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America Better Off

This is a news article written for a general Google News powered website

America Is Better Off Than We May Think

By: Keri Rozansky

Many conversations that start off “how are you?” usually get an answer like “could be better, could be worse.” In this context it means nothing detrimental has happened, nor has anything out-of-this-world-great. Americans often apply this to the current economy, as the nation continues to struggle with a floundering economy.

A new study, however, shows that the U.S. is not alone, and is better off than nearly a dozen other countries.

The countries encountering economic woes include Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Pakistan.

Hasty banking decisions in Greece and Iceland have landed those countries in financial turmoil that has been very difficult to escape. A contracting economy with problems in the property and banking markets account for Ireland’s problems. Italy’s high debt load joins Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ongoing scandals, appointment of show girls to government positions and feuds with members of his own party. Sadly, both Greece and Ireland have had to seek ‘bailouts’.

An over 20-year economic slump has landed Japan in the lineup. The country has relied heavily on exports, and its financial and governmental leaders’ passive decisions have not helped the country’s condition. Pakistan’s economy is suffering after a loss of U.S. support. Information about Osama bin Laden’s hideout has prompted the White House to suspend around $800 million in U.S. aid to the country.

Belgium’s political woes have set a record. The country, divided by eight political parties, cannot decide who should run the government – an entity that has not been functioning for a year, a modern record.

The United Kingdom is in the middle of a political scandal revolving around journalists of Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World. The journalists have been jailed, government officials have been accused of covering it up and the head of Scotland Yard has resigned.

Venezuela has been found to sit on the world’s largest proven oil reserves. The discovery does not pull its economy forward thanks to dictator Hugo Chavez. Since gaining power 11 years ago, Chavez has nationalized several industries, reduced the economy’s diversity and linked it to the volatile oil market, causing a 25% inflation rate per year – one of the highest in the world.

The big issue for Saudi Arabia is women’s rights. Women there cannot drive, open bank accounts, or even get a passport without a male guardian. Added to the fact they are not allowed to show their faces in public, women are fed up and doing what they can to break the chains.

Canada joins the ranks after recent riots over: losing a hockey tournament. Riots broke across Vancouver when the Boston Bruins beat the Canucks to take home the Holy Grail of hockey. Several stabbings occurred, over 100 people were injured and over a dozen vehicles were set to flame.

So, think hard before you answer the question “how are you?”