People Are Revealing The Dark Side Of American Life, And Here Are 40 Honest Stories Interview
The American dream is an idea that with enough hard work, courage, and sacrifice, anyone can lead a happy life. It’s an aspirational belief that all individuals, regardless of where they come from or what family they were born into, can reach success if they just put their mind to it.
Sure, the United States has plenty to be proud of—it’s the most powerful country in the world that has a well-deserved reputation in culture, innovation, and democracy. However, it also has its flaws, showing that the American way of life is not always exactly a dream.
Sometimes, when you’re scrolling through social media, you come across posts where many discuss the unhealthy work-life balance, complicated housing crisis, flawed healthcare system, overwhelming debt—you name it. Take a look at what people have shared on the internet, and let us know what you think of it in the comment section below.
We reached out to one of the users who shared a post about the difficulties of living in the US with fellow r/AntiWork community members. The author preferred to stay anonymous but was kind enough to share their thoughts with us. “The reason why I posted this on r/AntiWork was mainly to show people the ridiculous situation happening in the United States,” the user told Bored Panda.
They mentioned an example that a few weeks ago, several states passed laws that allowed 14-year-olds to work until 11 PM: “Many people were outraged because these companies would rather use ‘child labor’ instead of providing adults a ’living wage.’”
The author said that they can see the US as perhaps a great country to live in if you are a business owner: “Low regulations compared to other first-world nations—no required maternity/paternity leave, most states don’t mandate breaks/lunches for adults, low minimum wage, most states being at-will employment (so you can fire employees at will with little repercussions).”
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They want to clarify that they disagree with all these regulations being acceptable in this country and feel all of them need to be addressed. However, “from a selfish standpoint, if you are rich, this really is probably a great place to live.”
“Your assets are basically stable, strong military prevents instability in the country financially, most of the politicians willingly support your causes and the public will even blindly support your causes even when it goes against their interest, etc.,” they mentioned.
“From what I can gather is that certain jobs in the USA pay much more than in other countries, like in the tech sector,” the user mentioned. “So unless you get a job in the tech sector here then maybe it is better than in other developed countries.”
According to Zippia, with around 12.2M tech industry workers, net tech employment accounts for 7.9% of the total U.S. workforce. However, they have a huge impact on the U.S. economy since tech employees make up to 85% more than those in other industries: “And this number becomes even more inflated in certain areas. For example, tech workers in San Jose, California, earn up to 507% more than the average area salary.”
Yet, those who are not employed in this sector are much more vulnerable: “Should something truly catastrophic happen, your ability to pay for healthcare, housing, food evaporates, and the public options in most of this country with their onerous red tape are designed to facilitate your death while you wait for them to kick in,” the author said.
“Factor in cheaper rent [in other countries], cheaper transit, twice as much vacation time, etc., and the US advantages fade away real quick,” they continued. “No big difference in grocery costs, and other day-to-day expenses, much faster internet speeds, affordable and usable phone plans.”
The user added: “The only advantages in America for an employee are cheaper single-family homes if you live in such an area, cheaper gas prices (but CA gas prices are about halfway between the UK and the rest of US), and cheaper cars (new & used).”
They think that if you’re not employed in the tech sector, “aren’t born rich, and just want to live as an employee, EU countries give you a much better bang for buck.”
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“Overall though, for the average person, I just don’t see the benefits,” the author said. “If one has any illness or health issues (chronic or otherwise), you are basically not guaranteed healthcare and could simply just go bankrupt with no assistance. The culture here is people worrying about petty things (religion and other things) over helping their fellow citizens get proper healthcare, etc.”
On a final note, having to deal with such issues daily puts a toll on people’s emotional well-being: “This is anecdotal but one of the worst things I have done for my mental health was learning how the USA truly operates. I’m sure that some people feel the same way.”