to encourage this optimistic bias, for little money would be made if the market ticked slowly upwards. Five steps forward and two back are far more profitable.”

To illustrate how this bias pervades society, Grantham identified 12 ways the US is thought to be a global leader. And in his charting, he reveals how the facts tell a different, more depressing story.

“It is my attempt to bring home how extreme is our preference for good news over accurate news,” he said.

We grabbed his charts to give you a quick summary of what he’s talking about.

American wage growth has lagged most of the developed world.

GMO

American unemployment is low, only because many folks aren't even trying to look for jobs.

GMO

America used to be a leader in labour force participation. But not anymore.

GMO

America certainly leads in health care spending, but it doesn't deliver on life expectancy.

GMO

America is the only place where death rates are actually on the rise, thanks to share increases in alcoholism, drug use, and suicides.

GMO

Americans complain that too much is going to the government, but relative to GDP it's not that much.

GMO

'At least we live in a fair society' -- WRONG

GMO

America is not fair if you think income inequality is a good proxy for this.

'We have a democracy where people really count' -- WRONG

GMO

America isn't much of a democracy if you consider the fact that the financial elites can double the chance of a legislative bill getting passed or blocked.

'We have the best education system in the world' -- WRONG

GMO

America's maths and science test scores raise doubt that this country has the best education system in the world.

America lags during the most important years of intellectual development.

GMO

America produce more CO2 per capita than any other country in the world.

GMO

America is not generous.

GMO

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