Examining Things That Are Messed Up About America Today

things that are messed up about america

America is a beautiful and diverse country with incredible economic power, excellent healthcare facilities, world-class education systems, and abundant natural resources. But, at the same time, the country is facing several critical issues. From social inequality and systemic racism to political corruption and environmental degradation, there are many things that are messed up about America today. These issues pose a significant threat to the nation’s long-term stability, growth, and prosperity. In this article, we will explore these critical issues and potential solutions that can help address them.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many critical issues facing America today that require immediate attention.
  • These issues include social inequality, systemic racism, political corruption, environmental degradation, and healthcare crisis, among others.
  • The nation needs collective action, initiatives, and solutions to tackle these challenges and foster a better America for all.

Social Inequality in America

Social inequality is a critical issue in America today, with income inequality being one of its most significant manifestations. According to the Pew Research Center, the wealth gap between upper-income and middle-income households is the highest it has been since the government began tracking it in 1983.

Furthermore, the Center estimates that upper-income households have a median net worth 81 times larger than middle-income households. This gap is not only alarming, but it also has severe consequences for society at large.

How Income Inequality Impacts Society

The effects of income inequality on society cannot be overstated. It leads to a concentration of power and resources in the hands of the few, perpetuating social and economic disparities. It can also lead to a lack of social mobility, as those born into lower-income families may struggle to access the resources needed to advance in life.

Moreover, income inequality can negatively impact health outcomes. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people living in areas with higher levels of income inequality were more likely to experience poor health outcomes such as obesity, heart disease, and premature death, even after accounting for individual income and other factors.

The Role of Systemic Racism in Income Inequality

Another crucial aspect of income inequality is the role of systemic racism. African Americans and Hispanics, for example, experience higher levels of poverty and lower median incomes than white Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for non-Hispanic white households in 2019 was $68,703, while it was $45,438 for Hispanic households and $41,511 for African American households.

This significant income disparity is not just due to individual factors, such as education or work experience. It is a result of systemic racism, including discriminatory practices in hiring, housing, and access to education and healthcare.

What Can Be Done to Address Social Inequality and Income Inequality?

Addressing social inequality and income inequality requires a comprehensive approach. It involves policy changes, such as raising the minimum wage and investing in education and healthcare systems. It also requires social and cultural changes, such as addressing unconscious biases and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society as a whole.

Furthermore, it is essential to acknowledge and address the role of systemic racism in perpetuating income inequality, including changes to laws and regulations that promote equity and justice, such as anti-discrimination laws in hiring and housing.

“We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because the laws of God command it, although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.”

~ President John F. Kennedy

Systemic Racism and Its Effects

systemic racism

Systemic racism is a pervasive problem in America, with deep roots in the country’s history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination against people of color. Its effects are far-reaching and continue to hinder progress towards equality and justice for all. Racism is not just an individual bias, but a larger problem involving economic, political, and social structures that perpetuate injustice and inequality.

One of the most visible forms of systemic racism is racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Black people are disproportionately represented in the prison population, often facing harsher sentences than their white counterparts for the same crimes. According to the NAACP, African Americans and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, despite only making up 25% of the U.S. population.

The School to Prison Pipeline

This phenomenon, also known as the school-to-prison pipeline, reflects the ways in which systemic racism can affect children of color from an early age. Rather than addressing behavioral issues in schools through counseling and support, many students are punished with suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests, leading to a higher likelihood of future involvement in the criminal justice system.

Another manifestation of systemic racism is the wealth gap between white and non-white households. Black and Latinx households often have significantly less wealth than white households, with fewer opportunities for financial growth and investment. This can affect education, housing, and job opportunities, creating a cycle of poverty that is difficult to escape.

The effects of systemic racism can be seen in every aspect of American life, from education to healthcare to housing. It is vital to understand the roots of this problem in order to begin addressing it. By acknowledging and confronting the systemic disparities that exist, we can work towards a fairer and more just society for all.

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The Healthcare Crisis in America

healthcare crisis

The United States faces a healthcare crisis characterized by high costs, limited access, and unequal quality of care. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the vulnerabilities of the healthcare system, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive reform.

The exorbitant costs of healthcare in America pose significant challenges for both individuals and the economy. The lack of universal healthcare coverage leaves millions of Americans without access to affordable care, resulting in delayed or deferred medical treatment that can lead to further health complications. According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other high-income country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest mortality rates.

The healthcare crisis also disproportionately affects communities of color, exacerbating existing health disparities. People of color are more likely to lack access to healthcare, experience discrimination within medical settings, and face higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the weaknesses of the American healthcare system, with shortages of medical supplies and personal protective equipment, overwhelming hospital capacity, and inadequate financial support for healthcare providers.

Addressing the healthcare crisis in America requires a multifaceted approach, including expanding access to affordable healthcare, implementing reforms to reduce costs, and improving the quality of care for all Americans. The passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 was a step in the right direction, but more remains to be done to achieve universal healthcare coverage and equitable access to quality care.

Solutions for Addressing Gun Violence in America

Gun violence in America

Gun violence is a critical issue in America that needs urgent attention. It is not only a public safety issue but a public health crisis, causing immense harm to individuals, families, and communities. Addressing gun violence requires a multifaceted approach that involves various stakeholders.

Implementing Universal Background Checks:

“Background checks have been shown to reduce gun violence substantially,” Barack Obama

One way to reduce gun violence is to implement universal background checks, which require a criminal history check for every firearm purchase. It can help prevent individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms, reducing the likelihood of gun-related crimes or deaths. This policy has broad public support, including from gun owners.

Red Flag Laws:

“People who are going to commit mass shootings tend to make it known ahead of time, either directly or indirectly,” Dr. Garen Wintemute

Another policy solution is the implementation of red flag laws, allowing family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from a person who poses a danger to themselves or others. This policy can help prevent mass shootings and suicides. In Indiana, where a similar law exists, there was a 7.5% reduction in gun suicides.

Gun Violence Statistics in America

Number of Gun Deaths39,70743,559
Number of Mass Shootings417611
Number of Children Killed or Injured2,8553,289

Enhancing Mental Health Services:

“Mental illness is not a predictor of violence, but people with mental illness who have a history of violence are more likely to use guns,” Jeffrey Swanson

Improving mental health services is another critical step in reducing gun violence. Access to mental health services can help prevent individuals with mental illness from engaging in violent behavior, including gun violence. It can also help those individuals who have violent tendencies to seek treatment and receive proper care, reducing the likelihood of future violent incidents.

Community-based Solutions:

“It’s not just a mass shooting issue. It’s not just a suicide issue. It’s a community issue,” Amber Goodwin

Community-based solutions, such as violence intervention programs and community policing, can also help reduce gun violence. Engaging with the community to address the root causes of violence, such as poverty and lack of opportunity, can create safer and more resilient communities.

Addressing gun violence in America requires a comprehensive approach. By implementing evidence-based policies, enhancing mental health services, and engaging with communities, we can reduce the number of gun-related deaths and create safer communities for all.

Political Corruption and Its Implications

political corruption and money

Political corruption is a significant problem in America today, with far-reaching implications for democracy and public trust. From bribery and kickbacks to nepotism and embezzlement, corrupt practices have become all too common in the political sphere, undermining the integrity of our institutions and the fairness of our elections.

One of the most visible forms of political corruption is campaign finance, where wealthy individuals and corporations can use their financial resources to exert undue influence over the political process. This can lead to policies that favor the interests of the wealthy few over the needs of the broader population, perpetuating inequality and eroding public trust in government.

In addition to its impact on policymaking, political corruption can also contribute to a culture of impunity, where powerful individuals and institutions are able to skirt the law without consequence. This can erode faith in the justice system and undermine the rule of law, further exacerbating social and economic inequality.

Despite the gravity of these issues, political corruption remains an enduring problem in America, with no easy solutions. However, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate its impact and promote greater transparency and accountability in the political sphere. From limiting the influence of money in politics to strengthening anti-corruption laws and institutions, there is much that can be done to address this critical issue.

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Example Table: Corrupt Practices and Their Impact

Corrupt PracticeImpact
Bribery and kickbacksUndermines the fairness of elections and policies, perpetuates inequality, erodes public trust
Nepotism and cronyismLeads to the appointment of unqualified or incompetent individuals, undermines the meritocratic ideal, perpetuates inequality
Embezzlement and misappropriation of fundsUndermines public confidence in government institutions, results in the misallocation of resources, perpetuates inequality

As we strive for a more just and equitable America, it is crucial that we address the issue of political corruption head-on. By working together to promote transparency, accountability, and ethical leadership, we can begin to build a democracy that truly serves the needs and interests of all Americans.

Social Inequality in America

education system

One of the most pressing issues facing America today is the significant social inequality that exists throughout the country. The income gap between the wealthiest individuals and the rest of society continues to widen, with the top 1% of earners holding a disproportionate amount of the nation’s wealth. This trend has significant consequences for the well-being of the nation, as it perpetuates poverty and hinders opportunities for upward mobility among lower-income individuals and communities.

The education system plays a crucial role in perpetuating social inequality in America. In many lower-income areas, schools are underfunded and lack the resources necessary to provide students with a quality education. This puts them at a disadvantage compared to students from wealthier areas, who have access to better schools, more resources, and greater opportunities.

The impact of social inequality on individuals and communities is profound. Studies have shown that individuals from lower-income households are more likely to experience health problems and have a shorter life expectancy compared to those from higher-income households. Additionally, individuals from marginalized communities are more likely to experience discrimination and face barriers to accessing healthcare, education, and other essential services.

“We live in a complex society where a range of factors contribute to social inequality, making it a difficult problem to solve. However, addressing the education system is a crucial step in narrowing the gap and creating greater opportunities for all individuals.”

Addressing the issue of social inequality in America requires a multifaceted approach, involving policy changes, education system reform, and increased access to healthcare and social services. By working together to tackle this critical issue, we can foster a more equitable society that provides opportunities for all individuals to thrive.

Mass Incarceration and its Consequences

Mass Incarceration in America

Mass incarceration is a significant issue facing America today, with a disproportionate number of individuals from marginalized communities being imprisoned. The United States has the highest incarceration rate globally, with over 2 million people currently behind bars.

PopulationNumber of people incarceratedRate per 100,000
White Americans439,800450
African Americans562,2002,306
Hispanic Americans361,400831

The racial disparities in the rates of incarceration are clear, with African Americans and Hispanic Americans being far more likely to be imprisoned than their white counterparts. The consequences of mass incarceration go beyond the individual, affecting entire communities and perpetuating a cycle of poverty and social inequality.

Studies have shown that children with incarcerated parents are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, end up in foster care, and have difficulty in school. Additionally, the costs of incarcerating millions of individuals are astronomical, with taxpayers paying billions of dollars each year to maintain prisons.

Efforts are being made to address the issue of mass incarceration, with criminal justice reform being a hotly debated topic. Initiatives such as reducing sentences for non-violent crimes and investing in rehabilitation programs can help lower the rates of incarceration and break the cycle of poverty and inequality.

“The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world – and the majority are people of color. This is a systemic issue that requires significant reform to break the cycle of poverty and inequality.”

Environmental Degradation and Climate Crisis

environmental degradation

Environmental degradation and the looming climate crisis are among the most pressing issues facing America today. Rampant pollution, deforestation, and greenhouse gas emissions have caused irreversible damage to the environment, leading to severe consequences that affect the planet’s health, wildlife, and human populations.

The increasing global temperatures caused by climate change have led to more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires, resulting in devastating effects on natural habitats and human settlements. Rising sea levels caused by melting glaciers and ice sheets pose a serious threat to coastal cities and communities, potentially displacing millions of people in the coming years.

The need for sustainable solutions to mitigate environmental degradation and climate change has become paramount. The adoption of renewable energy sources, reduction of carbon emissions, and the promotion of sustainable agriculture and transportation are integral to safeguarding the environment for future generations.

Comparative Data

CountryCO2 Emissions (metric tons per capita)
United States16.5

The data above shows that the United States has the highest CO2 emissions per capita compared to other major economies, highlighting the need for urgent action to address environmental degradation and climate change in the United States.

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Individual efforts can also contribute to mitigating climate change and preserving the environment. Simple steps such as reducing plastic waste, conserving water, and supporting sustainable products and initiatives can go a long way in reducing environmental degradation and protecting the planet.

As the effects of climate change and environmental degradation continue to worsen, it is crucial to take action now to ensure a sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come. The time to act is now.

Seeking Solutions for a Better America

solutions for a better America

After examining the critical issues plaguing America today, it is clear that it will take a collective effort to create positive change. Below are some potential solutions and initiatives that can help address the problems discussed earlier:

Investing in Education and Healthcare

By investing in education and healthcare, we can improve the quality of life for all Americans and reduce disparities. Initiatives such as providing free or affordable healthcare and expanding access to education can create a more equitable society.

Reforming the Criminal Justice System

We must address the issue of mass incarceration and its consequences by reforming the criminal justice system. This includes reducing the use of mandatory minimum sentences, investing in rehabilitation programs, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

Combatting Political Corruption

To restore public trust and promote democracy, we must combat political corruption. This includes implementing campaign finance reform, increasing transparency in government operations, and holding elected officials accountable for their actions.

Addressing Climate Change

By addressing environmental degradation and the climate crisis, we can create a sustainable future for generations to come. This can be achieved by promoting renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, and investing in green infrastructure.

Strengthening Gun Control Regulations

Addressing the issue of gun violence in America requires strengthening gun control regulations. This includes implementing universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and investing in mental health resources.


While the issues facing America today may seem overwhelming, they can be addressed through collective action and a commitment to positive change. By implementing these solutions and initiatives, we can create a better future for all Americans.


It is clear that America is facing a multitude of critical issues, ranging from social inequality and systemic racism to environmental degradation and a broken education system. These challenges threaten the well-being of individuals and communities, hindering progress towards a prosperous and just society.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. By working together and seeking innovative solutions, we can address these problems and move towards a better future. We must prioritize the well-being of all members of society, particularly marginalized groups who often bear the brunt of these issues.

Solutions may involve policy changes, community engagement, and individual action. It’s up to each and every one of us to take responsibility and contribute towards building a more equitable and sustainable America.

Let’s work towards a brighter future for all.


What are the critical issues discussed in this article?

The article examines social inequality, systemic racism, the healthcare crisis, gun violence, political corruption, the broken education system, mass incarceration, environmental degradation, and potential solutions for a better America.

What is social inequality?

Social inequality refers to the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, and privileges among different groups in society, often resulting in disparities in income, education, and access to healthcare.

What is systemic racism?

Systemic racism is a form of racism that is embedded within social, political, and economic systems, perpetuating racial discrimination and disadvantaging certain racial or ethnic groups.

How does the healthcare crisis affect America?

The ongoing healthcare crisis in America poses numerous challenges, including unaffordable medical costs, lack of access to healthcare services for many individuals and communities, and inadequate healthcare infrastructure.

What are the consequences of gun violence in America?

Gun violence in America leads to tragic loss of life, injuries, and psychological trauma for victims and their families. It also has significant societal and economic costs.

What is political corruption?

Political corruption refers to the abuse of power by government officials for personal gain, leading to a lack of transparency, compromised democracy, and erosion of public trust.

What are the flaws within the American education system?

The American education system faces challenges such as inadequate funding, disparities in resources between schools in different districts, high dropout rates, and a lack of effective educational policies.

What are the consequences of mass incarceration?

Mass incarceration results in the overcrowding of prisons, the separation of families, and limited opportunities for rehabilitation, contributing to a cycle of crime and disproportionately affecting certain communities.

What are the environmental issues facing America today?

America faces environmental degradation issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and the need for sustainable solutions to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.

How can we seek solutions for a better America?

Seeking solutions for a better America involves implementing policy reforms, promoting social justice, encouraging community engagement, and advocating for sustainable practices in various sectors.

What is the importance of collective action in addressing America’s issues?

Collective action is crucial in addressing America’s issues as it requires the collaboration and involvement of individuals, communities, organizations, and policymakers to drive meaningful change and create a better future.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of measuringknowhow.com

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