The U.S. continues a slow decline in most rankings over the years and decades. This decline may be inevitable and the reason for this is simple. Many other nations have studied and learned from the American way and have implemented the same or better techniques in their own countries. Thus, for some measures, it is not that the U.S. is doing worse than it was thirty years ago, it is that other nations are doing better.
In health care, the U.S. is capable of providing some of the best technology in the world, yet by many basic measures, the U.S. ranks last among developed nations. This, despite the fact that the U.S. spends enormous amounts more money on health care than anywhere else in the world. Clearly, our health care dollars are spent very inefficiently.
In education, the U.S. continues to fall in rankings comparing the science and math skills of many other countries. It appears that we once had the highest education level, perhaps in the 70's or 80's, but our educational edge has been fading swiftly since.
Our military might is unquestionably unmatched. The U.S. spends more money on the military than the rest of the world combined, and has been the largest arms dealer to foreign countries for a decade. Unfortunately, the nature of opposition to the U.S. increasingly avoids direction military confrontation which makes much of our expensive weaponry useless, except as a deterrent.
By many societal measures, the U.S. ranks in the middle of the pack. Economic disparity between the rich and poor has grown swiftly since the 1980's. The U.S. has the most super-wealthy people in the world, but not the happiest people or the best infrastructures.