To all people who think America is fucked, what one thing would you change to try and fix things?

  1. This was always one of my biggest arguments in a political science class I took. My professor wound up telling me that he was a lobbyist after a few weeks of my sh*t 😅

  2. I wrote a paper my freshman year of college for English 1010 about the American lobby problems and the German anti-corruption policies, with a third part about how we might possibly implement them over here to improve our society. This is something I personally believe is the intersection of several systems that might be working, bit are definitely failing the American people.

  3. Ok. So now no citizen can contact their representatives. No letters. No phone calls. If you have an issue that you feel is important for them to hear? Nope, can't do that.

  4. Came here to write this exact same thing, glad to see its the most popular comment. Fuck Lobbyism and fuck politicians who chose not to work for the people they represent.

  5. This is the issue all other issues rely on. If we are gonna live in a country that has legalized corruption, no other things can be fixed until we fix that

  6. Actually have Congress vote on items rather than continuously campaign on how they will fight against the other party to save the USA.

  7. It surprised me when I found out the US elects congress every two years. I don't think any other country does that.

  8. Lobbying in and of itself isn't a problem - it's meant to be a way for people to get their representatives to do things. The problem comes when corps get to lobby like people do.

  9. I would love to get money out of politics and stop legislators being full time donorbaters, but how does it work in practice?

  10. I’ve always wanted this! Everyone gets an equal fund for their campaign and has to debate and advertise on a government channel. Level the playing field for everyone. Eliminate donations entirely. Prevent rich donors and corporations from controlling everyone.

  11. Public funding is currently available, but you are allowed to fully privately fund and exceed whatever is supplied. Iirc Obama first campaign was the first time both parties did not use the public funding.

  12. We've had this in Australia for over 100 years. Works a treat, especially in seats where there are lots of parties running.

  13. politicians shouldnt actively trade stocks, but that is not even in the top 10 causes of americas shitshow

  14. Before ranked choice voting (which is honestly an optional extra) you really need to start with the basics of having an independent electoral commission like Australia to decide fair district boundaries, ensure automatic voter registration, provide booths, and end the electrol collage.

  15. Throw in a 10 year period after holding a seat in elected government in which you cannot be a lobbyist, and redistricting done with a shortest split line algorithm, top it off with term limits for all Senators, Representatives, and Supreme Court Justices, and I think we're good.

  16. This right here. Kind of overlaps with "publicly funded elections", but I specifically came into the comments looking for this answer.

  17. Your first paragraph is wrong. Non Super PACs cannot donate unlimited amounts of money. They can donate directly to candidates yes, but the amount is limited per year.

  18. This is why the USA is a fucking oligarchy. As soon as I learned this shit in school I wanted to throw up from disgust. Nepotism in a nutshell. Oligarchy in the other. Hand in hand, made by design, and it keeps the rich fuckers rich.

  19. Yes to Finance Reforms, but not just campaign financing. Reform has to be applied to the vast sums of money politicians make when they are in office and even after by lobbying.

  20. Democracy didn't die the day Citizens United was decided, but it certainly took a gunshot wound to an artery and started bleeding out.

  21. Ranked choice voting. Let people elect who they want to, not "the best chance to win against this person I hate"

  22. So many of us want it, but the powers that be know it'll change their ability to control. I don't see this ever happening.

  23. Teacher here: can confirm. The education system is completely fucked. We focus so much on testing and not critical thinking. The expectations are too high and too low all at once.

  24. Flip side, punishments for board of directors for anything that would get regular people in trouble. Like, say I released 200 tons of noxious gas over a town, or spilled millions of barrels of oil into the gulf of Mexico.

  25. Easier said than done. The basis of citizens united was if a few people get together and write a book or make a movie about how good or bad a candidate is than that is free speech. So how is that any different than buying a comercial or a billboard that says the same thing. Thats what PACs are they are a group of people that get together and express their free speech. So if you say thats not allowed than suddenly you are limiting all sorts of free speech by individuals. Because what is the difference between 2 people writing a book together and one person writing a book.

  26. More practical education in public schools: preventive healthcare including but not limited to nutrition and exercise, personal finance, effective communication, and other life-skills like personal hygiene, cooking, etc.

  27. I must have gone to a forward-thinking high school back in the 90s in bum-f rural Midwest, but we had to take health and home-ec courses that covered all that, and very well. I still use the stuff I learned on cooking full meals in the microwave, balancing a budget, and calculating mortgage payments.

  28. Teacher here… we teach all of this at our school and many of those topics are quite common across other high schools as well. And the topics are not just glossed over - literal classes are named after these topics and focus solely on them all year.

  29. In my home ec class they taught us how to bake… I wish they taught us how to properly cook meat and can things. Literally we made cookies every class. Ugh.

  30. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a dietitian in private practice and I’ve learned how to “game the insurance system” and 95% of my patients I’m able to see with no out of pocket costs for them. It’s frustrating how nuanced the billing and coding system is, but hopefully things continue to move in the right direction for preventative health.

  31. All of these things have always been taught in schools. Just like everything else taught in schools though, just because it is taught does not mean it is learned.

  32. That’s already in public schools, you can check your state standards and see. Most of that would be covered in a health curriculum

  33. See, I don't think schools should be solely responsible for completely raising a child though. If parents aren't teaching their kids basic hygiene, the parents need to be taught a thing or two. It shouldnt be on the schools. Schools are for academia, the home is supposed to be for life skills.

  34. Also I think every person should have a basic foundation in the technologies of our time. Automotives, robotics, programming, an understanding of various power sources, etc.

  35. Stop electing people in their 70’s or older to make decisions on the future, they don’t give a shit about us or problems that future generations will face they could prevent or at least ease.

  36. I’m 62 and can’t understand why there are so many older people in public office. Retire already, and let folks with more vision and energy run the government for a change!

  37. It’s also an issue that the richest of the rich are the only ones who can get elected. They will never face the same problems as the average American and can make laws that further stuff their own personal bank accounts at our expense.

  38. Remove the 2 party system. We basically have two sets of dictatorship regime, and they take turns tormenting us.

  39. It's always been a money grab, just became more obvious with the larger donations and stock trading

  40. Studies have shown that term limits would make things worse. You want people in congress with institutional knowledge. It is somewhat counterintuitive, but without that experience they will rely MORE, not less, on lobbyists to write legislation and to get things done.

  41. Term limits are not massively helpful. Ranked choice voting would actually reduce the ability for sub par candidates to get re-elected.

  42. Term limits are not the answer. Governing is difficult and requires experience of slow processes. Short term limits hampers efficiency and forces politicians to rely on unelected advisors and lobbyists for expertise

  43. If I could only change one thing. I would change their two party system. With eight or ten parties. This could help get the population better represented in their parlaments.

  44. The issue is that we need to change our system of voting in order for that to happen. The "winner takes all" system we currently have inevitably reduces the field to two viable parties no matter how many options you offer. We need something like ranked choice or proportional representation in order for additional parties to become mathematically competitive.

  45. A normal health care system that wont charge people $760 for one X-ray (after insurance), better funded public education, public transportation, abortion rights, separate religion with politics, have more young people in politics for tomato’s sake, forbid congress people to do stock trading.

  46. “for tomato’s sake”… i’ve never heard this before but i’m glad i’ve been blessed with it

  47. I had to pay almost $5000 for a CT scan at the hospital, only to be told that it's a kidney stone and it needs to pass on its own. Every week a new bill would come in asking to pay for this or that. Our medical system is fraudulent and relies on our poor health in order to make piggy banks out of us.

  48. I was going to say healthcare as well, it's hard to pick the best issue to address in this country because there are too many that are really bad.

  49. Vote and elect people to pass laws and actually legislate. The supreme court isn't a legislative body and the things they are now dismantling are rulings that should have been codified into law a long time ago but weren't. I've said this before and will again, It's not the job of the supreme court to make laws. Relying on them to "do the right thing" will always be subject to what the members think "the right thing" is.

  50. These people work so hard, for years, to convince the masses that they're going to do something. Winning is the goal. And they already won. Our elite class enjoys so many perks, they just want to maintain the status quo and power. The nonstop fundraising emails from democrats right now, when they knew Roe V Wade was going to be struck down for the last 6 weeks, is really making this evident for people.

  51. I just wish the general public understood this, sure the SC is biased and has problems, but a lot of these “rights” that were decided by case rulings have just been begging to be overturned especially Roe v Wade even Ginsburg admitted it was a flimsy ruling. People should be mad at their representatives for the past 50 years, not the Supreme Court.

  52. As to the pay thing: politician pay caps out at the median income of the constituents in their district.

  53. We have retirement age in almost every field so why can't we have in politics? Politics depend on experience but it also depends upon energy. There should be a retirement age for politicians as it is beneficial for the growth of the country

  54. Can confirm. As a Canadian, we spend half what the US spends on health care per capita. We also live 3 years longer on average. All the extra money is just going to CEOs, lawyers and insurance companies and agents.

  55. I agree with universal healthcare but the second half of your sentence doesn't correlate. The US spends less than one half of one percent of it's budget on foreign aid. The defense budget is a separate budget and I also hate spending as much as we do on that. We could reduce the defense budget and channel into our own infrastructure needs including healthcare and still spend more than anyone else on defense. But don't lump foreign aid into this. Foreign aid is how we stabilize things to reduce wars.

  56. The irony is that people in the US pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere else in the world. You could actually have universal healthcare and spend less on healthcare than you do as a nation right now.

  57. This just got me thinking…the NFL requires or at least provides prospective players to take a basic knowledge exam during the combine so teams can the results while evaluating players. The armed forces require the ASVAB when enlisting. How is there no public knowledge or competency exam for politicians wanting to enter politics?

  58. Corporations are not people and should not be allowed to contribute to political parties. Term limits for all elected officials.

  59. Our public education system… the better educated the populous, the better the country. Politicians are against this because it’s harder to manipulate well educated people.

  60. yea but even smart and well educated people can be manipulated. I teach Social Studies. Our last valedictorian is a smart kid - but I remember in US History he passionately discussed why Hitler was still alive (because he saw something on the history channel about it).

  61. Political scientist here. This thread is a greatest hits list of all the things people think will work but wont. Its not about old people. It's not about term limits. It's not about lobbying. It's not about gerrymandering. It's not about campaign finance. It's not about the two party system.

  62. I dunno, it sure seems like the current minority party has the country by the balls, and is about to make that permanent.

  63. What are your thoughts on the electoral college? I can see why it was important at one point but I can't see how it'd be useful in our modern society.

  64. This feels it would be in the margins too though. I think mixed proportional representation would do much more. Still this is way better than a lot of other naive ideas on here

  65. Encourage people to work together in thier communities to build mutual aid groups and volunteer together to help with basic things, like feeding the hungry. Loving your neighbor, and making friends with them is the best antidote to political extremism, radicalized and helps directly fix problems right now.

  66. This. Volunteer work and getting to know your community and getting out and about in your community will probably have wider impacts than many of the suggestions here.

  67. That’s a good point. To do that means to weaken the federal government and have stronger local communities. This needs to be done desperately.

  68. Set standards for Congress. No stock trading for you or direct family members. All wealth generating activities are put in a trust on being sworn in and cannot be touched until they leave office (dependent on their wages). Same evaluation like you would give an elderly person to see if they were fit to live alone needed to run for office. Term limits.

  69. I’m in America at the moment and it’s shocking seeing people who really should be in a hospital or at least in some kind of assisted care home, living and fending for themselves on the streets in filthy conditions. Often disabled and more often than that deeply mentally ill.

  70. Money in politics: no trading, no gifts, no stocks, no super pacs, no fundraising, lobbying, nothing. You will be allocated a set fund from the government for campaigning, increasing as you make it farther through your primaries. Shows us if they have proper management skills, and know how to handle money, on top of decreasing corruption.

  71. If I had to choose one thing, it'd be ranked-choice voting. So many of our problems are tied to the limitations of a two-party system, and lack of alternative options.

  72. Hm one thing to fix all things.. I would throw away the 2 party system used to divide and distract us from the corrupt politicians taking advantage of us on both sides.

  73. Increased mental health care and/or properly tax/audit religious entities. The amount of religious orgs who claim they have no money but always have stacks of cash is bullshit.

  74. crack down on people in power: term limits no-one in immediate family can invest in stocks citizen funded elections (no more pacs) strict anti lobbying laws

  75. Take away a Corporation's standing as a "person". A corporation has rights like a Civilian. Remove those rights. A corporation is not a person. Get Corporations out of our elections.

  76. An anti-gerrymandering amendment to the Constitution. Something that requires all states to assign voting districts based on an even grid system with exceptions only to account for uneven state border lines. Political parties should not have the power to redraw voting districts to make it impossible for them to lose.

  77. But that would make the representation of each individual in one given area greatly diminished if you live in a higher population area. The districts are drawn with population in mind.

  78. Literally just changing the electoral system would be enough. Americans aren't naturally inclined to be more fucked than other countries, but the US political system allows minority groups to hold the country hostage, produces a two-party system, which results in stagnation and political paralysis, and in the politicization of institutions such as the Supreme Court.

  79. The system doesn’t allow the majority to dictate the lives of the minority. The system literally protects the minority from the majority. That’s a good thing

  80. Bring back the fairness doctrine. People believe what they're told. Stop allowing entertainment channels calling themselves news shows to tell lies.

  81. Making sure older people and young people have some security for food and basic health. I’m not sure that people realize that glasses and dentures are NOT covered for seniors. Dentures can be $5000, hearing aides could be up to $7000! Students are NOT guaranteed free lunch! Why not! They are not guaranteed basic dental care!?!? Why can’t we take better care of young people and the elderly?

  82. Make hospitals required to post the cost of procedures online. Aka anyone should be able to look up the prices prior. Then ensure those are held.

  83. Immediately pass the strictest anti-trust laws on the planet. A complete gobsmack to the corporate Oligarchs that are ruining our country. No more psuedo-monopolies. Next, I'd implement mandatory profit sharing for any & all employees. Massive tax credits to worker-formed co-operatives, local small business, and nationally produced goods. Heavy tariffs on the majority imported goods. Ensure production needs can be met by 95% of industries locarted in the United States, no more reliance of overseas trade. Pass laws that restructure government at all levels to reflect a more

  84. My civics teacher said "The only thing that will make R's & D's work together on something is making sure there isn't a 3rd party."

  85. That’s just it. Can’t change just one thing and have things better. Must change at least 3-5 things that are inter-related. Electoral college, Supreme Court term limits, get rid of gerrymandering and the filibuster, and get rid of Citizens United. Oh and disband the Federalists, John Birch Society, etc.

  86. Eliminate the R and D next to politicians names. Make them run solely on the strength of their ideas, not their party affiliation

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