Let’s agree capitalism didn’t create a perfect society. That’s a pretty high bar for any economic system to meet. But it did not create anything like a failed state, at least not in America.

In a failed state, you flick the switch and the lights don’t go on. You may have to hike a mile to a well to get barely drinkable water. Raw Sewage could be flowing in a stream nearby. There are few open hospitals or clinics. Schools are closed for lack of safety, books, and teachers. Food is vastly expensive and there is no way to make a decent living other than by joining a criminal gang. The streets are not safe. Disputes are settled by force. The trains don’t run in time. There is no functioning state to build or maintain basic infrastructure or provide safety and law sufficient for people to live and work.

In parts of Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria are regions where no state is effectively in charge. The legitimacy of national governments to rule in those regions is questioned or is under direct attack by internal and external forces and the nominal governing power cannot tamp down the violence enough for a peaceful cycle of daily life to resume.

America is nothing like a failed state. Lights go on, water flows out the tap, toilets flush, trains run, cars go, planes fly, and kids go to school. Groceries get bought, packages get delivered, people dine out, and tourists take pictures of the sights and post them on social media. There is security, cops, courts, and prisons. Peoples and companies make contracts and cheat one another and sue each other in court. People go to work, venture capitalists throw billions into new enterprises, and competition and innovation lead to dramatic improvements. Millions of people around the world see it and hear about it and line up or sneak under fences to get in.

Absolutely it is not perfect and far from ideal. It has slums and crumbling infrastructure in places. It has neighborhoods controlled by gangs and streets that are not safe. It has places like Flint where the water was not safe to drink. It has murders and school shootings. It has a raft of inequities and social problems. However, from a historical perspective, not comparing America to a mythical perfect society, but instead to other countries or to its own past, America looks to be doing pretty well. Crime is way down from the 1990s. The economy is doing well: unemployment is down, real wages are up, and GDP is growing near 3.0%.

Any way you look at it America is as far from a failed state as there is on the planet. Really. The nation-state may be a tenuous concept in other corners of the world especially where the borders are unsettled remnants from past conflicts. You’re deluding yourself with your own woe-the-end-is-near hyperbole to think America is a failed state. It isn’t.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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