The American Anti-Pattern
Something strange has happened to me over the last four years living in the United States: I’ve felt a growing affection for the place. As a dyed-in-the-wool true blue Aussie (not to mention an anti-US imperialism Muslim), this has come as something as a shock. The liveliness of the place, the sincerity of its people (excluding Los Angeles), and that go-for-it attitude have won me over.
But there is one repeated template of failure (what software people call an anti-pattern) of the American system that is one of its greatest weaknesses. One could argue that it happens everywhere in the world, but I’ve only seen it threaten the future of a country as it does here.
For all its brilliance, wealth, and culture, what many people don't realize is that the USA, according to many of the conventional metrics, is a third world country. These metrics include income inequality, poverty, healthcare, and education. Why would a country with as much wealth and resources as the United States have such obvious socioeconomic injustice.
Here’s how it goes, in five steps:
Here’s a relatively uncontroversial example: Consider corn subsidies in the USA.
I’m sure you can think of your own examples: the “too big to fail” banks of the financial crisis, health-care, gun laws, climate change, poverty, dealing with huge government debt, how government debt came about in the first place, and so on and so on.
Next, I’ll look at why I think this happens to a greater deal in the United States than other countries -- even nearby neighbours like Canada.