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U.S. Number 1 (in Murder, Violence, Imprisonment, etc.)

The United Nations released its 1994 Human Development Report in mid June, 1994. According to the report, the United States is first in murders, first in military spending, first in rapes and first in road accidents in the industrialized world. It said that 20 children a day died from gunshot wounds in 1992, 14 million crimes were reported to police, more than 2 million workers were physically attacked and nearly 6.5 million others were threatened with violence. Consumer spending on illegal narcotics in the US is thought to exceed the combined income of more than 80 developing countries, said the report. During the 1980s, real earnings of Americans fell by 3 percent and nearly 15 percent of the population now lives below the poverty line.

It is not known by PLN whether the UN report also mentioned that US is number 1 in another category: imprisonment of its citizens. For several years now the US has lead the world in its per capita imprisonment rate of 455 per 100,000 of its population. Indeed, the state of California has the second largest prison system in the world after China.

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