Americans need to focus on the quality of their government. Back in 2008, almost no-one did better than the U.S.A. when it came to free and fair elections, accountability to the voters, and the political and civil rights that are the foundation of our liberty. In fact, there were only four countries in the world that scored higher than the United. Those four countries were Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.
Between 2008 and 2019, the U.S. position has slipped substantially. There are now 35 countries with better scores than ours. Eight countries improved their scores above our 2019 position. (Barbados, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg, Mauritius, the Republic of Korea, and Slovenia.) Denmark improved its score above our 2008 position. Another 26 countries saw their scores slip along with ours – but theirs slipped so little compared to our losses that we ended 2019 with the lowest rating among them.
Why should you care? Aren’t there more pressing problems right now? The reality is that democracy has a lot to do with solving today’s problems. The record shows that healthcare outcomes generally improved in countries that became less dictatorial and more democratic, especially so for those countries with free and fair elections. This finding was true for many causes of death, including tuberculosis, HIV, cancer, cardiovascular, and cirrhosis. See our blog on this topic. In addition, compared to other systems of government, democracies are less corrupt, more inclusive, better problem-solvers, more stable and less violent, offer more amenities and have richer, happier citizens. (See our Learning Module “Democracy is Precious.”)
Please join us in working towards our two goals: (1) helping Americans understand why democracy is precious; and (2) helping them understand, protect, and improve the foundations of trust in our republic.
We provide civic education materials for adults 18 and up, focusing on how our trust in our system of government is shaped by the incentives and institutions within it.
Our learning modules are a great way to build knowledge. They are short, easy reads. Try them on your own, share them with friends and neighbors, or invite your book club to discuss each one!
We welcome volunteers. If you are interested, please write to team@CFFAD.org.