A lot of Americans feel they have lives with failed dreams horrible work life balances and destroyed relationships. Then every where you go everything is negative negative negative and the common American ideals are half assed and superficial.
I'm struggling with all this myself but wouldn't end it. Just thinking out loud. I've met very few people who feel successful and happy about their lives. Is there something to this? Was there a time when this was easier or simpler?
Get rid of neo-liberalism. If you want to let your society move ahead, you need to invest in it, not just letting a few of your community get all the spoils. Invest in infrastructure, education, research etc. Work smarter, not harder, for a better work-life balance. Make your cities more compact, in order to have less traffic and better public transportation. Make sure that one-and-a-half job is enough for a household even low paying jobs.
Be a bit more a socialist country.
The "American Dream" was about social mobility. That social mobility is mostly gone, and the middle class that has lost their status don't have a way back up. As much as I have contempt for "flyover" country I do realize that once they have lost their status, they aren't getting it back. We've become too much of an oligarchy.
I appreciate both of your thoughts in response to my post.
Do you guys think these issues directly correlate to the increased suicide rate?
I think these guys have got it spot on. I have dealt with depression in my life and (for me at least) it was about a feeling of not being in control of my own destiny and the "cure" is to understand where you can control it and where you can't control it and learning to take some risks whilst understanding that it wont be as bad as you think.
My belief is that the suicide rate is going up because rates of depression are going up. Rates of depression are going up because people don't know what makes them happy because they haven't been taught to think about that as they are growing up. During the prosperous years of the 50s through the 80s people were happy almost by accident as the economy improved and they got to become experts in their fields and became more skilled at what they do, they forgot to tell people that this is what made them happy and whilst they were getting happy they were getting prosperous and buying nice stuff, to an outside viewer (their kids) it looked like people were happy when they got more stuff, now when times are hard as there is more competition people think they are failing because they are not becoming more prosperous but don't have the coaching to understand how to be better.
People don't get taught how to look for what makes "them" happy any more.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
This video explains being motivated (very important) better than I ever could.