American Decline

Americans’ views of the problems facing the nation

Using the best available information possible, the number of people who have been killed as a direct result of US imperialism in the Middle East alone over the past 20 years amounts to the equivalent of a 9/11 every three weeks. If we add up all the body counts from every act of US direct aggression or efforts to escalate pre-existing conflicts over the past 75 years, it’s more like a 9/11 every week if we count every invasion, bombing, coup, civil war, revolution, insurrection, acts of terrorism, acts of state repression, or massacre carried about by the US directly or by client states or non-state actors armed, funded, trained, or otherwise assisted by the US.
This recent survey from Pew lists about 15 domestic US policy issues Americans think are the most important. I’d argue opposition to the US empire is more important than all of these issues combined and then some.
It is fascinating to me that so many self-proclaimed dissidents, radicals, anti-establishmentarians, “leftists,” “progressives,” “anarchists” and others in the USA do not recognize these matters for what they are, with very few exceptions like some tankies, antiwar libertarians, third position types, Christian pacifists, US Muslims, and hardly anyone else. And talk about “racism and sexism.” What colors do folks think of all of these bodies were? (Hint: They weren’t Nordic.) America is nothing more than ancient Athens turned ancient Rome. Period. It’s like the Hellenistic era is repeating itself all over again.

Pew Research Center

The affordability of health care is high on the public’s list of the biggest problems in the country today, with 56% of adults describing this as “a very big problem” and an additional 30% rating it “a moderately big problem.”

Chart shows a majority of Americans say the affordability of health care is a very big problem in the country today

Health care costs is the only issue of the 15 asked on the survey seen as a very big problem by a majority of Americans, though about half say that the federal budget deficit (49%), violent crime (48%), illegal immigration (48%) and gun violence (48%) are very big problems. A similar share (47%) name the coronavirus outbreak as a very big problem – though that is down significantly from last summer, when nearly six-in-ten (58%) said this.

All of the 15 problems in the survey are seen as at least moderately big problems by a majority of the public. However, Americans differ over the severity of these problems.

For example, nearly a quarter of adults (23%) say sexism is a very big problem – the lowest share of any issue asked about –while 36% view sexism as a moderately big problem. Just one-in-ten say that sexism is not a problem at all, while 30% say it is a small problem.

As the Biden administration makes the case for massive new investment in the nation’s infrastructure, the condition of roads, bridges and other infrastructure ranks relatively low on the list of major problems facing the country. About a third of adults (34%) say the condition of infrastructure is a very big problem, four-in-ten say it is a moderately big problem, and a quarter say it is either a small problem (23%) or not a problem (2%).

Though neither domestic nor international terrorism ranks among the public’s top problems, roughly a third of Americans (35%) say domestic terrorism is a very big problem in the country today, while a smaller share (26%) says the same about international terrorism.


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