Measuring America’s Decline, in Three Charts

The US is failing at problem-solving, literacy and numeracy – the building blocks of not just essential STEM skills, but the future of employment and productivity. Naturally, there are other factors to consider, but still alarming statistics. Thus, we learn the immense value of personal responsibility and proper governmental control.

But the data comparing young adults aged sixteen to twenty-four in different countries—the folks who will be manning the global economy for the next thirty or forty years—deserves a closer look. The figures come from three charts in the report’s statistical annex, which we have adapted here. Taken together, they vividly illustrate some of the challenges facing an economic hegemon that has for decades been plagued by wage stagnation and rising inequality, and which, as President Obama has pointed out, desperately needs to raise its game.

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