What is the worst thing about living in the USA?
I can write a list that's about a mile long consisting of everything that's wrong with this country...
Here's a few:
- We let a very small percentage of the population hoard unbelievable amounts of money, then give them more through tax breaks.
- We have an issue with arrogance in the U.S., we believe that we're the best at everything and that we're the greatest nation on Earth when, in reality, we're not even in the top ten for most quality-of-life-related polls.
- Junk food costs less than healthier foods. For example, a salad from McDonald's costs about $2 before tax, but a burger only costs $1.07 after tax. You can also get three liter bottles of soda for less than $2 in most states. This, among other things, has led to an obesity crisis on a scale that we've never seen before.
- We still use the Imperial system...
- Healthcare is treated as a commodity, not as a right.
- Our public education is slowly getting worse because of budget cuts, meanwhile, private schools are starting to get public funds.
- Our government only serves the top 1% of the population, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves.
- Our government is slowly being infiltrated by the Religious Right, a group that seeks to convert America into a Fascist Theocracy.
- Our government is also investing billions of dollars into an over-bloated and inefficient military that's spread incredibly thin across the world.
- Having to watch children in a supposedly "free" society stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance is infuriating, and it's even more infuriating when children get punished for refusing to stand.
- We voted for Trump, an unqualified and bombastic buffoon with the mental acuity of a fifth-grader who just had his Hot Wheels taken away.
- Our culture is very aggressive when compared to other Western nations. We're seen generally as being very angry, easy to tick off, and as always being armed with enough firepower per person to overthrow Denmark...
This question and its answers will also help you: What are the best and worst things about the United States? (This question should possibly be merged into that one, but I don't feel like dealing with the merge/unmerge drama that might result.)
Starting with the obvious comment that you will get as many opinions on this as there are Americans, for me the answer is the uncertainty about health insurance and health-care costs, the first of which is tied into employment (changing now due to the Obamacare laws, which are still mystifying and scary to people who have never used the exchanges) and the latter of which can and do bankrupt people.
There's also a free-floating uncertainty about things that as a younger person I enjoyed, but that now in middle age scares me more. Part of me envies Europe and what I imagine to be the certainties of life there: lose a job, you'll get a decent stipend; free health care; and so on. It's probably illusory in the long term there too, but there's a vague sort of dread in the USA these days, which our epic presidential contest is not helping at all. Gun violence is a possibility (I hate typing that, since I've never been a victim of any crime in 44 years born in and living in the US); seismic economic shifts are as well. I don't like the lack of terra firma just now, but that is really a global problem, I suppose.
I also hate, hate, hate needing to drive nearly everywhere. Many Americans love driving; I do not. I dislike that there is a lack of decent public transportation in all but a very, very few core cities.
I love being American and was born and raised here. The worst current issue is that big money has too much influence on every day life. Corporate owned broadcasting means the media is no longer objective and independent. This causes lots of misinformation which leads to an uninformed public. An uninformed or ill-informed public is unable to prioritize the issues, let alone deal effectively with them. When this happens, lots of unethical practices unfold in secret and set awful precedents that further remove the public from true choice.
Meanwhile, corporate competition causes the number of personal retail and grocery choices offered to be abundant to the degree of bewilderment. The public is nearly hypnotized by the decision between cheddar jalepeno carmel Cheeze Balls* and chocolate cherry armadillo skin Party Mix*(plus 12 more flavorsX 27 brands) and don't even try to list the flavors of vodka. This gives the illusion of freedom and choice, but are really just chemical versions of busy flavors that aren't even good for anyone that eclipse the importance of real issues. See what a distraction that could be?
*satirical content and not examples of actual brands or flavors.
I was serious about the first part, though...and kinda the second in a metaphoric way.
The almost-universal belief that Americans are best at everything. As an IT professional, I found that Australia was 2-3 years ahead of the USA in the commercial use of IT and that our development standards were significantly better. It was also common to find, as a consultant working in both private and public sector organisations, that American management was weak. But to offer suggestions for improvement invariably received loud rejections because "Americans knew business better than anyone."
For too many, the comfort that they enjoy produces an arrogance of self importance, which is demonstrated by their proclivity to demean those who have not the "achievement " that they proclaim. In a nation rightly blessed by the striving to make it better, those who have should strive just as diligently to pass on the way to success as a gift of heart, and not a grudging tax. The best of anyone is in what they do for others. How, then, can human value be measured by any other tool, than what speaks to the heart?
We are allowing a very small percentage of the population to hoard money. Once you have $100B, which is virtually impossible to spend in a lifetime, can't they throw a $1B to help solve the poverty level in such a powerful country?