Slate has a delightful list of 24 “weird, surprising, and inspiring” things the United States is still number one in. Here are just a couple:
Cheese. No one churns out pressed milk curds like we do. (Well, unless you count the European Union’s 27 members as a single entity—but let’s not.) Here’s to you, Wisconsin.
Foreign aid. The United States gives the most overall for both development and humanitarian purposes. Sure, Norway gives more per capita. But we have more a lot more capitas.
C02 emission reductions. No, this statistic does not come from some parallel universe in which Al Gore defeated George W. Bush. According to the International Energy Agency, the United States’ economic slowdown and natural gas boom have combined to make it the world’s largest reducer of carbon emissions since 2006, cutting 7.7 percent. Who needs the Kyoto Protocol when we’ve got fracking?
Generosity. What American decline? The United States jumped from fifth place to first in the U.K.-based Charity Aid Foundation’s latest World Giving Index, which grades countries on three metrics: volunteering, helping strangers, and donating money.
Media. We have the most newspapers, radios, television broadcast stations, and hours of television watched per day. Oops, maybe that last one isn’t so inspiring. But hey, it’s a holiday.