Elvis Presley, Hollywood, McDonald’s, the Grand Canyon, New York, the White House, Las Vegas, obesity, gun fighting in the streets, and peanut butter are the first associations with the United States. It is a country of contrasts; apart from Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, the American dream, respect for democracy and civil rights, there are some other typical American things that will be interesting to find out.
USA is the fourth largest country in the world; its geographic isolation from the rest of the world has played a significant role in its development and security. It is the state of immigrants who came here in search of freedom.
15. 9 million prisoners
There are about 9 million prisoners in the world today, and the fourth part is made up by US prisoners. However, the USA is not alone in this list, as the number of prisoners in Russia, China and Brazil is also very high. US jails hold serial killers and those sentenced to death, because death penalty has not been abolished in more than half the states.
14. Offences by the police
In the US, it has become very common that people die because of the police. This happens all over the world, but mostly in the United States. In 2014, the US policemen killed over a thousand people, while in Canada, China and the UK, this number was less than 20. More and more often, you can see videos on the Internet, which show policemen’s rude treatment of citizens, especially African Americans. Of the total number of people killed by the police in the United States, more than half is made up by the black youth. The right of carrying weapons leads to the fact that young people use it not just for self-defense, but also to solve conflicts and commit crimes, so the US police are forced to act tough.
From 1920 to 1933, the USA had a prohibition on the production, transport and import of alcohol. But, as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The purpose of the law was to make the nation healthier and to accustom the citizens to a healthy way of life, but it had serious side effects. At Christmas, lots of expensive alcohol was smuggled into the country by gangsters. To keep the situation under control, the US government created a plan and deliberately ordered to poison the alcohol, so that people do not buy or consume it. As a result of these events, more than 10 thousand people were killed.
12. Debts on loans
80% of Americans live on credit. The typical problems of many Americans include house loans, credit cards, and mortgages on the property. If you have 10 dollars in your pocket and you don’t owe anything to anybody, you are richer than 25% of all the Americans.
11. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer
When writer Tina Fey sarcastically portrayed the Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, she said that Palin sees Russia from the windows of her house, and it was partly true. The border with Russia is only 4 kilometers from the farthest point of Alaska. These two states, opposing each other since the Cold War, are geographically very close. At present, they cooperate on fighting ISIL terrorism, but it does not relieve the tension between the two longtime rivals on the world stage.
10. Environmental harm
It is known that the United States mines and uses more natural resources than any other country in the world. Thus, the damage to the environment is enormous. It is believed that a child born in the US will bring more harm to the environment for all its life than a child born in Brazil. An average American consumes 32 times more resources than a Kenyan.
9. Obesity: a $100 billion problem
The USA is home to a huge number of fast food lovers, so the number of obese people is also very high. According to the statistics, one out of three Americans is overweight. Obesity in the United States today has become a national problem that has affected children, as well. About 400,000 people in the United States die of obesity-related problems every year. Obesity costs the country $100 billion a year.
8. You are being watched!
Everyone knows that the US government likes to be in the know of everything that happens in the state and monitors its citizens in many ways. The Library of Congress, the country’s oldest cultural institution, was given the mission to keep track of all posts on Twitter and store them in their catalogs. They say, all Tweets have been limited to 140 characters to make them easy to read and store.
7. The United States has no official language
The presence of a state language would violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution and would lead to the violation of the rights of those who do not want to speak English, so it would contradict the principles of democracy. In the United States, different languages are spoken. For example, the first US president spoke Dutch, since it was his first language. Despite the fact that English has become the main language for communication, Spanish can be widely heard in the streets of some states.
6. Benefit of the doubt
After the release of Netflix TV series, “Making a murderer”, the US justice system has become a center of attention. According to the statistics, one of 25 people sentenced to death is the innocent, so there is something to consider.
5. Rapists have rights
As a research has shown, 97% of offenders in the United States do not spend a single day behind the bars, and the whole world was amazed by this fact. Later it turned out that, in 31 states, rapists have the right of guardianship, if a woman becomes pregnant after being raped. In addition, there is a ban on abortion in some states.
4. The United States secret services
It is unlikely that we will ever find out the truth about what is going on within the walls of the secret services, like the FBI and the CIA. They keep track of everything and everyone. Not surprisingly, in 2008, Nelson Mandela was still listed as a terrorist.
3. Bubonic plague
The spread of bubonic plague in Europe and in other parts of the world was associated with the bites of fleas that live on rats. However, in the US incidents of bubonic plague have become more frequent in the recent years. Fortunately, modern antibiotics help cope with this dangerous disease.
2. Suicide soldiers
In recent years, more and more suicides are reported in the US Army. According to the statistics, in 2012, one suicide was committed every day. Compare it with 176 soldiers who died in military missions! Suicides are committed by recruits and members of sexual minorities.
1. Interracial marriages
Interracial marriages became legal in the USA in 1967, when the Supreme Court made an amendment to the law banning miscegenation. It’s only been 50 years since then, but interracial marriages are still no less shocking than same-sex marriages, which were legalized only in 2015.