19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the ‘Greatest Country’ Afterall

Chela Mibei
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Let’s address the giant, star-spangled elephant in the room. Yes, America has given the world jazz, the cheeseburger, and even the internet (You’re welcome, world!). But let’s pull back the curtain on the “Land of the Free” and take a peek at some not-so-awesome trivia.

So, fasten your seat belts, folks! We’re about to embark on a rollicking, eye-opening, and slightly snarky tour of 19 reasons why America might not be the ‘Greatest Country.’ This is no Declaration of Independence; consider it more of a Declaration of Inter-dependence. Because, hey, nobody’s perfect, not even Uncle Sam.


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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You know, that thing that’s supposed to keep us not dead? Well, in the Land of the Free, it’s more like the Land of the Fee. When you sprain your ankle here, you’ll find yourself limping from the pain and the weight of the following medical bill.

It’s less “Hippocratic Oath” and more “Hypocritic Oath,” where your wallet’s health seems more important than your physical well-being. Remember folks, an apple a day might not keep bankruptcy away in America!


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America is the land of opportunity, where the streets are paved with gold, and everyone is just a degree away from their dream job. In reality, the American education system is more akin to a game of musical chairs, where the music’s been playing for far too long, and there’s a distinct shortage of chairs.

We trail behind other developed countries in science, math, and reading, but at least we’re number one in confidence! Might as well give ourselves an A for effort, right?


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
Pete Souza, Obama-Biden Transition Project//Wikimedia Commons

America sure knows how to pick them, doesn’t it? We’ve had the good, the bad, and the “what were they thinking?” It’s like a box of chocolates that Forrest Gump would be terrified to touch.

From those who couldn’t tell a lie (looking at you, George Washington) to those who might have stretched the truth just a tiny bit (no names mentioned), the land of the free has had its fair share of colorful leaders. And let’s not forget the ones who couldn’t resist the allure of social media – because who needs sleep when you can tweet at 3 AM?


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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America is the unparalleled heavyweight champion of the world in this category. We have the biggest waistlines and practically burst the buttons of our jeans. Our love for supersized fries, extra-large sodas, and all-you-can-eat buffets has given us a rounded, robust, and rotund reputation.

Let’s be honest; we’ve turned packing on the pounds into a national pastime. So, if you’re looking for a country where calorie counting is as frowned upon as asking someone’s age, look no further! America is your portly paradise.

Gun Violence

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Ah, America, the land of the free and the home of the brave… and sadly, a place where the phrase “duck and cover” has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s hard to call dibs on the ‘Greatest Country’ title when our kids are learning active shooter drills before they can spell “Mississippi” correctly.

Our love for guns has escalated to a degree where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet seems to have an armory that would make Rambo blush. Not exactly the ‘stars and stripes’ image we want to project to the world, right?

Political Polarization

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Isn’t it just adorable how we Americans love our diversity yet can’t seem to get enough of this thing called political polarization? It’s like proud parents who can’t stop fighting over the last piece of cake at their kid’s birthday party. “Left wing,” “right wing,” they say, as if our entire nation’s political spectrum is a giant chicken!

But when it comes to actual dialogue, compromise, or, you know, running a country, we’re more like two stubborn mules refusing to budge. So much for unity in diversity, huh?


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Now, you might think, “but isn’t America the dreamland of equal opportunity?” Well, not so fast. If we’re talking about the gap between the rich and the poor, it’s as wide as the Grand Canyon. And it’s not just about money, folks.

The color of your skin, gender, your sexual orientation all somehow get a say in your chances of success. So, while Uncle Sam is busy boasting about his star-spangled awesomeness, maybe it’s time to have a serious chat about spreading those opportunities around a little more evenly.


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Oh, debt in America. It’s as American as apple pie and baseball, isn’t it? But instead of leaving a sweet taste in your mouth or the thrill of a home run, it leaves a sour knot in your stomach and the dread of an endless game.

The average American debt is a beast of epic proportions, from student loans that linger like a bad roommate to credit card bills that multiply like rabbits. But hey, who needs affordable education and financial stability when you can enjoy the exciting roller coaster ride of owing your soul to the bank, right?

Climate Policy

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, also happens to be the land of “we’ll think about it” regarding climate policy. Sure, we’ve got some plans in place, but let’s be real, they’re more like a kid’s drawing of a fire escape plan – endearing but not overly practical.

While the rest of the world is busy setting and achieving ambitious sustainability goals, the U.S. appears to be scribbling doodles in the corner, more focused on figuring out how many coal jobs it can save than how many planets.


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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It seems like America’s been playing a game of “how low can we go” regarding our roads, bridges, and public transportation. Remember those smooth highways you used to take on your family road trips? They’re more like a roller coaster ride now – not fun.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our infrastructure a D+ grade. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be bragging about that score at the dinner table. And if you think a magic school bus is coming to save the day, think again! Public transportation is more akin to a magic trick where the bus disappears when you need it the most.

Prison System

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Ah, the Land of the Free… unless you happen to be one of the 2.2 million people residing in America’s prison system. That’s right, folks, we’re number one in locking people up. We have more people behind bars than China and Russia combined, and they’ve even got more people!

But don’t worry; our prisoners are well-fed—I hear the mystery meatloaf is really something. So, is it irony or just a weird twist of fate that a nation that so boldly sings about the home of the brave is also the home of the incarcerated?


19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Ah, the World Wide Web, America’s gift to the world – a glorious maze of cat videos, memes, and people arguing about whether that dress is blue or gold. It’s the place where you can order a pizza, find a date, and diagnose yourself with a rare tropical disease, all within a half-hour. But, boy, have you tried streaming a movie on this so-called high-speed internet?

It’s a test of patience that could make a monk sweat. Despite inventing it, America has internet speeds that rank somewhere between a tortoise and the time it takes for a toast to pop. While South Korea’s internet zips along like a Ferrari, America’s internet is more like a 1995 Ford Taurus with a bad transmission. So much for being the “greatest country,” huh?

Immigration Policy

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Enter the world of American immigration policy. It’s a labyrinth, a maze so convoluted that it’s practically a national pastime to get lost in it – and that’s just for the folks trying to navigate it legally! We’ve got rules, sub-rules, and sub-sub-rules, all wrapped up in miles of red tape and served with a side of bureaucratic jargon.

It’s like a board game designed by Kafka and Escher’s love child, and the prize at the end? A shot at the American Dream – which, given the state of our climate policy, might be underwater by the time you get there. But hey, at least it keeps the lawyers busy, right?

Public Transport

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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If your idea of an adventure is being crammed into a metallic tube like a bunch of disgruntled sardines, then America’s public transportation is just the ticket for you. You’ll find buses that consider schedules more like loose suggestions and subway systems that seemingly aim to double as saunas.

And the cherry on top? The sweet serenade of car horns because even though you’re on the bus, you’re still in traffic. Indeed, if the American Dream is about freedom, our public transport seems to be entirely dreaming of something else.

Privacy Laws

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Let’s talk about privacy laws, or should I say the colorful mosaic that is the American privacy legislation? Picture this: You’re in California enjoying a burrito with your social media profiles set to ‘Private.’ All’s well, right?

But, the moment you cross over to Arizona, surprise! Your ex from high school now knows you love extra guacamole. It’s like each state played a game of Mad Libs to determine what can and cannot be shared. If only our privacy laws were as united as the states, they’re supposed to cover.

Social Safety Nets

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Sure, America might be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but when it comes to social safety nets, it’s more like the land of the few and the home of the “better have a good savings account.” If you fall on hard times, you might bounce off a high-deductible health plan instead of a comforting, cushy safety net.

Compared to most developed nations, the U.S. is like that friend who always conveniently “forgets” their wallet when it’s time to chip in for pizza – always lagging behind when offering robust social support systems.

Native American Rights

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Let’s chat about Native American rights, shall we? In this “Land of the Free,” we’re still grappling with acknowledging the rights of the very folk who were here first. Yes, you heard it right! We’re talking about a country that has sent men to the moon, but when it comes to honoring treaties from the 18th century, suddenly, it’s all crickets.

It’s as though we believe in time travel, but only when it’s convenient. We rocket to the future, but our DeLorean is conveniently in the shop when it’s time to resolve past mistakes.

Military Spending

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Talk about spending money like you’re printing it in the basement! America’s military budget is like the grandpa who always slips $20 bills into your pocket. Sweet for you, but you’re left wondering: Isn’t there a more responsible way he could use that money? With a whopping $753.5 billion earmarked for defense in 2021, the USA spends more on the military than the next 10 countries combined.

If that doesn’t say, “I have a samurai sword, two tanks, and a jet fighter in my backyard,” I don’t know what does. But don’t you think it would be ‘greater’ if some of that dough were funneled into education, healthcare, or reducing the national debt? Just a thought.

Tax Policy

19 Reasons Why America Might Not Be the 'Greatest Country
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Ah, tax policy, America’s favorite bedtime story. You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a country that can turn a simple concept like “taxes” into a labyrinth worthy of a Greek myth. The U.S. tax code is a beast of baffling complexity, longer than the Bible, and with far fewer miracles.

Not to mention, it’s constantly changing, like a chameleon in a kaleidoscope. It’s a system that keeps accountants in business and the rest of us in a perpetual state of bewilderment. But hey, at least it’s consistently inconsistent, right?

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  • Chela Mibei

    Chela excels in crafting insightful pieces, drawing from her background in finance and commerce. Her passions for reading, travel, writing, and volunteering enrich her contributions.

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