The biggest pros and cons of living in America are free water and those darned cockroaches. Only kidding. Sort of. Like most countries full of flawed people, America isn’t perfect. Among all the liberty and amber waves of grain, there are good people and bad people, good laws and bad laws, and, well, politicians. While we have an abundance of everything you can think of, like TVs, cars, and deer, we also have plenty of crime, dysfunctional politics, and an unhealthy obsession with the Kardashians. It’s not all bad though, and we’re learning just like everyone else (albeit sometimes way too slowly). Curious to find out more? Let’s take a trip across the States and learn about The Biggest Pros and Cons of Living in America!
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Con: Healthcare System
Our healthcare system is awful. A study by the The Commonwealth Fund, focusing on developed nations’ healthcare systems, found that the U.S. had the worst system. Healthcare costs are so high, they could easily bankrupt you if you don’t have insurance. Those who have insurance deal with increasing insurance premiums and deductibles, sometimes for poor coverage.
Pro: No Class System
Since its founding, the idea of equality has been built into the framework of American society. While its history has failed and fought over staying true to this virtue, under the law, thanks to many constitutional amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is no class or caste system.
Con: Money is All That Matters
While the law protects citizens against various kinds of discrimination, class status is primarily determined by wealth. Money is king. If you have it, then you’ll likely get what you want, be more respected, and have more opportunities. If you don’t, your opportunities diminish, and depending on how poor you are, you’re looked on with disdain or ignored.
People in America are exceedingly generous with their time and money toward domestic and foreign aid. Many local churches across the country, supported by donations, provide food shelves, homeless shelters, and aid to others in need. American corporate foundations give hundreds of millions of dollars to charity programs. In most categories, the U.S. dwarfs other nations in giving. For instance, according to 2014 data by the Center for Global Prosperity, the U.S. gave $43.9 billion in private donations in foreign aid in comparison to the UK which gave $4.9 billion.
Con: Obsession with Entertainment
With the advent of Hollywood, movies, television, and now the internet, Americans have long been obsessed with entertainment. With smartphone addiction, you’ll often find Americans walking down the street, looking at their phone and rarely making eye contact with anyone. The constant need to be entertained is rearing its ugly head in other forms, such as poor mental and physical health and poor public discourse.
As Neil Postman put it in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, “Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities, and commercials.“
Love learning about America? Of course you do! So go check out 25 Fascinating Facts About America before Uncle Sam gives you the stink eye.