Willie Zhang Lives in the U.S.
While I will defend the US from unfair criticism, I do share a lot of criticism of this country with Europeans and our northern neighbor. Here is some stuff I find irksome.
* High homeless population. At any given moment, there are 600,000 homeless sleeping in the streets. There are currently 1.5 million living in shelters. 5 million are qualified for shelters. Downtown San Francisco literally has thousands of homeless living there. There are human feces and needles. There are more empty houses than homeless.
* High prison population. Currently, the US has 2.3 million prisoners. Each prisoner cost taxpayers $ 40 k. Once you get arrested, it sticks with you forever. Employers won't give you chances after you get out. Ex-convicts usually go back to doing shady things. I know because I have relatives in that situation. I am for punishing criminals. However, there are more humane and cost-efficient ways to do so than what we are currently doing.
* High gang population. I heard there are around 2 million gang members across the country. I went to school with gangsters bringing weapons and violence to school. Many of them went to jail and are deadbeats as adults.
* Bad public schools. 15% of American adults are illiterate or reads at an elementary school level. 25% of Americans can't do basic math. Based on my interaction with adults, I think these numbers are accurate. US is ranked 25th in science, 34th in mathematics, and 25 in English. I can testify because about 30% of my high school dropout.
* A lot of police officers are jerks. I drove 10mph above the speed limit and there were no cars in front of me. The officer pulled me over and gave me a ticket for $ 300. I challenged him and told him that he is doing it just to collect money for the city. He does not care.
* Lots of religious hypocrisy. There are lots of Churches across the country. Those churches are full of divorcees, drugs, sex scandals, wifebeaters, embezzlement and etc.
* Lots of low wage workers. 50% of adults earn less than $ 15/hr. Many Americans can't even pay a tire repair.
* Being poor is expensive. If you are working a “normal" job, your employer would cover your healthcare, dental, and visual care. They may even offer you a 401k. If you are working as a fast food worker, you will pay those expenses out of pocket. Getting a $300.00 ticket is not that important to me. I can easily pay it off. That ticket can be devastating to a poor family. That ticket can easily turn to $ 1,000.00 if it's not paid on time.
* Both Republicans and Democrats don't care. Politicians from both parties take a lot of taxes from ordinary Americans and give it to the military, corporate subsidies, and their own pocket.
* The lies told to children. The government, education institutions, and corporations sell million of children a lie about college. They say that once you graduate, you can make a lot of money. You can change the world. What ends up happening is they give an 18-year-old kid a 50 k nondischargeable loan. That loan also has a 7 % interest rate. That kid ends up enslaved for the next decade or two of his life. He will be working just to pay taxes, car loans, student loans, rent and etc. Forget about marriage, children, homeownership, and retirement.
There are a lot more cons that I have not listed. There are also many pros and positive things about America. That is not what this question is asking.
Lived for 11 years in Asia and Europe. I really felt the shock after returning to the US. A pervasive shadiness, and open arrogance. Of course the US has pros but they do not assault the senses like the negatives. Actually, after living in Germany one day and then driving in Dallas, Texas the next, the main feeling I got was that the place felt and looked like something from a Mad Max film.
Greg Brecht Writer, Floridian, Liberal,
I’ve never lived outside the US, so I have no basis for comparison. I’ll take the question to mean what I most dislike about life here.
What I hate is how polarized the country has become. The issues that most polarize us are guns, abortion, LGBTQ rights and Donald Trump.
Gun rights advocates sometimes seem to think that Democrats want to seize guns in order to impose socialism by force. Gun control advocates sometimes seem to see gun advocates as racists who profit from suicide and murder.
People favoring LGBTQ rights often assume that religious opposition is an attempt to impose Christian sharia law. People opposing those rights often assume that there is a plot to sodomize America’s children and destroy the church.
Matthew Bates Teacher (2009-present)
Often, it seems like all anyone does is complain about the US. Nothing the United States does will ever please some people, and those people are really obnoxiously vocal about it.
Ask a foreigner what they think of the US, and see how quickly they come up with a criticism. Ask half of the citizens of the US the same thing, and you’ll get the same response. It’s actually very refreshing when someone doesn’t have an opinion about the US, and even more refreshing when they have a positive opinion about the US.
Sometimes I just want to scream: “Say something nice! Just once! Try it. Say one nice thing about the United States. Mix it up a bit. Five criticisms, one nice thing, five more criticisms.”
Actually, that’s the same reaction I have to my children when they’re being extra critical. They want something to drink. No, not that. Ok, that, but in a different cup. No, not that cup. How come my brother has more in his cup? I want ice in mine. How come he has more ice. Etc…
Eventually, I just put the drink down and walk away. They can take it or leave it, but I’m done with them for awhile.
That’s how I, like many Americans now, deal with criticism of the US… We just ignore it for the sake of our own sanity.
Christopher Sudlik studied at University of Missouri-St. Louis
I love my country deeply, but it is not the youthful love of believing nothing but good about each other. No, I love America like an old married couple who have seen there share of trials, tribulations, and devastating blows to that relationship but rode through it anyways.
I hate that the FBI is corrupt and targets protest groups while ignoring bona fide criminal activity that actually causes people harm.
I hate that there are so few jobs that pay so little, that our wages are so strongly suppressed, that we allow currency manipulation to rob our nation of industry.
I hate that education and healthcare are so expensive and difficult to get unless you are in the upper class.