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Wayne's Words: Who Knew?

US falls in world ranking: Joliet’s new way to fight crime?

Wayne Horne | 3/9/2017, 6 a.m.
Who knew? The United States fell from number 4 to number 7 in the world ranking of Best Countries. That’s ...

Who knew? The United States fell from number 4 to number 7 in the world ranking of Best Countries. That’s according to a U.S. News and World Reports survey conducted after the presidential election last November. The survey asked 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and everyday citizens their views on certain aspects of a variety of countries, including the U.S.A. The media company U.S. News transitioned several years back to a primarily web-based company in 2010 that specializes in highly popular ‘Best of’ lists.

There are nine sub-categories of featured rankings. Some categories such as power, entrepreneurship and quality of life are self-explanatory. Others like Adventure and Movers need a little more explanation. The U.S. ranks 35 and 24 respectively in those two categories. Apparently, we are not an adventurous people compared to number 1 Brazil and number 4 Thailand. I’d rather be bored than live in either of those places.

The number 1 and 2 countries considered Movers are the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. They rank number 22 and 15 in the overall Best Countries. We’re 35th when it comes to Open for Business but the U.S. is 16 and 18 respectively in Citizenship and Quality of Life. Canada and Sweden are 1 and 2 in Quality of Life rankings.

Who’s number one in Power? You guessed it—the U. S. A., followed by Russia and China. It’s no surprise that we lead the developed world when it comes to death due to firearms.

The Gross Domestic Product of the U.S. is almost as large as all nine of the other countries listed in the top ten combined.

Best countries overall are Number 1 Switzerland, Number 2 Canada and number 3 United Kingdom. Just to keep things in perspective, China ranks number 20 overall and Russia is number 27.

There are many other categories listed within the nine primary classifications. The information may be of interest to some but for most of us it’s probably more useful information as a trivial pursuit game. The world we live in is pretty much like life. Nowhere, much like nobody, is perfect. Who comes up with this stuff?

One last thing… Keeping with the theme of “Who knew?”, the Joliet City Council voted on Tuesday to give Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk emergency power to shut down businesses licensed by the City. Apparently, city police are having a difficult time arresting people conducting criminal activity on business property. The ordinance allows the Mayor, after legal consultation, to close a business for up to seven days. During that time, a hearing will be held to determine whether the business license should be revoked. No explanation was defined for “emergency.”

The lone dissenting vote came from Councilman Pat Mudron who questioned the need for the ordinance. He asked why, after over 100 years of Joliet history, is this law needed now? How will closing a business for seven days stop the activity when the Joliet police could not? Does this mean the business is complicit in the criminal activity?

Maybe I’m just thinking out loud, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to just post a sign in front of the business informing the public that criminal activity is conducted on the premises, the police can’t prevent what’s going-on and we’ll let you know when it stops? If that sounds a little over the top to you, maybe it is. It’s unclear how this “tool” makes stopping criminal activity at a given location easier for police to control. It was noted that street cops are “clamoring for the ability” to have this ordinance. It was implied that there are many instances of drug sales, prostitution and other crimes on business property and the businesses remain open and unfettered in continuing the illegal activity. If that’s true, it would seem Joliet has a bigger crime problem than the public is aware of. Really. Who knew!? Your thoughts and comments are welcomed. wayne@thetimesweekly.com

Stay tuned…