Where Is Society Failing?

There are some amazing things about our society. Unfortunately, there are also many ways that society is failing to provide for us, its citizens.

Listing the ways that we could be better might sound depressing. But ultimately, the first step to making improvements is to determine what needs to be improved.

With that in mind, what are the ways that our government, our companies, our institutions are letting us down? Where is society failing?

Related questions: What is the greatest problem facing humanity? When is it useful to fail? What is keeping us from sustaining the planet? How can we turn sadness into constructive action?

3 thoughts on “Where Is Society Failing?”

  1. I am a hopeful person. I believe we have the ability to overcome the societal failures listed below:

    – America (most acutely) and the world (generally) operate based on extractive economies. These economies are built on the assumption of constant growth despite the fact that our planet, by definition, is a closed system.
    – One result of the issue raised above is that as we exhaust and lay waste to our planet’s ecosystems, our world is becoming less and less habitable.
    – Income and wealth are concentrated in the hands of the few. Their interests define the objectives of “our” institutions (e.g. political, judicial, educational).
    – Our institutions are seeped in addressing the needs of the already privileged (e.g. white, male, upper-class, Christian, etc.).
    – As a result, our mainstream institutions fail to serve the needs of most of our people.
    – While we know how to meet the needs of our lowest income and most vulnerable members, our system is reliant on having winners and losers.

  2. 1.) Our Congress does not have the ability to know how to manage and spend trillions of dollars wisely.
    2.) Our society does not understand or allow for the wild side of human nature. Or understand wildness, such as how to relate to wild animals or wilderness.
    3.) Current world problems require a higher degree of human cooperation than our society has yet been able to achieve.

  3. Our society is failing to provide the most basic necessities to all its citizens. People are going without food, safe drinking water, shelter, medical care, good education, and equal opportunities to flourish and pursue their dreams.

    Today I had lunch with a friend who doesn’t understand why some young people make terrible choices that ruin their lives. I think he was trying to say that people in general need to take more responsibility for their lives, and not blame the government or society for their misfortune.

    When I think about my own life, I realize how fortunate/ blessed I’ve been. My parents and grandparents, uncles, and aunts were good role models. I never went hungry and grew up in a stable home environment in a small Midwestern city. My parents expected us to go to college, which we all did. I’m a product of the 1950’s and ’60’s, when things were much different. Parents expected that their children would have it better than they did. Now that is changing, and the “American Dream” isn’t possible for many. Like Michael, I’m an optimist, and I also realize the ” good old days” weren’t as good as people think. I was born in 1942 during the height of a World War. My parents grew up during the Great Depression. So I guess we can say things could be much worse now.

    But back to the question at hand, society is failing when we have food insecurity, homeless people, war and threats of war, lack of opportunity in school and the workplace, pollution in our homes, farms, cities, oceans, atmosphere.

    Is the glass half full or half empty? You decide. For me, it’s half full and I’m working to make it more full, one drop at a time.
    ps. If watching the news depresses you, watch Steve Hartman’s “On the Road” on Friday on the CBS evening news.

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