A couple of years ago, I moved to New Mexico from the U.K. and lived there for three years. I’ve since traveled across much of the country, meeting people from all walks of life and seeing both its good and bad sides. But back in my home, people often hear the news, see all the violence on television, and assume America is a terrible place.
But what’s the reality behind all these doom-and-gloom headlines? Is America really as bad as it looks in the media?
1. Location Is Key
If you own more than one car, a pool, or a boat, you are likely to live in relative peace, thinks a glum responder. However, should you descend the rungs of society’s ladder, you may end up “with the people at the bottom getting crushed the hardest by all of it.”
2. Dinks Are Doing Just Fine
Some people believe life can be comfortable if couples are both earning, aka dual income no kids (dinks). According to one person, “two median incomes” should keep you well-fed and healthy. However, others add that not having children gives you a better shot. I find this sad but true.
3. Healthcare Is Terminal
An unnamed character gives an account of all their medical expenses. In short, their partner’s heart condition and subsequent layoff mean the household spends half of the monthly check on medical bills.
In contrast, a Norwegian thread visitor cites how once a citizen reaches $280 in annual medical fees, the government steps in until the following year.
4. The Mass-Shooting Debate
Although technically, the likelihood of an American falling prey to a mass shooting is minimal, the imagery and fear presented in the media are hard to ignore. “Only an American would casually say, ‘If you’re unlucky, you’ll be the victim of a mass shooting,’” adds another commenter, “as if it’s that small a deal.”
5. Premature Endings
Sadly, there has been a spike in teenage deaths in America. One student bemoans the number of self-assisted departures in their class — including a best buddy. This story is tragic, and I believe we are overmedicating our children and letting bad habits take root in their lives. “I don’t think it’s normal,” claims the unfortunate teen.
6. Being Homeless Is Terrible
A contributor shared their testimony of living on the streets in Europe. They imagined that a combination of street violence, gangs, and guns make American cities far more threatening. “I feel very confident saying it would be worse in the U.S.,” adds the commenter.
7. Substance Abuse
With record levels of fentanyl entering a country already ravaged by a prescription opioid epidemic, some discussion entries lament a surge in substance overdoses. Moreover, there is a lack of mental health facilities for the subsequent fallout. “Compared to a lot of European countries, the resources to help with addiction are questionable,” explains one critic.
8. A Robin Hood Reversal
The mythical protagonist robbed the Sherriff of Nottingham to give to the peasantry, though most people commenting in this discussion see the United States as the inverse. “America seems to be designed to reward the rich and punish the poor,” says one honest professional, “and it is heartbreaking to see.”
9. Capitol Hill Stalemate
“Many of our leaders are out of touch with the experience of most people,” asserts one observer who loves his country. While many Americans are still proud of their democracy, their flag, and their status, they are not proud of their government. With Congress at loggerheads for decades, the glacier-like pace of bipartisan action is painful for many to watch.
10. Keeping the Faith
Thankfully, some youngsters’ optimism is unwavering, and one young lady who finished college and got a job represents something we all need to hear. “Life is still good,” she shares. “I don’t have as much money as my parents did growing up, but I have a good job and will get there eventually.” Now, this is the America we all know and love!
11. The Medical Nightmare
One participant thought everything was well until they suffered a medical issue. Despite having a good job with excellent insurance, they experienced a hellish and confusing process designed to obstruct them from receiving care. They were engaged in month-long disputes with insurance firms and even a debt collector.
The ordeal was so extreme they considered hiring a lawyer to stop the harassment from the collector, making them wonder how much worse it could be for those with poor or no insurance.
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