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The OECD released a massive pack of data on the developed world this week. America performs well on things like household income and tolerance; and badly on things like health and voting rates.But there are two measures where the U.S. is far and away the worst.
First, the U.S. prison population is 760 prisoners in 100,000. The next closest country is South Africa at 329 prisoners, while the OECD average is 140 prisoners.
Second, U.S. health spending is 16 per cent of GDP. The next closest country is France at 11.2 per cent of GDP, while the OECD average is 9.0 per cent.
This means that Americans cost more to take care of — even while their benefits are worse.
Social spending is low on pensions, but high on prisons. Health spending is off the charts, but obesity and life expectancy are worse than average.