"Is America Number One?"

Essay by dartagnangibbsHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2005

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There are 193 countries on the planet earth, all diverse yet retaining strong similarities. Earth's people speak thousands of different languages, some languages are spoken by one, others languages are more widespread, such as English or Spanish. There are different currencies, sometimes used by several countries as well, for example the Euro, the currency used in Europe and in territories around the world. There are different cultures and different people that make the Earth an incredibly assorted place. Different countries have different standards of human decency that is based on the history and culture of that country. This makes countries incomparable. To compare countries by your own standard of decency would be ethnocentric. A person can't make the distinction that her or his country is better. Countries are incomparable because different cultures have different standards of human decency.

If one compares the United States to Tanzania, they find that they are the antithesis of each other.

Tanzania is the second poorest country of the world, is one of the biggest contributors to HIV and AIDS deaths , and is known for its extreme droughts and poverty . However, Tanzania has lots of useful resources. Hydro power is one of Tanzania's largest sources of energy. Lake Victoria, the largest, fresh water, body of water on Africa is one of Tanzania's resources. They also have the Indian Ocean covering their entire east coast. They also have large mines of Iron Ore, Coal, Diamonds, Gold, Nickel and Gemstones. They also have areas that are rich with natural gas ("Tanzania"). The United States on the other hand is the second richest country in the world. It is filled with natural resources such as coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten and zinc ("United States"). However, does this make the United States the best in the world? Of course not, and it certainly doesn't make Tanzania the best country in the world either. Neither of them are. A country can be the richest of countries or the poorest of countries, have the lowest population, or have no resources at all, this doesn't make a country number one, or number 192. All countries are number one is some way shape or form.

Now one might say this comes of as bias. However, to preach that a country is number one is doubly bias. To begin with, I'm not saying anything negative towards anyone, whereas calling a nation inferior to another is offensive. Secondly, I don't force anyone to believe anything, because all of this is completely opinion. Finally, the reason countries can't be compared is because all countries have there weakness, whether it be political, economical or social. Nevertheless, just because a country has more strengths than another doesn't necessarily mean it is superior to another. For example, the US has more strengths than China, yet China is essentially the oldest civilization in existence, and has a communist government, something the United States government is against. Countries have the part of them they would rather not show. Still, every country has a part of them that they are proud of and makes them unique.

All 193 countries are number one. This makes it impossible to have a single best country above all others. To judge a country by your own standards is ethnocentric. For example, it's like grading an essay by your own standards then grading the same essay by the Regents standards. You have the same essay but you have two different interpretations. With 200 countries on Earth, there is going to be people who believe a country isn't number one and there are going to be people who think differently. The world's differences in standards of living make its countries unable to be compared.