The Five Worst Problems In America Today and The One Thing We Can Do About Them

4/19/14: Update here.

4/3/09: Read an update on the five problems here.

 

We could blather endlessly about all the problems in our society, but there are a few that are so catastrophic and so influential on our lives that they need to be recognized and addressed as such. If we’ve become too numbed by fear-cloying news stories, let’s not forget that some things truly are disastrous.

I ranked these five things because the other social ills we might wring our hands over derive from these, and they, in the order I present them here, flow from each other. For example, one might protest that abortion isn’t mentioned here, but I see that as a subset of #3 and #1 below. Likewise the increasing health problems of Americans are caused by #4 and #3 (and, ultimately, #1), as the increasing costs of health care fall under the umbrella of #5 and #4 (and, to an extent, #1). It could be argued that, with this thinking, every problem could be traced back to #1. To which I say: yes, exactly.

#5. Government Size and Spending

“The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.”    –Gerald Ford, 38th U.S. President

Our republic was founded on principles of individual liberty, limited government, and respect for private property.

Respect for private property is now gone. The Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that governments can seize your property from you for whatever reason they see fit.

The federal government now gives $150 billion of “corporate welfare” each year to companies that don’t need it.

Another $100 billion per year is simply wasted. Government doesn’t seem to be terribly “limited” anymore.

Further, as of January 2008, China, a potentially hostile nation, owns nearly $500 billion dollars of our debt, or about a quarter of the entire foreign total. Hostile Middle Eastern countries own nearly another $150 billion.  What does this mean for us?  Potential for foreign veto power over us, virtually amounting to blackmail.  So much for sovereignty!

To cover this outrageous, sprawling bureaucracy, the government takes about a third of our incomes annually. The most productive members of society are disproportionately targeted as victims of this extortion.  For example, as of 2001, as the title of this report puts it, Top 50% of Wage Earners Pay 96.03% of Income Taxes.”

America’s work force must labor for about the first third of the year just to cover the government’s expenses, before they start taking home a single penny for themselves.

And, of course, the increasingly heavy hand of government regulation kills innovation, stifles liberty, and costs our economy trillions of dollars every year, all while being completely counterproductive.  Here’s proof: “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which placed extremely costly additional financial burdens, is estimated to have “cost in lost market value of U.S. companies at $1.4 trillion.”  So individual liberty is also severely curtailed.

And most recently, the socialist sub-prime mortgage bailout courtesy of Uncle Sam, with its frozen interest rates, will only further hurt the economy, to the tune of $20-$25 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars.

Which leads to the next worst problem in American today:

#4. Individual Fiscal Irresponsibility

“God gave the world to men in common; but…He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational (and labor was to be his title to it); not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious.”  –John Locke, English philosopher

I live in zip code 89031, which had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation last year.  I see the results of monetary immaturity in the “bank owned” and “foreclosed” signs on about every third house in relatively good neighborhoods.

Also, how is it not a catalyst of mass national panic that we now spend more than we make each year, creating a negative savings rate?  Since 2005, we’ve lost all budgetary restraint as a nation. We now keep less money than at any time since the Great Depression.

And, don’t forget, the runaway consumer credit debt among our self discipline-deficient society is now about $2.5 trillion dollars.

#3. Decline of Morality in the Media

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  –John Adams, 2nd U.S. President

A cursory observation of any teenage hangout in America answers an age-old question quite handily: life most definitely imitates art. Not only is the media the dominant force in shaping the character of Americans today, nothing else even comes close enough to bother counting as second.

A 2004 Harvard study found that movies with coarser content are getting lower ratings than they used to; PG-13 is the new R.

A disturbing 2001 PBS special chronicles in detail how the youth-oriented music and film industries manipulate their products to pander to the worst impulses of juveniles, effectively addicting them to their basest desires in a very successful bid to pick their pockets.

Depravity sells. A 2006 New Yorker article showed how another company produced the popular series of “Bratz” dolls by purposely making the “Barbie” model of dolls much sleazier. As the article put it, “8 is the new 13.”

No matter how much the $13 billion a year video game industry might want to bury it, the fact is that the unanimous verdict among researchers is that media violence has a strong, immediate, and devastating effect on children.

The effect of these atrocious role models is undeniable, and they’re reflected in the last two major problems facing our people now:

#2. Decline of Literacy and Education

“A popular government, without popular information…is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both…”  –James Madison, author of the Constitution and 4th U.S. President

What’s the practical result on a generation (or three) of never having been weaned from the constant electronic teat of the entertainment industry?

A recent study found that we have now reached the point where only 1 out of 2 American high school students in major cities even graduates.

A 2007 study by the National Endowment for the Arts proved that Americans not only read far less than previous generations, but they read far less well, and this decline has major detrimental effects in the real world.  Among the findings:

  • American 15-year-olds ranked fifteenth in average reading scores for 31 industrialized nations, behind Poland, Korea, France, and Canada, among others.

  • Literary readers are more likely than non-readers to engage in positive civic and individual activities – such as volunteering, attending sports or cultural events, and exercising.

This isn’t something that might become a problem in the future, it’s a crisis now.

#1. Decline of the Traditional Family

“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder”  –Arnold Toynbee, British historian

As with media violence, the long term damage done to children, and society at large, by family decay is starkly revealed by a slew of research: children in intact nuclear families are statistically better off in virtually every way. 

Among the seemingly endless varieties of emotional shrapnel that have embedded themselves in the American psyche as a result of people’s selfishness, is this shocker: 1 out of every 4 teenage girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease.

That’s not just another “issue,” it’s a pandemic.

And perhaps most chilling of all is the fact that the decline of marriage and family inexorably leads to the decline of the human presence on Earth, period. Our choices in the 20th century have created an environment where civilization may well whimper and slink away into the shadows in the 21st

With our fertility rate barely at replacement level (and that still puts us in the lead for the developed, Western world), people are starting to realize that the world we’re leaving to our children will not only be poor, amoral, and ignorant, but also vastly smaller than the teeming masses brewing in hostile parts of the globe.

Ultimately, the end of the world.

Conclusion: The One Thing We Can Do

Whenever these subjects arise, the reflex is to call for more personal responsibility. Sure, if everybody just grew up and did what they were supposed to, we could eliminate all these problems tomorrow.

But it won’t happen. For example, Russia pays people to have more children, to shore up their flagging population, but people still refuse to reproduce. Once widespread ennui sets in, entropy takes over and no external stimuli can reverse it. Humanity no longer accepts any incentive to work.

Some things have helped: “broken windows” policing and turning welfare into “workfare,” for instance. Other things might help, such as tort reform and voting wiser leaders into office. But all these things are only band-aids. They make a dent, but every conceivable idea is just spitting on a forest fire at this point.

Actually resurrecting the long-dead notion of stigmatizing bad behavior, if we hadn’t erased it from our memories, still wouldn’t be enough to make a sizable difference.

The one and only thing powerful enough to heal the wounds inflicted by the modern world, the sole path that can return us to safety and strength, is religion.

Nothing we can do will fortify ourselves and our own families, much less influence for good the world around us, as much as faithfully living the positive dictates of our religions. “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.” (Alma 31:5)

Keeping ourselves worthy of the Spirit, being good examples and ministers to others, and inviting others to join with us in love—that has always been the only sure way of protecting society.

No, I don’t think enough of us will do enough good to turn America around. No matter how hard we tried, I doubt it would avail anything. I’m not aware of any civilization that has sunk as far as we have and then successfully regenerated itself. It’s my opinion that much of this nation has reached the point that Paul described as “having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). That’s why I can only recommend faith; we’re past the point where appeals to patriotism, duty, or any other such motivator will have an effect. Even so, we might be able to help some few who would listen and benefit from a better life.

Even if not, we are called to live a certain way. “And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” (Moroni 9:6)  Actively living the way of the great organized religions will lead us to be involved citizens, careful with money, morally strong, mentally alive, and, most important of all, committed to a wholesome family life.

It is my most profound prayer that as many of us as possible will accept the call and take upon us the cross that we must bear in a disintegrating world, and live the best life we can live, “relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save,” avoiding and fighting the evils I’ve numbered here, so that we, again with the Apostle Paul, might say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

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46 comments on “The Five Worst Problems In America Today and The One Thing We Can Do About Them

  1. Kids are America’s most precious and most at-risk citizens. With drugs and peer pressure facing them on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that mental illness and drug abuse is at an all time high. Problems facing American children.

  2. I recommend G.K.Chesterton.

    Not all of his work is equally readable to me, but it offers rationality, common sense, and a religious sensibility.

  3. I am so glad I found your blog through Joanne Jacobs! I have written about exactly this many times (I write a syndicated newspaper column in Canada). We need to come back to traditional religious values that made our nation great.

    Why did we do well when Africa did not? Because we have a sense of the intrinsic worth of the individual (as opposed to the tribe), which came to us because of Judeo-Christian values. We’re holding on to the thread of those values now. But people can’t think we can have a free, prosperous society when the values that made us free and prosperous have completely disappeared.

    It’s that simple.

    Thank you for saying it so well.

  4. A wonderful article, which states in no uncertain terms how far we have fallen and what is at stake. It is heartening to read that others see and are alarmed by the accelerating rate of decay happening around us.

    Two resources for readers interested in more study of these issues, and for living a life grounded in the traditional values of western civlization.

    1. One of the comments above mentioned G.K. Chesterton. There is a modern analog to him, namely the brilliant Dennis Prager. Mr. Prager has spend his adult life defending (among other things)Judeo-Christian values. He has written a lengthy series of columns presenting ‘the case for Judeo-Christian values,’ which are well-worth reading, IMO.

    2. The late Paul Weyrich and his colleague William Lind have penned “The Next Conservatism,” which considers precisely the same problems as Huston does here, and some possible solutions. Significantly, they are not ideologues and have harsh criticisms of both major U.S. political parties (which they posit are really one party, the “New Class”). Instead, they put forth the eternal verities, the time-tested values that once made America – and western civlization – great (They also discuss other traditonal belief systems, including Confucianism, but that is another matter). Most important of all, they provide a road map for those who wish to live a life grounded in these values.

  5. Pete, thank you for the comments! I’m familiar with Prager’s writing from his articles for WorldNetDaily, but I need to check out Weyrich and Lind. I agree with everything you said.

  6. Raouf, thanks for commenting, but you don’t say anything specific about my post, nor does your video link, which actually doesn’t say much of anything at all. Did you just find this post by searching for some key words and commented because you wanted to advertise your links?

    That aside, I agree with you. I’ve met some great Muslims, and though I didn’t understand or agree with everything in it, I’ve read the Qur’an and liked it. You’re right, though: a faithful, practicing Muslim would do a lot to help solve the problems I’ve listed here. In fact, you might want to read this previous post of mine on the subject.

  7. You have a very to the point paper and I do agree with almost all of it. Religion has a big part in the definition of America. Todays America im afraid is watching the insane destruction of their country on TV and laughing at what their leaders say in disbelief. Unlike the people of the civil rights movement, we laugh at our proublems as if they will go away, instead we should be heard from the top of our lungs like the people of our past. Saying we will not be taxed unfairly and we will not be afraid of our government, we need to stand for what the people that we chose to lead us will not, “truth in heart”. Everyone in this nation that doesn’t see a problem deserves to be lead by watever leader they see. Those that see what is going on and do nothing are to also deserve what ever is severed to them wether it be a cockroach or poverty. Let us not sit and watch these leaders of today silence the American, lets write them and from our heart state our stand of morals and ethics. If that doesn’t work “Revolution will”.

    “American Citizen” “Lets not sit back and watch these leaders spit in the face of our fallen soldiers as if their sacrifice was only to Fade into the shadows”.

  8. Tyler, thanks for your support. I agree that too many of us just “go with the flow.” Returning our nation to its intended size and scope will absolutely require a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

  9. these issues that you listed are great! but What are the issues what we are encourtering today which are similar to events in the historical past?

  10. Lena, I’d say specific issues might change, but the root causes are always the same, aren’t they? Lack of discipline and will to work.

  11. I think you are the dumbest SOB alive religon will not fix a thing maybe perhaps it will start MORE wars.

    P.S. think of the crusades

  12. Hater: strange, I don’t think I mentioned war at all as a major problem today. At any rate, your claim is flatly false–truly religious people and institutions never start wars. Even Islamic terrorists tend to be hypocrites with political agendas. As for the crusades (your only attempt to substantiate your claim), it’s very telling of your argument’s weakness that you have to defend it by pointing to a reaction against political aggression from the middle east, from nearly a thousand years ago. Really, Hater? That’s the best you can do?

  13. You all are speaking incoherently. America’s youth is hardly precious. I should know, i’m one of them! From the eyes of ‘one of them’ I can tell you that we’re a bunch of foul-mouthed hormonal time bombs. Nintey percent of us only care about themselfs, sex, or both. We’re not precious, we’re terrifying. Most of us are too absorbed in our own little worlds to care about our futures, and those of us who aren’t are complete and utter pompous morons. If you want to see something precious look around you. The Earth is what’s precious, but people who have the money to try to make a difference are talking about making the world greener, and wasting a year’s worth of fossil fules themselves.

  14. Beck, thanks for adding your thoughts. As for the immaturity of teenagers, you know I’m with you 110%, but before we get too harsh, I’m reminded of the end of A Clockwork Orange. Not the Americanized, movie ending, where Alex goes back to being a hedonist thug, but the author’s original last chapter, which was censored in the American release. In that last chapter, Alex grows up and grows out of his hedonist thug stage.

    Today, more and more kids don’t seem to be growing out of that stage, sadly, but most still do. Even in the face of all the decay and corruption around us, most people, even teenagers, even you, will turn out just fine in the long run.

  15. Dave, if you care to develop those thoughts with facts and evidence, I’ll glaldy engage you in discussion. Until then, though, such simplistic, cliched tropes make you sound like little more than a troll. Let me know if you really want an intelligent exchange of ideas.

  16. “but people still refuse to reproduce”

    Keep in mind that the planet cannot feed an infinite number of humans. At the limit, children must will die at the rate necessary to cancel out the birth rate above two. For example, if the birth rate is three, then one in three children will not live to be adults.

    The birth rate is the the average number of children we produce. If we average more than two children, the population rises to that limit… and the children will be killed in exact proportion to the number of babies we average above two.

    There is widespread ignorance of these facts of nature, and we must correct this. You can think this through for yourself. Only births and deaths determine how many are alive. If the planet cannot handle an infinite number of people, and if we want to keep the death rate low, we must keep the birthrate below two.

    • John, thanks for the thoughtful comment, but this is badly, badly wrong. The idea of overpopulation has been around for hundreds of years, and has always been wrong–look up Thomas Malthus. Human innovation is our best resource, and fostering it takes, among other things, children. Besides that, you appear to be out of the loop about the real population problem the world faces: decline. Your explanation above is true, but ignores the fact that almost every developed nation in the world is now losing people.

      Could you tell us, though, exactly which specific children the world would be better off without, if they’d never been born?

  17. Hey Huston, my name is Scott. I read your article while in my sixth period class. I am currently a senior and I have to write bills for congress as a class project. The Bill has to deal with national issues and youre article is amazing. I can’t agree more. Please email me with ideas for bills. Thanks! Howard8001@GCi.Net

  18. Thanks, Scott, but none of my ideas seem to be approachable with legislation. That would likely be more counterproductive than not. If anything, we need fewer regulations, less legislation, and, as I strive to advocate above, more personal devotion to traditional ideals.

  19. Maybe “Money” is the problem here. We all rely on it and treat it as if it is a necessity. Everywhere you go in this world you see families struggling due to lack of money. People turning to drug abuse because life just isn’t all that peachy. I’d say three quarters of people in prison are there for monetary reasons. Money ladies and gents. Its designed to increase debt and keep people desiring a little more.. Sorry a lot more. Keeping the poor exactly where they are and keeping the rich bank tycoons smiling (who seem to be the biggest tax thieves). We will NEVER arise from this financial crisis because countries are printing money so fast creating more debt and bankers are demanding even bigger bonuses they don’t need. While this is going on footballers get paid a disgusting some of money just to appear on a pitch. Everything is loaned, every penny in your pocket is owed to someone else. I don’t think religion would help here but if it makes you happy then go for it. Please don’t tell me I’m bad for not believing in a god. I just don’t think he’s helped a lot. Maybe cutting off my legs and crawling back into the ocean would be the answer for me. I cant see any world leaders sitting down and discussing a new way of life that everyone on this planet can enjoy. 1% of the worlds population owns most of the worlds wealth. Now that’s an indication of how bad things are going. “God bless America”.. How about God bless the world. It could do with a little blessing.

    Yours sincerely

    Poor person, London

  20. Alastair, nothing you’ve said here makes you bad–on the contrary, thanks for your honesty and courage.

    But there are some world leaders who are spreading a way of life that combats the evils you mention. Those who teach the great religious traditions of civilization have an answer that works, just one that’s not much in fashion these days.

    But my point is that a return to many of the values and practices of the past would solve the problems you mention–people devoted to a spiritual life of discipleship just aren’t as interested in money, power, fame, fashion, crime, or even the materialism that got us all into this mess. Think about it.

  21. Whoever wrote this article is a complete dumbass, he could not be more wrong about some of the world’s problems. If we did not have a strong government, they would not be able to provide us any services. Do you want roads and funding for schools? Because you said education was an important problem so how are we going to fix that without proper funding? Not mention that you never once referred to all of our pointless wars when you were talking about government spending. Another thing you said is how bad it is to regulate businesses. Remember the BP oil spill? Because that’s what happens when you don’t regulate corporations. Also, you think that the traditional family is declining? Or is that just your way of saying young women should not be allowed to sex or gays should not be allowed to marry? You disgust me.

  22. James:

    * Roads are maintained by local governments, not the feds. Nobody’s calling any public works department an example of sprawling waste.

    * “Proper funding” for schools? How much more is that, exactly? We’ve had a federal department of education for more than 30 years now, and everything keeps getting worse. What evidence makes you think *more* intervention will help?

    * I’ve never said that people shouldn’t be “allowed” to do what they want–I’m against government control–but people are increasingly making poor choices. I’ll freely speak out against that. By “young women” you probably mean teens. Please explain how young girls having sex makes the world a better place. Out of wedlock pregnancy is by far the #1 cause of poverty in America.

    * Yes, we can and should trim our military expenditures, but that budget is puny compared to our ineffective social services spending and corporate cronyism. Would you like to compare the numbers?

    * Actually, the BP oil spill happened precisely because of government regulation. The feds made them put their pipeline where they did. The feds buried BP in red tape and then failed to properly hold up their end of the bargain with honest inspections. The feds fumbled the solution of the problem. Less regulation gets innovation like the tech industry. More regulation gets you the FAA and DMV.

    • I am going to have to agree with James here. I have something to say about Huston’s comments on sex. Unless it is non-consentual, sex is not wrong. So as long as contraceptives are properly used, I fail to see how people having sex is making our world worse. On education, our schools are definatley underfunded. You cannot say otherwise when there are schools all over the country that cannot provide textbooks, computers, or fine arts programs. But, the real problem is the system. Many teachers hate their jobs because most schools are not run well. Another problem is that gifted and intelligent kids are being dragged down because of laws like No Child Left Behind. Huston also said that our military spending is tiny compared to what he called “ineffective social services”. I am not sure what he meant by that but I do know that the US spent about 700 billion dollars in defense last year. I think you would be hard-pressed to find many “ineffective social services” that cost that much. So I think we should compare the numbers. I would also like to say with absolute certainty that the BP oil spill would not have happened if the oil rig had been properly inspected by government officials.

  23. Lisa, your comment about sex may make for good theory, but is naive. The world we live in is one full of disease, abortion, unplanned pregnancy, and therefore unstable families. Nothing exists in a utopian vacuum, and children end up being hurt.

    Of course I can say that schools aren’t underfunded. Nothing has ever linked spending to achievement. How did students excel before computers and the rest of the package? People like to obsess over money because it’s fashionable and easy to talk about, but the truth is that there are far more important factors.

    I agree, though, that gifted kids are hurt by NCLB. I wrote about it two months ago: http://gentlyhewstone.com/2011/12/13/two-great-new-articles-about-education-standards/

    “I think we should compare the numbers.”

    OK.

    Here are two popular sources of these statistics; they’re not rare or obscure–Google them in a thousand other places:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expenditures_in_the_United_States_federal_budget

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258

    As you can see, defense accounts for about 1/5 of our budget, about the same as Social Security, and also as Medicare/Medicaid. Put those together along with other unconstitutional, liberal spending, and they account for well over HALF our annual budget. At least we’re constitutionally *supposed* to have a military.

    Also scary is the fact that we now spend 6% of our budget each year–almost a full third of what we spend on defense–just paying the interest on our debt. That’s pure money down the drain, thanks to big government. That number’s been going through the roof, by the way, and its rate will continue to grow.

    • You are right, sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies, which is why we should teach Sex Ed in schools. It has been proven that teaching abstinence does not work. Also, it seems that we mostly agree about education: the schools are underfunded, but they need reform much more than money. Yes, defense costs about the same as Social Security and Medicaid. But just because the Constitution does not require them, that does not mean they are unconstitutional or ineffective. Especially since the Founding Fathers themselves said that the Constitution should not be viewed as an untouchable document made by superior men in time when people were much wiser. This does not mean we should disregard the Constitution, just that we should be able to make amendments to it and do other things not stated in it. Also, the debt that you talk about can be solved by the very thing you fear so much: big government. By raising taxes on those that can handle it, we can absolve oil debt over that coming years. America does not so much have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.

  24. Lisa:

    “just because the Constitution does not require them, that does not mean they are unconstitutional”

    Actually, that’s exactly what that means. That’s the whole point of having a written code to specify what our governmental powers are.

    “This does not mean we should disregard the Constitution, just that we should be able to make amendments to it and do other things not stated in it.”

    Agreed. Let’s propose amendments that codify all the government’s social welfare adventures. The Founders knew amending the law would be necessary sometimes, but they made it very hard for a reason.

    “By raising taxes on those that can handle it, we can absolve oil debt over that coming years. America does not so much have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.”

    What numbers is this based on? This vastly under-appreciates our debt. We could literally tax every billionaire at 100% and it would barely make a dent in our debt at this point. We are beyond taxing our way out of our addiction to spending.

  25. I know this is kind of out of the subject here, but all these problems listed can be fixed. Yeah the government is trying to fix them, but think of a country as a a team. We can not fix these issues or any other countries problems with us or their economy, if we all don’t step up to the plate. This needs to be a team effort. We need to make it happen, not argue over things. Yes things will need to be discussed from food production to bullying. what we need is to step out of our own world, make sacrifices, and try to make things work. At some point in life we need to stop what we as a person want and say “okay yeah that idea may work.” If we can start with making more agreements and not what we want, we can make progress. I understand we need to state our opinions but how can a team play tug-of-war if a team sits an argues about everything? Nothing could get done and everything will get worse. We americans need to step it up, try to agree, try to sacrifice money to fix debt, face any bad things TOGETHER!!!! Everyone from kids, to elders, to celebrities, to the government! Either way, there will be a down side to things, but if we keep faith in what our country, our team, put together, slowly it will get better and the things that did not work out we can fix if we make the root problem. Everyone should get a turn wether you are democrat or republican, gay or straight, selfless or selfish, we need to take turns for everyone else’s sake! Everyone has a voice and everyone needs to be heard. If we focus on our own ideas and try even hard to sacrifice things, maybe there will be things we can solve!! It may sound hard, but if we can pick up liter, we can agree on certain things and not focus on our wants.

  26. Maybe me, a 15 year old, or anyone my age can help show the government what the outer circle is like. No one is too young to change the world but you can’t give up on it

  27. Thank you for that comment! Me and a few of my friends want to help change our country and we are taking baby steps. I am the leader of our group but what we want is a better place for everyone a better place for our future families, a good place that not one person but everyone changed, that we can leave this place and not have to worry about everyone left behind. I am going to take as many risks as i can. If there are any ideas for me, please tell me. We want to start as soon as possible.
    I was thinking too, why do celebrities have so much money and they have too much to spend in a lifetime? Why can’t we take what they don’t use to fix our debt? If we start there, and fix most of that together, maybe more jobs will be able to open up which should help everyone. And i think welfare people should try to work. Some can’t but we need everyones effort here.
    Me and my group are going to start to be heard, get recognized, not for fame, but maybe help. Help those who don’t have a voice and are ignored and not heard. If i can be heard, everyone can.
    I was called to do this, i am taking a big leap of faith here, but i am trusting God he will help our world. And yeah i know we aren’t all christians but we can not get anywhere in life without Him. Even if you don’t believe in him put your trust in him. have him help us. We need faith and a team for our base not a government. (so to speak)

  28. As I have been told, In a world of comparison and conformity, make your own statement. Honor your own truth. Have the courage to be yourself; risk speaking your own thoughts and claiming your emotions. Share your vulnerabilities, tears, doubts, and insecurities; let others experience the real you. and dammit, most of all have the courage to be yourself and realize that you are a wonderful person.

  29. wow this article is exactly what america needs to make real changes, than what we hear from our leaders and people in general because really they sugercoating the real problem. we have lost the family values i don’t know when or why. we as human need to be humble and go back to our foundations. religion is not the problem, is the lack off religion in society. you have spoken the truth huston
    may peace and blessing be upon you

  30. What i think is important is the decline in literacy and Education because it is true in my town they don’t really have that much to do with writing. It dependend on which teacher you had in middle school.

  31. As far as education goes, the US still has nearly the highest percentage of people over 25 with a Bachelor’s degree, not to mention the best universities in the world, so at least when it comes to postsecondary education, they’re still at the top.

  32. You’ve summed up five problems America should pay attention to. But I think you’ve missed a couple and those should be mentioned too. Anyway, I hope your readers will read this and think about what you’re saying.

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