I think the past four years really showed a lot of people in this country that sitting back and thinking the system works is only going to get us burned. People are starting to be more attentive, they hold people responsible for more, and are more vocal in voicing their concerns. Washington isn't going to be a part time gig at full time pay with nothing being accomplished anymore, people demand progress.
A few years ago the answer to this would have been a definite no, but I think America is starting to get it together. We still have a lot of debt and problems that need to be fixed, but we are taking strides in the right direction. I think people began to notice how bad it was and finally started to get their act together.
I am a British citizen, who has been greatly influenced by American culture for much of my life, and mostly, I like what I see...
But lately, I think the ideas behind the American Dream have come to be used as blunt catchphrases and buzzwords to divert from real, mounting issues. America was founded on the ideals of every citizen being able to prosper and advance, with equal prospects for education and for breaking into markets and elsewhere. These days, in this time of intense stratification of society, it is harder for small businesses to compete against vocal lobbies and a culture of suspicion about 'wealth redistribution' as a government imposition.
On a larger scale, the policies of groups like the Chicago School of Economics can be perceived to be causing a great deal of unrest around the world by seeking to impose their methods on other countries, like Chile or Iraq. Many wars these days seem driven by threats to trade and financial stability.
On the bright side, legislation like the 'Sunshine Laws' has proven productive, and I hope the tone of debate for laws like these will remain even-tempered, and not descend into a media circus as others have.
I am a British citizen, but one who has been greatly influenced by American culture for much of my life, and often, I like what I see.
But major values the country has been founded on can turn into unexamined buzz words and excuses for not confronting present issues. The idea of the self-made American was based on everyone having real prospects for learning, development, and finding a place in the market etc. In these days of intense stratification and lobbying, however, it is possible for certain groups to have a chokehold in the market and elsewhere, whilst making accusations about 'wealth redistribution' as something to fear. This can also be said to apply to the mindset of groups like the Chicago School of Economics, and their attempts to export their financial ideas abroad have arguably caused much upheaval and unrest, in Chile and elsewhere.
On the bright side, legislation like the 'Sunshine Laws' have been very beneficial, and I hope the tone of debate remains level-headed in that area, and not the media circus it is elsewhere.
We still have a lot of problems to deal with. The economy is still suffering. Efforts to recover unemployment hasn't been sufficiently effective. Unemployment is killing the U.S. economy. Consequently, crime rates are on the rise.
We have huge debt ceiling over us and the Chinese are not exactly our "friends". Or any other country for that matter. In fact, America is one of the most hated country on earth!
There's the problem of social class and the wide gap between the elite and the lower working class.
We are at war with 2 other nations. We are close to being at war with Iran. Our foreign policy needs great improvement.
Our education system needs imminent reform! Our healthcare system is terrible. Our fellow Americans are suffering from depression and obesity. There are millions of people committing suicide as a result. There are those who go on a rampage/shooting spree killing innocent children. This leads to concerns in regards to our beloved second amendment which grants us the right to own guns so we can shoot ourselves in the foot---someday.
The fast-food industry is too powerful and has Xllions of Americans hooked and addicted to disgusting pink slimy crap called chicken nugget. Consequently, obesity epidemic is on the rise.
Women are paid unequal wage!
We need more taxes on the rich in order to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. This is such a fundamental issue and one of the primary reasons why our economy has been so slow to recover. The rich simply control too much and refuse to share.