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poisonedantidote's avatar

Americans: Care to share with my friend your opinion of the USA?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21648points) November 18th, 2011

I am sitting here with my friend who is attempting to tell me what a free paradise the USA is. My friend knows about the USA through Hollywood movies, but has never actually been to th USA.

How much freedom do people have in the USA?

Is there racism in the USA, and if so, is there much?

How much crime is there in the USA?

How much of a utopia is the USA?

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6 Answers

rojo's avatar

I feel free but would like to actually compare it to European freedom. There is still racism, at least here in central Texas but it is more, how would you say it, concealed? Subtle? Crime – there is crime wherever there are people, I would say it is more a case of knowing where to go, where to be. Utopia, far from it but not hell either. Individually, Americans are a great bunch of people and most will do anything for anyone. As a whole, we are, a self-centered bunch.

Blackberry's avatar

America is a good place, but it needs a lot of work regarding equal treatment of it’s citizens compared to people with money, therefore equaling power and influence. People are buying medicine online from Canada because they can’t afford it here. If we even consider something like raising taxes to that of Clinton years, it’s labeled socialism.

Aethelflaed's avatar

NOT a utopia. Not even close. Really, much closer to a dystopia than a utopia. I mean, it has some upsides, it’s just, given the two options, dystopia.

Freedom: There’s a lot of exceptions to constitutionally guaranteed rights. A lot end up being more like privileges than rights. Like, you have the right to protest – but only in this manner at this time and this place, if you get the permit, for this long, and don’t really outrage anyone. Or, you have the right to free speech, unless it’s considered obscene or disturbing the peace or slander or libel or… Or, you have the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus, unless we’ve suspended that right. Or, you have the right to bear arms, but only certain arms, and only if we haven’t deemed you an undesirable and decide to give you a gun permit.

Crime: A lot. Especially since we severely penalize what should be minor offenses as a way of stripping undesirables of their rights. We have the highest documented imprisonment rate in the world. Some states have the death penalty, a highly controversial issue when it comes to human rights. Often the sentences of non-violent offenders is longer than those of violent offenders.

Racism: More than anything, there’s lots of institutionalized covert racism and unexamined privilege. We’re still pretty segregated, just not in an “official” manner. There’s still a lot of Othering through various tropes (the Welfare Mom, for example). Statistics

Other stuff: 1 in 6 people don’t get enough to eat. Somewhere between 40 and 46 million people in America don’t have health insurance, and non-citizens take up 9–15 million of those people. Of those uninsured, 8 out of 10 are workers or their dependents – people who should, theoretically, have insurance. The unemployment rate (meaning people who want to work, but got laid off, and are actively trying to find jobs – stay at home parents, students who don’t have jobs, retirees, etc don’t count) is at 9%. There’s less social mobility than there is in much of Europe. There’s also a lot of sexism, homophobia, religious hatred, and other forms of bigotry.

In short, if your friend was thinking of moving here, he’s probably better off staying where he is. The cost of moving alone would probably negate any small advantage the US currently has over – can’t remember – Spain? Or the UK?

YARNLADY's avatar

In the U. S. people can choose where they want to live and work, and they can use the computer any time they want for any purpose they want, within the law and within their income. The main difference between the U. s. and other countries is that the government does not decide where we live or what kind of work we do.

Education is free to all between the ages of 6 and 18.

For most people, the standard of living is higher than most other countries, and even the poor have more privileges than other countries.

In Sweden, for instance (where my son lives) you have a government issued number which must be used for every transaction, and you cannot do anything without the government knowing about it. There are many restrictions on products, so there is no where near the number of choices available in the stores as we have in the U.S.

woodcutter's avatar

We have some pretty great porn,second only to the Germans.

Seek's avatar

You’ll do fine in Florida as long as you’re not poor, a person of colour, any religion other than Christian, and/or an unattractive female.

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