According to the CIA’s 2008 estimates, China is now the wealthiest country in the world, with a staggering $368,200,000,000 in the country’s account balance. The United States comes in last in the list of 191 countries, with a shameful -$568,800,000,000. How did this happen? 20 years ago, high school students in America learned that the United States was a super-power, a prince of the world, savior to all of humanity, or at least as much of humankind as we could reach. How quickly the tables can turn when we neglect foresight. There were those of us who knew, and we were pushed aside, our voices stolen, hidden, our thoughts cast away as immaterial to the fabric of the global community.
The United States is not alone in its growing deficit. Spain owns the #190 position of worst book-keeping practices, with a devastating -$152,500,000,000, and the United Kingdom rings in at #189 with a deficit of -$72,540,000,000. The top ten deficits are completed with #188 Italy, #187 France, #186 Turkey, #185 Australia, #184 India, #183 Greece, #182 Poland, #181 Romania.
Swinging around to the countries with the greatest monetary possession, Germany holds the #2 spot of excellent book-keeping with $267,100,000,000, and Japan claims #3 with $187,800,000,000. Rounding out the top ten countries with solid surpluses are #4 Saudi Arabia, #5 Russia, #6 Norway, #7 Kuwait, #8 European Union, #9 Venezuela, and #10 Netherlands. (It was a surprise to me to find the European Union listed as a country with the CIA. I don’t quite understand that, but I won’t question it.)
Other key countries who have developed and maintained solid book-keeping practices for their citizens include, but are not nearly limited to, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Taiwan, Ecuador, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. Of the 191 countries listed in the CIA’s World Factbook, there are 65 that can boast a surplus for their citizens. The remaining 126 of us have serious problems. Most of Africa is burdened with a severe deficit, and a large percentage of Asian countries are in the hole to the tune of tens upon tens of billions of dollars.
So how did we get to here? How has 2/3 of the world’s monetary wealth managed to rate such a total "F" in management, government, and banking skills? Let’s guess.
Credit… How many people in this world are living on borrowed time? Who has spent more than they are worth, in terms of money? Whose life is actually "worth" millions of dollars? No one’s is. Like it or not, Humanity is much like trees, or flowers…a renewable resource. No one being is "worth" a dollar amount. We are all priceless, and allowing the money games to assign a price to our names, to our communities, to our countries, is foolhardy. We have lost credibility in the circulation of finance because we were never satisfied with who we were, and instead have learned to base our self-worth on what we have possessed.
Charity… While I do understand the concept behind the war on terrorism, and I certainly have no wish to undermine the value of the mountains of humanity that have been moved by our soldiers in Iraq, I fail to see why it is all at the expense of other countries. Iraq has a responsiblity to take care of itself. We can communicate, educate, and fight with them until the cows come home, but until they are ready and willing to save themselves, we cannot force them to visualize the greater good that can be had by simply tending their own. Rumor has it that foreign troops are beginning to withdraw from Iraq, without a penny being paid for the information and resources that they will be left with. Free education? Well, now… That hardly seems fair.
Insurance… How much is the insurance policy on your head? On your mind? On your body? On your soul? I repeat here, "We are all priceless, and allowing the money games to assign a price to our names, to our communities, to our countries, is foolhardy. We have lost credibility in the circulation of finance because we were never satisfied with who we were, and instead based our self-worth on what we had." My life is a treasure, a gift to us from God. What is left of me in this world when all of life has escaped this body has no true monetary value. My spirit, my heart, and my thoughts will live through those who have known and loved me. I will be remembered, not as a dollar sign, but as a woman who was kind, loving, intelligent, and unique.
This is all pure speculation, of course. I’m no expert on exchange rates, or stock options, or world finance, but I’m very good at simple math. Now that the figures are in and updated, and the proof is there that 2/3 of the world cannot handle basic book-keeping, there is obviously a significant problem within the global financial operations. Now we know. When will we learn the true value of priorities, and quit hinging our personal worth on a filthy dollar?