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What Would You Change About The United States of America?

Carolyn Fields is a lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all around bon vivant.

what-would-you-change-about-the-united-states-of-america

But First

Let me start with a disclaimer. I feel incredibly fortunate for having been born in the USA. We have extraordinary freedoms, prosperity, and the ability to do virtually anything we wish with our lives. We are a nation of laws, and up until recently, I would have said we are polite and civil to one another even when we disagree.

I am grateful that I can:

  • Speak my mind
  • Worship my God
  • Start a business
  • Pursue happiness
  • Leave a legacy

I also have the ability to personally defend myself if anyone tries to disrupt the above freedoms. With that said, what I am attempting to do here is to state, in terms that are not sensationalized, what I would do to make our country even better. Because, as you know, there is always room for improvement. So here it goes.

Politics

The number one thing I would change is how "politics" is handled. Relax. I’m not talking about any specific person or party. I’m talking about the system in general.

I would make it a "direct" democracy, by giving every single voting age citizen a vote about laws and policies. In case you slept through that class in school, we are currently a constitutional republic, not a true democracy. Unlike a direct democracy, we the people are regulated by our elected officials who make laws on our behalf. In my opinion, that hasn’t been working particularly well of late.

Think of it. The technology is there. It would drastically change how we approach the process of governing, and improve involvement and accountability. This would do away with the “two-party” system, that I believe has created an “us” vs. “them” mentality. It certainly is destroying civility, and not accomplishing anything productive.

Why can’t we vote directly for policies and programs we desire, without the “shorthand” of political party affiliation? Instead of politicians, we would need leaders to coordinate and administer legislation. It would take a few years to accomplish this, but it’s totally doable. Every candidate for public office would become “Independent,” and run based on their ability to serve and lead.

Taxes

Secondly, I would overhaul the tax code. It is ridiculously complicated, even after the recent tax reform. I would simplify the tax system, and make it more equitable. Also, I am toying with the idea of doing away with income tax. Instead, money should be collected in proportion to how much an individual benefits. Like charging a toll for a road when you use it or sales tax when you buy something.

Entitlements

Third, I would overhaul the whole "government give-away" system. People get money who don't deserve it, and people who do deserve it don't get assistance. It's a shame.

This would require an entirely new system of determining who needs government help, and at what level. And it would also require constant follow-up to ensure people in these programs get out when they are able, or even get more assistance if the need is there.

Finally, I would advocate a system that is paid for by the citizens of the USA, and given to citizens of the USA. If people from other countries need our help, that’s called foreign aid.

The News Media

Fourth, I would change the news media from the biased and sensationalized reporting we have currently, to a more factual approach, which is how it should be. This is a more difficult proposition, and would require some sort of oversight. When a journalist (knowingly) reports something that is factually incorrect, there would need to be serious consequences. And losing the ability to continue as a reporter should be one of those consequences.

Education

Finally, I would change the education system. I would increase pay and status for teachers (of all grades), and put more emphasis on actually learning something, as opposed to passing tests.

I would also work to change the perception that “everyone” should go to college. That’s simply not a sustainable notion. A person should find gainful employment in a field that suits their talents and temperament. That could be auto mechanics or astrophysics. And there should be no stigma for someone who decides to work “with their hands.”

What Else?

That’s just an overview of the areas I’d like to see changed. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Carolyn Fields

Comments

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 29, 2020:

Hi A B,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Yes, things have changed, but some things have stayed the same. I, too, am worried about the hate and hopelessness that is going around. I am reminded that we made it through the 1960's . . . so there is hope afterall.

A B Williams from Central Florida on July 29, 2020:

Hi Carolyn as I was reading through the content and the comments, I kept thinking how much has happened in the past two years, since you wrote this (or updated it).

Sorry that I missed it initially! Well done.

I wouldn't change anything about the United States of America!

If I could, I would change hearts and minds, those full of hate and hopelessness, born out of false information and downright lies, about the United States of America. Too many young minds have been poisoned, that is quite evident from recent events and it is beyond sad, it is frightening.

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 29, 2020:

Wow, Abby, that's quite a list.

I totally agree with the dynasty politicians ban. It's like we still have royalty. I thought that was why we left England?

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Abby Slutsky from America on July 29, 2020:

I know this was going to have a political aspect, but I agree. Many of mine are similar to yours with some exceptions:

Right now, I think we are more aptly named Ununited States, we are not treating each other like Americans, but Democratics and Republicans.

No allowing donations to campaign parties

No political parties

No media coverage of politicians or politics unless requirement to cover both sides completely and fully

Need a license or ID to vote

Change welfare system; more money if you work and try to help yourself- after 3 kids, no additional money- maybe food or other assistance only

Consumption tax versus income

Portion of tax money allovated by taxpayer directly to purpose (like to omit some corruption if I could)

No dynasty politician leaders (wives, sons etc. for president)

You have got me started. The list goes on, and I love it here too. However, people don't remember our ancestors came to this country because they didn't want the government telling us what to do.

Well paying side hustles taxed at a special rate (Ex. endorsement for famous athlete)

The Logician from now on on July 27, 2018:

Corplyn, I’m saying the big problem is with colleges which is where children go to get indoctrinated. Public HS is nothing compared to what happens to teenage minds when they go to college.

Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on July 26, 2018:

These are not new ideas. I agree with most of what you have said here. I hope someone here has an idea of how to get started. It's time. It's been time.

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 26, 2018:

Private High School. I should have been more specific.

The Logician from now on on July 26, 2018:

Public schools? How about Yale and Harvard? And jus t about every other institution of higher learning which is actually code for “indoctrination”

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 26, 2018:

Hey there Bigfoot (aka TSAD),

Haven't heard from you in a while. Yes - the education system is a mess. Public education that is. My stepson went to private school, so he is not as screwed up as most. He is now prepared to go to college and not accept every left wing agenda he hears. That is why I still have hope.

All the best,

Carolyn

The Logician from now on on July 26, 2018:

Everything that is wrong with America can be traced back to our education system and that means at all levels. It’s no secret to the left that the key to destroying the America the founders envisioned was to do it from within through our own institutions and what we are seeing today is the end result of at least one generation, 80 years or so of a concerted effort by the left of indoctrination to compromise and usurp the principles and powers of our education systems, our judiciary, our media and ultimately our government. Until you fix our education system nothing here will change, no matter how many steps backward we push the left with our political system as long as they control education, and there is no denying that they do, we will be at risk of losing the war no matter how many battles we win.

Brad on July 26, 2018:

Carolyn

FICA won't exist if the SS and Medicare is replaced by the same type of retirement and healthcare that is given to government employees.

The reason that I used FICA is to have the employers continue to pay for their employees retirement fund as they do now. But instead of being collected and going to SS, that employer contribution, along with the employee contribution would go into the employees retirement fund.

It would like the government employee FERS be managed by a private non government management company.

To simplify, currently FICA goes into the SS Trust Fund and the Medicare fund, and this is kept, controlled and managed by the US government.

The change I suggested would still be collected but it wouldn't be FICA, it wouldn't be a tax, it would be a joint contribution of the employer and employee into a privately managed employee fund. It would be similar to FERS for non government employees. The federal government employees have had FERS andFEHS for a while now, while the employees in the private sector have to rely on SS, IRAs and 401K but the new plan would bring private employees on par with federal employees.

You might want to look into the CC issue and add it to your list of changes.

Thanks

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 26, 2018:

Brad,

Again, I think you have enough material here for another hub on SCOTUS. I absolutely agree that they must interpret the constitution, and not "make law." That's a problem with the people who have held the position of judge, not the design of the court. Same issue as with the journalists we discussed earlier.

As for the Credit Card issue, I knew nothing of the history and South Dakota background. I wasn't living in SD at the time. Interesting.

Back to retirement - you mention that you'd use the basics of FICA to fund the new private plan. That's what makes me fundamentally nervous. I'd rather the money never get funneled through the government at all. Just give tax breaks or other incentives for people to create their own plans. I know that's pie in the sky thinking - but heck - I was going for an ideal situation.

Brad on July 26, 2018:

Carolyn

Thanks. As you are a Libertarian, you can appreciate that what I have suggested doesn't involve the government. It takes the government Entitlements of SS and Medicare and converts it into a privately managed and controlled retirement and healthcare system.

The role model here is how the federal employees have FERS Federal Employee Retirement System that is privately managed and isn't part of the government's reach.

That reminds me of another thing that I would change and that is the simple majority voting of SCOTUS. The simple majority decisions of SCOTUS are not good decisions because as in 5-4 decision the opinions of 4 SC justices have been ignored. If we increase the decision threshold to 6-3 or 7-2 it would bring better decisions.

Passing constitutional amendments takes more than a simple majority, and the power of a SCOTUS decision is the law of the land. Unlike the amendment which is the will of the people, the SCOTUS decision is based on interpretation of the Constitution. That interpretation can be politically skewed, so the more justices that vote for the decision, the better the decision.

The job of the SCOTUS is to limit their acceptance of taking cases, and choosing the most important ones for the country and the people. I submit that we the people and the country would be better off if the SCOTUS didn't rule on some cases that cannot be decided beyond a simple majority. They can as facts and issues and other dynamics change could always take another look at the issue.

Roe v Wade is an example of such a 5-4 decision as it have been brought up again and again in each presidential election for the past 45 years. Perhaps if SCOTUS had made the beginning of life as judicial notice then the right of the mother versus the right to life would be clear. And as I see that as the issue that have kept this case in the spotlight all these years. My point is that maybe we should look more closely at the opinions of the four SC justices that didn't agree with the majority.

BTW

I believe that SCOTUS made another bad decision on Credit Cards by using the state of SD's usury law to be made national. The credit card companies and SD conspired, well what would today be if we didn't use that word:) SD agreed to change their usury law above the traditional 10% in exchange for the credit card companies to make their corporation HQ in SD. Then the SCOTUS decided that these credit card companies could use their percentages throughout the country.

I think that was a wrong decision made for the wrong reasons.

And the country and world run on Credit Cards. Before 1986 Tax Reform Act we could at least deduct much of it on our taxes, but not since then. And since then the interest rates, penalties and fees have been a burdened on people that use CC to exist day to day.

I have more but I would like to see if others might contribute them. Although I find Hubpages members mostly apathetic. imho

Other than the credit card issue, I know nothing about SD, other than I probably flew over it going from LAX to JFK and back. I mentioned SD here because Credit Cards and their debts are a substantial issue for many people today, and always. By limiting the CC to 10% they would better check purchases, especially those on line and not whine to congress about how they need the higher percentage to offset the costs of fraud. Fraud that they could control with better security.

Thanks

Thanks

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 26, 2018:

Brad, thanks for the follow-up and clarification. I suppose that I'm a bit more "Libertarian" in my views. I'd rather incentivize the individual to save for retirement, not have the federal government do it for the individual. The Feds always add layers of bureauocracy to anything they do. Either way - as you say - it needs to be fixed.

Brad on July 26, 2018:

Carolyn

We disagree on how to do something, but we agree that something needs to change.

I would say

"C: FICA is a tax. It is not technically a retirement fund you pay into, and get out at the end. I know that you know that. I'm stating for the record. It desparately needs to be fixed.

-----------------------------

B:

My point here was to change FICA from a tax to a retirement and health system, and replace SS and Medicare with a new system.

I used the FICA Tax as routing it to fund the new system. The contributions would be the same, but the result would be better for the people.

---------------------------

Other than that, I think you have some good issues and solutions. I hope that you get a lot of comments. The more comments the better the resolution of what the country thinks are the issue.

Thanks

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on July 26, 2018:

Brad,

Thanks for stopping by. I had a feeling I'd hear from you. No - that's not a jab. I just know this is a topic of interest for you. That said, here are my comments on your comments.

Making every vote count would mean that the people in the high volume states would never win. While every person has an equal vote, the states don't have an equal number of people.

C: I envision a system where the states have far more autonomy. The only things being voted on nationally would be "national" things - like defense and immigration.

-------------------------------

Imho, it is not the two party system that is bad for the country. It is the loyal party voters of these parties that do a Vote Row A or Row B on candidates that are chosen by the party. Yes, you get a few to choose from but all of them were selected by the party. The election process is always voting for the less of evils. First at the primary and then in the election.

C: And getting rid of political parties would solve that problem. IMHO.

-----------------------

B:

And who would back them in their campaigns? If the loyal party voters would not register for a party, then the party would have to pursue them as they do for the swing vote. A registered vote is pretty much a vote for the party.

C: Candidates would need to get backing as individuals, from inidiviuals and PACs wishing to support them. I don't see this as a problem.

---------------------

The better plan is to scrap income tax, just because it is an amendment doesn't mean we have to follow it. A National Sales Tax would be fairer, simpler, more private, and not have to give up your constitutional rights like the 4th and 5th amendments.

This would be similar to those that already exist in most states. With the NST the IRS could be significantly reduced, and the IRS Tax Court could go away. In addition, you wouldn't have to keep changing the tax every year, which would encourage congress to spend what it takes in rather than what can be taxed for increasing the size and scope of the government.

At some point, the people with money will have to spend it.

C: Sounds good to me.

------------------------------------

B:

You realize that SS is called an entitlement. It was a bad plan, actually a Ponzi scheme from the beginning. We shouldn't confuse reliance on it with success.

The federal employees have a real retirement system. It is a defined benefits system, and it is privately managed. The benefit never changes, unlike the SS which can be changed by congress at any time. In fact, Congress could get rid of it entirely. They won't because of the reliance and voting power of the people getting SS.

I would use the basics of the contribution we already pay in through FICA to fund a new private retirement system that would closely resemble the existing one bestowed upon government workers.

That would be over 12% invested every pay check into your own private account. Unlike SS which is used by the congress as a piggy bank.

C: FICA is a tax. It is not technically a retirement fund you pay into, and get out at the end. I know that you know that. I'm stating for the record. It desparately needs to be fixed.

-----------------------------

B:

This is a problem of the people. They could change the way the media does reporting by demanding it with their option not to watch it, or read it. We are not being informed today, we are being programmed.

C: Agreed. There are several TV programs I NEVER watch for this reason.

-------------------

B:

I would not allow politics of the teachers to be an influence on the students. They should be neutral and let the students make their own conclusions.

C: Neutral - as they should be. Present all sides of the argument, and educate students how to THINK.

---------------------------------

B:

I agree, and i would go further. Many of the technology jobs of today don't need a comprehensive education, and they don't need college. The corporations in the country should be doing the teaching on these jobs. They could make it education through internship. The students wouldn't have to pay, and the corporations wouldn't have to pay them. in the long run the corporations would be generating the work force that they need.

C: There is already some of this going on. Corporations not being able to "find" the workforce they need, have turned to internal training to fill the skill gap.

--------------------------------

Healthcare Quality

There is a difference and important difference between healthcare quality and healthcare. Quality is the improvement coming from the medical community into the healthcare providers, I mean the hospitals, the doctors, nurse and people that administer the healthcare.

The healthcare we have today is simply insurance to cover our medical bills, but they don't ensure quality of healthcare.

The quality includes level of care given to the patients. If you have been in a hospital recently, or a rehab center you know what i am referring to here.

The quality would also be heavily involved in finding and administering cures. The bulk of improvement in medical services has been relegated to better technology and surgical methods. These are not cures, but they are as close as we have gotten since the 1950s when I believe we saw the last medical cure, the Salk Vaccine for Polio.

The problem in getting these cures is money, no not money to find a cure, but money that is being made while we don't have these cures.

Many of the FDA approved drugs today only treat the symptoms of a disease, like pain, swelling, and discomfort to name a few.

Finding and getting cures into practice would alleviate the many problem of healthcare that we see today.

-----------------------------

Transportation

We may be the worlds most modern military, but in transportation we are still behind many countries.

I am talking about High Speed Rail. In addition, we don't tie our transportation system together. We don't connect airports by rail, while many in the world do that today.

Traffic gridlock is worse every year as more drivers are getting their license, and there are more people in the country. That means more trucks and rail for freigh

C: You have the beginning of another hub here. Go for it!

Brad on July 25, 2018:

Carolyn

I have some thoughts on your choices.

"Politics

The number one thing I would change is how "politics" is handled. Relax. I’m not talking about any specific person or party. I’m talking about the system in general.

I would make it a "direct" democracy, by giving every single voting age citizen a vote about laws and policies. In case you slept through that class in school, we are currently a constitutional republic, not a true democracy. Unlike a direct democracy, we the people are regulated by our elected officials who make laws on our behalf. In my opinion, that hasn’t been working particularly well of late.

b:

Making every vote count would mean that the people in the high volume states would never win. While every person has an equal vote, the states don't have an equal number of people.

-------------------------------

Think of it. The technology is there. It would drastically change how we approach the process of governing, and improve involvement and accountability. This would do away with the “two party” system, that I believe has created an “us” vs. “them” mentality. It certainly is destroying civility, and not accomplishing anything productive.

B:

Imho, it is not the two party system that is bad for the country. It is the loyal party voters of these parties that do a Vote Row A or Row B on candidates that are chosen by the party. Yes, you get a few to choose from but all of them were selected by the party. The election process is always voting for the less of evils. First at the primary and then in the election.

-----------------------

Why can’t we vote directly for policies and programs we desire, without the “shorthand” of political party affiliation? Instead of politicians, we would need leaders to coordinate and administer legislation. It would take a few years to accomplish this, but it’s totally doable. Every candidate for public office would become “Independent,” and run based on their ability to serve and lead.

B:

And who would back them in their campaigns? If the loyal party voters would not register for a party, then the party would have to pursue them as they do for the swing vote. A registered vote is pretty much a vote for the party.

---------------------

Taxes

Secondly, I would overhaul the tax code. It is ridiculously complicated, even after the recent tax reform. I would simplify the tax system, and make it more equitable. Also I am toying with the idea of doing away with income tax. Instead, money should be collected in proportion to how much an individual benefits. Like charging a toll for a road when you use it or sales tax when you buy something.

B:

The better plan is to scrap income tax, just because it is an amendment doesn't mean we have to follow it. A National Sales Tax would be fairer, simpler, more private, and not have to give up your constitutional rights like the 4th and 5th amendments.

This would be similar to those that already exist in most states. With the NST the IRS could be significantly reduced, and the IRS Tax Court could go away. In addition, you wouldn't have to keep changing the tax every year, which would encourage congress to spend what it takes in rather than what can be taxed for increasing the size and scope of the government.

At some point, the people with money will have to spend it.

------------------------------------

Entitlements

Third, I would overhaul the whole "government give-away" system. People get money who don't deserve it, and people who do deserve it don't get assistance. It's a shame.

B:

You realize that SS is called an entitlement. It was a bad plan, actually a Ponzi scheme from the beginning. We shouldn't confuse reliance on it with success.

The federal employees have a real retirement system. It is a defined benefits system, and it is privately managed. The benefit never changes, unlike the SS which can be changed by congress at any time. In fact, Congress could get rid of it entirely. They won't because of the reliance and voting power of the people getting SS.

I would use the basics of the contribution we already pay in through FICA to fund a new private retirement system that would closely resemble the existing one bestowed upon government workers.

That would be over 12% invested every pay check into your own private account. Unlike SS which is used by the congress as a piggy bank.

-----------------------------

Fourth, I would change the news media from the biased and sensationalized reporting we have currently, to a more factual approach - which is how it should be. This is a more difficult proposition, and would require some sort of oversight. When a journalist reports something that is factually incorrect, there would need to be serious consequences. And losing the ability to continue as a reporter should be one of those consequences.

B:

This is a problem of the people. They could change the way the media does reporting by demanding it with their option not to watch it, or read it. We are not being informed today, we are being programmed.

-------------------

Education

Finally, I would change the education system. I would increase pay and status for teachers (of all grades), and put more emphasis on actually learning something, as opposed to passing tests.

B:

I would not allow politics of the teachers to be an influence on the students. They should be neutral and let the students make their own conclusions.

---------------------------------

I would also work to change the perception that “everyone” should go to college. That’s simply not a sustainable notion. A person should find gainful employment in a field that suits their talents and temperament. That could be auto mechanics or astrophysics. And there should be no stigma for someone who decides to work “with their hands.”

B:

I agree, and i would go further. Many of the technology jobs of today don't need a comprehensive education, and they don't need college. The corporations in the country should be doing the teaching on these jobs. They could make it education through internship. The students wouldn't have to pay, and the corporations wouldn't have to pay them. in the long run the corporations would be generating the work force that they need.

--------------------------------

Healthcare Quality

There is a difference and important difference between healthcare quality and healthcare. Quality is the improvement coming from the medical community into the healthcare providers, I mean the hospitals, the doctors, nurse and people that administer the healthcare.

The healthcare we have today is simply insurance to cover our medical bills, but they don't ensure quality of healthcare.

The quality includes level of care given to the patients. If you have been in a hospital recently, or a rehab center you know what i am referring to here.

The quality would also be heavily involved in finding and administering cures. The bulk of improvement in medical services has been relegated to better technology and surgical methods. These are not cures, but they are as close as we have gotten since the 1950s when I believe we saw the last medical cure, the Salk Vaccine for Polio.

The problem in getting these cures is money, no not money to find a cure, but money that is being made while we don't have these cures.

Many of the FDA approved drugs today only treat the symptoms of a disease, like pain, swelling, and discomfort to name a few.

Finding and getting cures into practice would alleviate the many problem of healthcare that we see today.

-----------------------------

Transportation

We may be the worlds most modern military, but in transportation we are still behind many countries.

I am talking about High Speed Rail. In addition, we don't tie our transportation system together. We don't connect airports by rail, while many in the world do that today.

Traffic gridlock is worse every year as more drivers are getting their license, and there are more people in the country. That means more trucks and rail for freigh

What Else?

That’s just an overview of the areas I’d like to see changed. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below."