The United States ranks 88th on the Global Peace Index

According to a new study by the Institute for Economics and Peace – the world is getting more peaceful – but the United States is still a pretty violent place to live. The just released 2010 Global Peace Index ranks the nations of the world based on how peaceful they are – taking into consideration prison populations, political instability, wars, and military expenditures. Iceland ranked first on the Global Peace Index – while the United States ranked 88th out of 158 nations.

It’s no surprise considering the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and is currently waging a limitless war on so-called terror in several nations across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. These conflicts – including U.S. military misadventures and other wars – are costing the global economy a lot of money.

The report argues that if the world was in peace in 2011 – then there would have been $9 trillion more in global economic activity. More than a half century ago – Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation about the growing influence of the military industrial complex. Tragically, his warnings were ignored.


renegrippo's picture
renegrippo 10 years 41 weeks ago

9 trillion, eh? Now that's what I call a peace dividend.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 41 weeks ago

When Eisenhower issued his warning, Americans believed the hard times were over. It was the Happy Days- no Dust Bowls, no polio, no ration tickets, no A-Bombs. What a relief! It was time for Tiki Bars, daiquiris, bikinis and swinging. The horror of the sixties assassinations took us by surprise and commenced a national depression of the spirit which easily degenerated into widespread addiction to more and more substances, legal and illegal. It doesn't matter since the top holders in cigarettes, opium, sugar and alcohol are the same outfit. They are also the top of the arms dealing heap.

We were led astray with credit mongers who drove us mad with consumerism. Caught in the mousetrap! Now the stresses of daily existence are compounding for so much of American society that we are fighting little civil wars about every aspect of what kind of country this should be.

I forget who the person was who said we would be taken over from within. I feel certain this has happened completely, evidenced by the ongoing acts of organized financial terrorism which have caused masses of citizens to lose their homesteads, benefitis, pensions, and basic security. We are being attacked and depleted more rapidly than the DOJ can protect us.

All of us can't afford our surgeries we need and medicines, but I haven't heard much said yet about what happens when we can't afford the food anymore. I feel that once completely exploited of its resources the United States is slated to become the landfill for the rest of the world, another Haiti for the 700 Princes of Liechentstein. Perhaps the White House and certain resort locations will be preserved.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 41 weeks ago

I think the idea of the enemy within has been around for a long time; it probably was during the McCarthy era. But now I think it has happened--or just about.

But think of the uprisings in the Middle East and in Russia and other countries, protesting even in the face of death. We may have to be ready to do that. But I believe the light of freedom and democracy will always burn within us, especially the countries that have experienced it.

I am disappointed that the Occupy movement is so quiet. I have heard nothing so far this spring and summer.

I am not sure they are "little civil wars." I am not sure what you're referring to, but our rights are eroding by the day. I am horrified that Obama is carrying out these curbs on our liberties--and more--but I know Romney would be much worse.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 41 weeks ago

It figures a socialist country is the most peaceful and most likely one of the happiest!

I wonder, if the Global Peace Index included white collar crime....... in our case the banksters on Wall Street........ would the US have ended up 158th?

Criminal acts of financial fraud leading to loss of jobs, homes, and hard earned retirement savings....Mitt!..... are all QUITE VIOLENT to society as a whole. Certainly the prison population component of the index would skyrocket for the US if white collar criminals like Romney and Rick Scott actually served time.

I've heard it said, Romney violated no laws. For those who believe this, ask the victims what they think!

jhomiak1's picture
jhomiak1 10 years 41 weeks ago

Those of us old enough to remember Eisenhower, have lived through Vietnam and protested the war when I got back. Oh what a sad unhappy trail we are being led down by the likes of the Bush family and others in power. the Banksters and Wall Street that steal the wealth of the rest of us. They give Capitalism a bad name. Their style of it is worse than Communism. Steal from the poor and give to the rich. A nation should be united for the purpose of good economic policies that uplift everyone, not just the rich. Their greed never ceases to amaze me. They would be more wealthy if they invested their wealth in making jobs and giving people a sense of self worth and we wonder why we have the highest crime rate in the world. Where is the punishment for these people, why isn't this in the news. When are these people of the United States going to wake up and realize the right is screwing them.

A Concerned Citizen

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 10 years 41 weeks ago

We tore out those very things that previous enabled the US to become the wealthiest nation with the least economic disparities -- a land where nearly everyone actually did have a chance - a very good chance - of building a middle class life. As we threw the poor overboard, and then began pushing the middle class into poverty, the US has rapidly, frighteningly, fallen far behind the modern nations in virtually every respect. America is no longer sustainable. As much as we ignore it, we have remained engaged in social/economic war against each other, and I really do think we've reached the point beyond repair. I think most of us know that. Unfortunately, we've surrendered all power to a political class that is frantically working to drain our money out of the nation, into the bank accounts of the few. We COULD stop it, but I don't think we will. This would require a nation-wide, united effort as powerful as the labor marches of the 1930s and the civil rights marches of the 1960s. But golly gee, how can we get the required protest permits? And could we fit everyone into the designated protest zones?

Heathen's picture
Heathen 10 years 41 weeks ago

The Institute for Economics and Peace may say the world is getting more peaceful, but I'm sensing more of a "calm before the storm" kind of scenario. Something has to give...the world is sick and tired of being held down. The working poor and the unfortunate ones among us will no longer tolerate being told that we are doing fine when we know that the only ones doing fine are the rich.

rs allen 10 years 40 weeks ago

The US has been a warrior nation from it's inception. Our history is riddled with violent wars from our own hubris or greed wheather here there or anywhere else in any generation one could/can pull out of the hat. And rarely has it been for 'justifiable causes'.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man