We're not No. 1!
This is an opinion piece talking about the US. In particular, it is suggesting that GDP is not the right measure. It doesn't make Nicaragua No. 1 but it does suggest that there are some things to measure besides wealth.
The piece is in the New York Times and is written by Nicholas Kristof. It is both about perceptions and about measurement. The article has multiple links to support his conclusion.
Sure, technically Norwegians may be wealthier per capita, and the Japanese may live longer, but the world watches the N.B.A., melts at Katy Perry, uses iPhones to post on Facebook, trembles at our aircraft carriers, and blames the C.I.A. for everything. We’re No. 1!
In some ways we indisputably are, but a major new ranking of livability in 132 countries puts the United States in a sobering 16th place. We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen.
To me, that last sentence is the key. After all, shouldn't the whole goal of government be to maximize the well-being for the average citizen?