Problems in America

So as of today, America is 235 years and 8 days old. And guess what? America’s on the decline; not because of the small problems but because the fundamental problems in America are getting worse and worse. Compared to some countries in Asia and Europe, the United States is nothing but a kid in kindergarten; and we’re already on the decline???? To paraphrase a line from the song We Are One – Lion King (listen to it on youtube!) “As you go through life you’ll see, there is so much that we, don’t understand. And the only thing we know, is things don’t always go, the way we planned.” So you probably don’t want to listen to this lecture, but it’s time America began knowing its place in this world and growing up.

Loving the ‘isms’: Every couple of years America gets itself heads over heals in love with some sort of “ism”. And after a while, the affair ends. What a waste of time. It’s like a teenager who becomes infatuated with every hot girl in school. Eventually, he wastes a lot of his teenage years in pointless love, and doesn’t find true love.

As any more experienced country will tell the United States, these infatuations are merely a fad. They are not the makings of solid, long-lasting philosophies. So instead of all those ideal ‘isms’, I think it’s time that us Americans put those aside and dedicate 100% of our time towards making this country the shining nation it once was.

Infrastructure: America was once a shining city on the hilltop. Our cities were once deemed as the most technologically advanced places in the world. Now, New York is still over 50% made up of boring old concrete. Our harbours were once praised worldwide for their beauty and pure awesomenessnessness (lol). And now, our harbours look pretty run down and broken (maybe because no one is using them?)

The United States had an amazing set of Interstate highways that criss-crossed the nation so that any traveller could literally go anywhere in the U.S. in his or her car. Now with the economic recession still around, I hear that many states are tearing up the asphalt roads and leavings a pebble road there instead (because it’s cheaper to maintain).

America used to have the world’s fastest and greatest railroad system. Our trains these days look like they’ve been made in the Stone Age compared to those in China and Europe. Using the train is a great way to travel around Europe.

Need I say more on the infrastructure problems in America? I’m sure you could think of more. It’s time the U.S. started taking care of its infrastructure. It’s like a person taking care of his or her body. It’s the only one you have.

Debt: So I’ve mentioned that America’s infrastructure problems are literally deteriorating. How can we fix that? By building new infrastructure of course! That sounds like a wonderful idea, but we hit a brick wall when America’s $14 trillion worth of debt is mentioned. We simply don’t have the money to renew our infrastructure. Heck, we almost don’t even have enough money to fund social security and Medicare! So if the U.S. doesn’t have enough money, then what do they do? Borrow the money of course! Unfortunately, America has hit its debt ceiling already, so borrowing money is no longer an option. Now all we can do is cut back on costs, and that means the United State’s infrastructure certainly won’t be rebuilt any time soon. Debt is the same as kicking the bomb down the road. Sooner or later, the bomb is going to blow up. We’ve been kicking the bomb down and road and borrowing money for decades, and now, we’re in deep bulls***t. We’re going to have trouble paying social security, pension plans, running the military, and just about everything else that involves the government and money.

Dreaming in La-La Land: Too many Americans (and not only Americans, the Japanese, Europeans …) are too easily swayed by magical thinking. Every time there’s a bubble in the markets, mom and pop rushes to buy the hot new thing, only to get killed later. You’d think that after so many booms and busts, people would have learned to stay rational in times of extreme exuberance or pessimism. But everytime the snake oil salesman rings the door, America falls for the oldest trick in the book.

One of the biggest problems in America is that we need to clear our heads and take a good look at the ugly head of reality.

  • America must realize that we cannot go around policing the world and expect others not to hate us or retaliate.
  • The U.S. must realize that a rainy day fund in good times is ESSENTIAL. Good times don’t last forever.
  • It’s not fair that some people make millions of dollars a year while others are down in the dumps. Life’s not fair. And a lot of those CEOs are under pressures that can mentally break the average worker. So do they deserve what they’re paid? Maybe.
  • The government is by the people, for the people. Not really. The government is by the politicians, for the politicians. You may say that the people vote the politicians. True. But politicians think in a short term time frame. “How can I make my term look good in office? To hell if the economy is bad next term. I just gotta spruce up economic the numbers this term.” If they really cared for the people, they would enact policies that may be unpopular, be at least are good for the long term future of America.

Every minute a wishful thinker is born, but must it be us every single time?

Health: I’m gonna leave you to fill in the details on this one. Obesity, skyrocketing healthcare costs…..

Society is valuing the wrong industries: Nowadays, everyone is going to Wall Street. That’s where the talent is. That’s where the money is. I think American society is valuing the wrong things. The talented are all going towards industries that don’t produce much, such as derivatives trading and creating financial products (which only end up crashing the financial system). Instead, society should value industries such as tech, or the construction industry which actually produce things that benefits America. How can the United States hope to get out of the problems where in when all our top talent is focusing on things that don’t really benefit the U.S.?

 

Teaching the wrong things: Elementary schools and high schools are the basis’s of any well educated society. Unless you can somehow invent a time machine, everyone still has only 24 hours in a day. The problem in America is that we’re often spending overmuch time teaching children the wrong things. Anyone recall Romeo and Juliet? My teacher spent two and a half months of my 9th grade English class focusing only on Romeo and Juliet. I try to be an excellent student (averaging 94%), and that experience wasted half of my semester digging out every detail of poetry, which isn’t the best learning experience. The time spent rewriting essays on Shakespeare could’ve been invested in Psychology or Anatomy. Think of all the kids in the U.S. who have ADD (and ADHD) thanks to the droning repetition in the school system. Students should be learning how to be a social worker, or advanced chemistry in their late high school years. Students in China are doing exceedingly well in subjects like Math and English (believe it or not). Instead of learning only Shakespearean literature in English, American school systems should be teaching students how to write essays of greater potency and improve presentation skills (the things that will actually help them in the future). I can also tell you that in the U.S., students are often learning the same things year over year. They’re learning addition and subtraction in 1st-4th grade, while kids in China finish addition and subtraction in the 1st.

F***ed up politicians: I’m not saying that all politicians are stupid (that would be incorrect and rude). All I’m asking for is “can we get some people into Congress that actually understand the economy? Maybe Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers, George Soros?” But those people have better things to do on their hands. One of the biggest problems with America is that we don’t reward our politicians enough. If we gave out big bonuses to Congressmen (and women), I’m sure the brightest and the best would all be rushing to the election nomination building.

Instead, we have a bunch of people in Congress who a) don’t know what subprime mortgages are b) don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the economy, and c) are haggling over $50 billion in spending cuts while the deficit is increasing by trillions a year.

Need I say any more? America’s problems are indeed severe, and if we’re not going to fix them, we need to at least acknowledge that they exist.

Hope I didn’t offend anyone in this post. If I did, please feel free to vent your anger at me below in the comments section.

26 thoughts on “Problems in America”

  1. After the day I’ve had, I just have to comment. I am a middle school English teacher. I do not teach Shakespeare and poetry. However, I do teach writing and language skills. I have spent an entire year trying to motivate my students to be more than just mediocre. I am frustrated and weary. These children do not care because they know that someone will take care of them for the rest of their lives. Public education is becoming a joke. To top it all off, my evaluation is to be tied to the achievement of these students. Wow – what a slap in the face! Perhaps America should not be educating the masses. Other, more successful countries do not educate everyone. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned. A lot of money is being wasted on people who really do not care and do not want to do any better. Our children have no appreciation for what is given to them. I am tired of the attitude of entitlement!!

  2. You made a good point regarding the manufacturing sector- they are in dire need of skilled workers, and few people are training for these industries because they are deemed as “less prestigious” than other careers. However, the main reason that companies don’t locate to the US or manufacture in the US is because we have the HIGHEST corporate tax rates in the WORLD,we just surpassed Japan! I hate that we outsource so much but as long as we don’t make it economically feasible for industries to do business here, we are going to suffer. And the politicians and government- when have they ever managed anything well, even when they continually throw money at it? Examples: The DMV, Post Office, Education, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc. I’m personally tired of working hard and paying taxes only to see MY, yes MY money go to outrageous entitlement programs, useless research studies, corrupt programs, and the crooks in Washington. I love America, and I am truly fearful of what my children’s futures will be if we continue down this path.

    1. Exactly. That’s why the rich don’t want to pay higher taxes. They aren’t against giving more money back to society, but they are against paying higher taxes to a government that just squanders it all away.

  3. Good points, I thought your write up was very good. While I agree with many of the points, I wanted to make note of a few.

    Trains were replaced by our aviation industry. It was cheaper and more efficient to fly.

    Silicon Valley is still doing a great job overall. While in the 90s you can think of Microsoft, HP, etc. Apple is an example of today. Facebook is a more recent example. While I acknowledge their outsourcing practices, those are fairly home grown entities.

    1. Unfortunately, it’s usually the really labour heavy entities that tend to outsource their jobs, such as manufacturing.

          1. i support all this thing what i read..and its totally true, americans the biggest naive population in this planet..
            its not gonna happened always living the good life..
            America hasn’t fix first own problem in the country… is trying to fix somebody’s else problem…
            Raise the economy of your country, Improve the IT Security Department for preventing cyber attacks from stupid China/Vietnam Hackers….

  4. I don’t know if Congressmen need to be rewarded for their work, but maybe they should be punished (not re-elected) for not working. I have never seen such a dysfunctional Congress. They are more concerned about getting re-elected than do what is right. It would also be nice if they actually tried to solve problems versus just satisfying one group (lobbyists) or another (PAC/contributors).

  5. I’m just as frustrated as everyone else when it comes to Congress, but the thing I don’t understand is that if we want government to work better, why do we keep electing politicians that have one goal – to stall Congress?

    There are plenty of good folks on both sides that are willing to compromise (Tom Coburn, Dick Durbin, etc.), but you have curmudgeons like Jim Demint in the Senate and Dennis Kucinich in the House who won’t ever budge.

  6. If you look at any free government, you’ll find the same problems. The voting public is just another mob, easily coerced and short-sighted.

    It’s not a problem easily solved. It’s also not the worst problem to have.

  7. Yeah, it seems America has reach its bottom but for me, reaching the bottom means it ready to pull up again. So, it may the time that America will be accelerate again in near future.

  8. Not surprisingly, I think debt and general sticking-our-heads-in-the-sand are some of the biggest issues. That and the system of lobbying the government.

  9. Awesome article. I appreciate your honesty and bravery in writing this. It is hard to face reality sometimes- I think that is why there are so many problems. I think your assessment is very accurate and there is definitely room for improvement and a need to get started on this. I also think that many countries including my own have similar issues; I think it is all because of globalization. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter. Very thought provoking.

  10. You are right in your assessment regarding many of the issues that face America. Every world superpower undergoes a similar life cycle. The Greek, Roman, Byzantine, English empires, etc, etc, etc. It is simply fact and human nature.

  11. Tough to read, but very true. I hear many complaints about reaching the debt ceiling, but these very same people/politicians are reluctant to make cuts that may personally affect them. Fact: cutting your budget hurts and is not easy. I’m currently living on half of my income with the other half paying down my own personal debt ceiling. It’s tough, it sucks, but it needed to be done.

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