It goes without saying that Americans are very proud of their country and it is warranted: a diverse democracy that has welcomed every or almost every ethnic group to its land, the rule of law/fairness, an economic system that rewards effort and perseverance are among the reasons Americans take justifiable pride in their home.

Moreover, many Americans frequently that, The United States is the greatest country on Earth, unique from others, and better than any other place in the world.

That said, all due respect to the loyalty of Americans, two new studies offer a counter-argument or critique to the above statement.

The first: the World Bank's annual ranking of how easy it is to do business in 183 countries; the second: the Bertelsmann Foundation explored social justice in 31 of the 34 nations who are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

U.S.: Good Place to Conduct Business

Concerning the World Bank survey, the United States was ranked fourth regarding the ease of doing business in a particular nation.

Ahead of the United States: 1) Singapore, 2) Hong Kong, and 3) New Zealand.

However, in the business study's sub-metrics, the United States performance was poor in several areas, and that put downward pressure on the overall rank: ease of starting a business, in which it ranked 13th; trading across borders, 20th; and ease of registering property, 16th.

U.S. Social Justice Grade: Needs Improvement

Regarding the Bertelsmann study on social justice, the United States ranked a low 27th.   

The Bertelsmann study indicated the United States had the largest rich-poor gap of any OECD countries examined, except Mexico and Chile.

Further, other sub-metrics that help comprise the rating were equally poor for the U.S. Regarding, health care, the U.S. ranked 23rd; education, 20th.  At the top of the social justice list were five Scandinavian countries: 1) Iceland, 2) Norway, 3) Denmark, 4) Sweden, and 5) Finland.

Economic/Public Policy Analysis:  The studies reveal that the United States is still very strong regarding the ease of doing business, but not the best.

Equally significant, the U.S.'s social justice rank is very low among developed economies. Despite enormous wealth, a technologically advanced economy, and vast natural resources, among other advantages, the United States has not managed to achieve justice across society on a par with developed economies that have far less wealth, technology, and resources. That speaks to public policies that are behind their European counterparts by a half-cycle or cycle -- particularly regarding health care, and worker retraining/support for the unemployed.