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Whats Wrong with America?

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posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:12 PM
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ATS is filled with some very intelligent people, but many great points of view are diluted with all the arguing. Almost everyone agrees that America (or any other country) is not perfect, and many believe its far from. I want everyone to name at least something thats obviously wrong with America, that the politicians don't seem to see. Imagine the president of the United States called you into his office and asked for your advice on how to fix America. He's been rich his whole life, never knowing the struggles of everyday people.

Here are some examples of important things I see:
- 1 in 75 Americans are in jail. 1 in 5 will go to jail in their lifetime. Only 2% of those in jail are there for violent crimes. To me, that means something is wrong with either our justice system, society, or both.

- 1 out of 5 women experienced a completed or attempted rape at some time in their life.

- America's education system rivals that of Uganda, nearly the worst in the world.

I'm asking for serious input, and don't blame it on a single politician, because the problems exist during all administrations. The first step of change, is recognizing whats wrong.




posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by JabbaOnTheDais
Imagine the president of the United States called you into his office and asked for your advice on how to fix America. He's been rich his whole life, never knowing the struggles of everyday people.


I would walk into the president's office and point directly at him/her and say "YOU are what is wrong with America." i.e. the political system.

FYI
There is an almost identical thread posted here



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
I would walk into the president's office and point directly at him/her and say "YOU are what is wrong with America." i.e. the political system.

FYI
There is an almost identical thread posted here


Thanks for the link, but I've already read that post. Pointing your finger isn't going to fix anything. Neither will a lot of the things talked about in that thread. The first thing we need to do, is realize whats wrong. Yes, the political system is messed up, but its not the only thing.... by a long shot!

What else?



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:32 PM
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I believe the key problem is education. After seeing many online polls, I came to the conclusion that most people thought that education was the LEAST important issue. On some sites, education got ZERO votes, while economic policies got the highest (over several thousand). America needs a new education system, one rebuilt from scratch. Once we achieve an education system that can compete with the likes of South Korea, Japan, or Canada, we will actually be ready to tackle some of the more daunting issues in this country (genetic engineering and other questionable sciences, social reform with a common sense of morality, etc.)

Education HAS to come first. Any other reform coming before education is just silly if we dont have a top notch education system, then how can we expect to make educated decisions about other issues?



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:44 PM
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I don't know how bad the education system is in the States but up here in Canada it doesn't seem to be the cream of the crop. I agree with the whole education system problem. I was over in europe recently and saw some of the things they were being taught in there school's. They seem to have things under control. Also I have a book from the 1920's that show's how kids were taught back then. They gave a sample math test question from a grade 4 class and I didn't even get into problems like that until I was in high school up here, I believe the education system has infact been dumbed down alot. Public education up here is better than your's but still far from what it could be. This should be addressed up here and down south in the states. What your future generation does, also influences us.

[edit on 25-7-2004 by Arek]



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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UNICEF (2002) ranks Canada as having the fourth best education system in the world. The United States is ranked number 18. South Korea still remains in the lead with first place, and Japan is in second place. Finland comes in third.

Unicef List at CBS

[edit on 25-7-2004 by Final_Wave]



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:56 PM
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Marijuana illegal, family values dissapearing, a failing education system(especially in low-income areas), and lack of education about sexuality. I feel that psychology/human behavior classes should be as required as basic math and english, those classes deal with the sexuality issues and should be of some help for those who behavior is already troubled and maybe give them an idea of acceptable human behavior.

The education system needs to attempt to teach the youth right from wrong and acceptable human behavior because so many obviously are not learning it at home. Those who rape others have no self control and should be labeled as wild animals, and they likely have never learned what is an acceptable sexuality. It is not the weathy and wise family's who are hurt by the education system, those learn enough from their parents, it is those who do not have positive role models growing up who are the trouble makers.

With marijuana illegal and the demand for it as high as ever those in charge need to reconize it and realize it is here to stay regardless what the law says. It causes more problems being illegal and leads its some of its users to hard drugs with fatal overdoses just because the only way to get it is on the drug market. It is no more of a gateway drug than alcohol and tobacco.

Also the US's foreign relations needs to be rebuilt for our own protection.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:59 PM
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How about "What's right with America" for a change? Why aren't there any thread on that topic?(If there are, I apologize, and please show me where they are.) I guess I am the only one getting sick of all the Anti-American, or What's wrong with America crap. PA must be a hell of alot different from the rest of my great country, because most the the things brought up about what is wrong with "our" country aren't true in my state.....



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by jrod
Marijuana illegal, family values dissapearing, a failing education system(especially in low-income areas), and lack of education about sexuality. I feel that psychology/human behavior classes should be as required as basic math and english, those classes deal with the sexuality issues and should be of some help for those who behavior is already troubled and maybe give them an idea of acceptable human behavior.



Goodness, there's that marijuana legality thing again, and listed no less than first as to what's wrong with America? Okay then, if that's our #1 problem legalize the the weed.
I give up on denying ignorance.

But seriously, family values disappearing is cause for concern and the problem with education as far as I can see is we aren't even getting basic math and english. How bout teaching the kids at least what they need? Forget the Trig and teach them to balance a checkbook and understand the power of saving for the future at an early age. Forget the advanced english too and teach them how to fill out a job application, write a thank you note and read cause it's fun.

In my opinion if education is the problem, we are in trouble.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:13 PM
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I didnt say marijuana was the #1 isssue but is a big problem.

The education of course #1 priority.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:16 PM
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Its true, America is a great nation. But that's because of one factor: YOU! Americans are a hard working people. The middle and lower class in this country makes serves in the military, does the jobs nobody else wants to do, sometimes working 2 or 3 jobs just to pay the bills, and all this while rich white guys run the country who instead of working, lived a privileged life, instead of fighting for our country, sent troops off to war, and instead of helping the working man, helped corporations make even more money by cutting wages and giving tax breaks.

I think we should identifiy the problems, then we can come up with some solutions, or at least voice the problems to those who can. I'm not trying to start a complaining thread, just a little constructive criticism.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:16 PM
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Agreed about education.
Add to that:

Lack of respect for others.
Loss of the value of human life.
PCedness.
Not taking personal responsibility.
Thinking that we are owed a living, job, education, relationship, car, home, etc.


[edit on 25-7-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by bobafett1972
PA must be a hell of alot different from the rest of my great country, because most the the things brought up about what is wrong with "our" country aren't true in my state.....


Well PA isn't the greatest state out there. According to National Educational News and Statics, Pennsylvania ranks 10 or worse in most categories. PA is currently ranked 13th when it comes to high school graduation rates, and they are 9th when it comes to high school drop out rates. Granted, PA is much better than my state (MS), but if youre not first, you have something to worry about. Also, considering that the USA as a whole ranks 18th in the world in education, even then you would have something to worry about.

PA Ranking

Oh, and your crime rate isnt looking so hot either.

Crime in PA on the Increase



Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Thinking that we are owed a living, job, education, life, relationship, car, home, etc.


We are at least owed life the constitution says that. We pay nearly 30% of our income to taxes (some more, some less), so I believe that the government owes us something in return. A quality education is something that we deserve for all that we give to our government. Let me get this straight, were not owed jobs but the big corporations are? The government gives them tons of money, which in turn they use to send jobs overseas and make even more money. Why not help out the citizens instead? Im not saying give free money, but at least give benefits to corporations who keep jobs in America, and increased wages to said citizens, and dont help those corporations who spit on Americans.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:43 PM
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Actually my daughter in high school have to learn how to balance a budget so at least her school was good enough to teach basics.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by Final_Wave
We are at least owed life the constitution says that. We pay nearly 30% of our income to taxes (some more, some less), so I believe that the government owes us something in return. A quality education is something that we deserve for all that we give to our government. Let me get this straight, were not owed jobs but the big corporations are?

Ooops, I will edit life out...that was not my intention.

But, no we are not owed a job...look it up,
just life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
But, no we are not owed a job...look it up,
just life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness.


I think he was just saying he believes the government owes it to us, to see that we can get a decent job and make a decent living, considering what we do. Our government, after all, was made "for, by and of the people".

So, some points I think we can agree on so far:
Education system needs improvement
Laws too strict on lesser, non-violent "crimes" like marijuana - speaking of which, 60% of our prison population is in for drug-related crimes

Also, I think if we improve the basic life of the lower classes in this country, the crime rate will decrease. After all, many people who commit crimes feel they have lost hope anyway. If it was eaiser to find a job, and wages were better (at least enough to have a stable life, while not working 70 hours a week), I think people would be more willing to "fit in" with the rest of society. People don't want to feel like slaves. They don't want to work so that some rich guy can get richer, while they see just enough money for food and clothes.

The media is a big problem in this country. They report the shocking news that will get ratings. They focus on crime, death, and deceit, while ignoring the good (or the bad when it relates to the masses).

[edit on 25-7-2004 by JabbaOnTheDais]



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
But, no we are not owed a job...look it up,
just life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness.


No, not constitutionally. I wasn't referring to that when I as talking about jobs in particular. What I mean is we should be guaranteed a quality education, which in turn allows us to get quality jobs. To ensure this, the government should only give benefits to those companies that keep jobs in America at suitable wages, and give no benefits to the companies that use the money to put jobs overseas and reduce the overall livelihood of Americans.

The government shouldn't guarantee jobs in the sense 'hey, here is job xxx for slave xxx', but instead should guarantee that jobs will be available to those who seek them (start by education reform, then work your way down. Big Business reform should follow closely after education reform to ensure that a steady job stream would be available to those who seek them).

Also @ jabba, I believe your assessment is correct. Education reform will ultimately lead to a lower crime rate, less drug use, etc. One problem of crime though is I believe that most crime occurs not because of monetary reasons just to live, but instead of monetary reasons to escape reality (drug use). Most of them are able to 'live' at the bottom rung by working 70 hours a week (as you said) but once you reach the bottom rung, most cannot climb back up. Instead they get off of the ladder all together and turn to crime as a way to fund their drug habits to escape reality.

Since this thread is about pointing out problems and ultimately to find solutions, I will at least point out another problem (it revolves partially around education).

There is a strong mentality in America among our youths that if you mess up in school, it's game over. There is so much pressure put on you to score a perfect score... A isn't enough. It has to be A+. A score of 99 isn't enough. It has to be 100. I believe that most children get confused, and when they score low on tests they start to believe themselves to be stupid, and this mentality stays with them the rest of their lives. This idea of 'stupidity' is fostered by teachers and parents. I remember throughout my school life that the teachers put so much emphasis on getting A's that they actually forgot to TEACH! The students that failed to 'do the best' were left behind in one way or another, which leads to a lack of self esteem and eventually a loss of innocence.

Although it's important to do well in school, it is never right for the teachers to leave kids behind just to help those kids who have a chance of scoring a 100 on the next test. Jesus, as a teacher, understood this concept all to well.



Mark 2:
16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 11:12 PM
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LAZY LAZY LAZY a buncha lazies thats all i ever see, lazy is a cause of ignorance. ignorance breeds hatred!!! being critcal and disrespectful is all any one is capable of doing. i saw kids playing at the park today while i was smoking a ciggaret, i thought hey look at those cute kids playing. those little demons struck right through my soul with " f*ck you f*ck head, f*ck that piece of $hit!" blew my mind, sure enough mom was standing right there not a care in the world. blame LAZY parents for societys ills.



posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 08:55 AM
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1)People don't look to local government. The president is not responsible for 99% of the laws and legal issues we face. He has nothing to do with your state or city schools. Nothing to do with your neighborhood ordinances. Yet- the president gets credit for ALL of these (good or bad) by the average US citizen. It's like we all forget that if he signs a law- congress had to pass it! He doesn't do it alone. They can take away anything he passes the next day if they truly are opposed to it.

If you can't tint your windows or jaywalk- it has nothing to do with him. The federal government is there to keep peace between the states and protect the borders. That's all. Your state and city are where you need to go to enact change. If these small governments see change, we will see them on a national level.


2) As far as jobs and the economy- 100 years ago (don't quote me, these are approximate because I can't remember the specifics but you'll get the point) 95% of Americans used to own their own business- they looked to themselves and what services they could provide to support themselves. Today 95% of Americans have a job working for someone else.
Rather than thinking "what can I do?" people think "who will hire me to do their work?"
If you don't like it- start your own business- the government is set up to support people who want to become something in their lifetime- not people who want someone else to do it for them. Only then also will you realize why these people are so supported.
People expect so many handouts- For example my union employees get paid more than anyone else here- Why? They expect that I will put everything I have on the line- risk my entire world so that they can get mandated vacation, training time, health care etc. Because they believe it is owed to them and it is their right. It is your right to find how to support yourself. You have the liberty to do whatever you want for a job. Don't bitch about those in charge unless you are willing to do what it takes to become in charge yourself.
People don't understand this.



posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 11:38 AM
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People are broke and uneducated. By virtue of which neighborhood you come from, your fate is determined as far as education. The ghettos could have some of the brightest minds in the world, but the children there are not encouraged to go even to the bad, dangerous public schools they have access to, much less helped to go to the better schools. As long as there is such a divide in educational opportunities there will remain the divide in economic situations and crime rates. A kid isn't going to pull minimum wage at McDonalds when he sees other kids with big bills from selling drugs. They feel like a chump for making an honest living. And it's not even a living. In my town there's an income-based block of apartments. You can't make more than a certain amount of money to qualify to live there. But even so, the rent is preposterous compared to what "low-income" people are making here.

The current system keeps those who are down, down. They won't all be singers or sports stars or actors. Most of the guys who come to my company (construction) looking for work can barely read or fill out the application. The ones who breeze through it don't stay long. They're either Mexicans in on a Resident Alien card or they've done time, whether black or white. Most of what I've seen is assault, dui or drug charges. They get child support or garnishments taken out of their checks within a week or so of being hired. They will never break out of this cycle because they're now too old and have too much against them. The best they can hope for is to stop the behavior that keeps getting them taken to jail.

Everyone in this country must have education, medical attention and food. Just these basics could make a world of difference. There are too many "have-nots", and too many who could be "haves" who are adopting the "have-nots" attitude presented to them as being acceptable or cool.



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