Society isn’t perfect. It’s made up of flawed humans, hopefully doing their best given their circumstances. We do our best to enact fair laws, justice systems, rules, and helpful programs, but since humans are imperfect, our systems will also be imperfect.
However, sometimes we are way off. There are a few things we get shockingly wrong, and many of us just throw our hands up, shrugging, “well, that’s the way it is.”
While scrolling through the popular Reddit community, R/askreddit, I stumbled upon a thread asking users to share their opinions on the top horrible things society accepts.
Rich People Above the Law
Far too many rich and powerful people get away with awful behavior and even crime because of their wealth or status.
The US is supposed to have equal justice for all, but in practice, it doesn’t work that way.
Redditors gave numerous examples of instances where wealth or status helped someone escape the consequences of their actions. Brock Turner, convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, was given a break because the judge didn’t want to hurt his prospects.
Ethan Couch killed four people while driving but was let off the hook because he was “too rich to understand.”
Related: Common Scams Accepted by Society
Disabled People in Poverty
The US system depends on workers contributing to the economy, so those who can’t work are pushed to the side and often end up in poverty.
Redditors pointed out the flaws in how we treat the disabled, from the pitifully low disability benefits that don’t pay enough to live to the fact that disabled people lose even that if they get married.
Others mentioned how companies can pay disabled employees less than minimum wage and how society pushed severely disabled people into care facilities, pretending they don’t exist.
For Profit Healthcare
America’s healthcare system is a disaster, making every list of horrible things about society.
“Too often, those in need of medical care are forced to make a decision between their health and financial security,” stated one user.
Many said the healthcare system is excellent. We have spectacular dollars and top-of-the-line technology. However, the profit-driven insurance industry sucks money away from healthcare professionals and those needing care.
Cutting the middle man out of healthcare would significantly reduce outcomes and decrease the cost for everyone involved.
Read Next: The Awful State of American Sick Leave Policies
Child Beauty Pageants
Parents dress their little girls up like adults, load their faces with make-up, and parade them around a stage showcasing their looks.
This gross spectacle sexualizes young kids and gives them a false impression that their worth is based solely on their physical appearance.
Redditors commonly complain about child beauty pageants, but they are a popular pastime among some of the population.
The outrageous expense of laying a loved one to rest has some Redditors up in arms. The industry preys on people overcome with grief, implying that they didn’t love the deceased if they didn’t go all out on a coffin and burial.
Even cheaper options like cremation can still get costly.
“Had to cremate my mother recently,” said one user. “While it was cheaper, I was looking at a range of prices from a basic, no-frills cremation to a funeral with all the bells and whistles, and yeah. The prices are truly egregious!”
Horrible Prison Conditions
Society seems to think that imprisoned people deserve anything that happens to them, up to and including sexual assault.
We joke about the atrocities in prisons, never stopping to consider that we should try to rehabilitate people rather than traumatize them further.
“It’s especially abhorrent when it is perpetrated by prison staff, as this is an abuse of power and trust. It’s a tragedy that this type of violence is so widely accepted when it should be vigorously combatted,” said one Redditor.
The Nine to Five
The nine-to-five lifestyle is outdated, but society hasn’t kept up.
“You’re supposed to get up, go to work, work, go home, have a few hours of your own time, then you have to sleep and start over again for 5 days in a row? Tell me that is not super depressing. I hate it so much,” exclaimed one user.
The nine-to-five worked during the Industrial Revolution and was far superior to the 18-hour workday people were forced into before. However, with technological advances, we need to look past outdated systems and find ways to give people more balance.
See Next: America’s Toxic Work Culture Needs Reworking
Profit Above All
Our capitalistic system worships profits at the expense of all else. Workers and consumers both suffer to make room for further gains.
“Publicly traded stocks give shareholders leverage over the board of directors/CEO, the punishment for “not seeking maximum profit regardless of all other factors” is being fired and replaced by someone who will ruthlessly seek profit,” one user explained, pointing out why the system is the way it is.
It will take a cultural shift to change our profit-driven society. We need to want to prioritize people, families, and wellness over profit, but at the moment, that doesn’t seem high on our list.
Low Skill – No Living Wage
The minimum wage isn’t a living wage in most states. Society seems to think that people working these essential, low-skill jobs don’t deserve a living wage.
We need clerks, line cooks, janitors, busboys, retail workers, hotel maids, and all the other low-skill, low-wage positions. They’re vital to society’s proper functioning.
“It’s a travesty that so many people are working long hours in these jobs, yet they still don’t have enough to make ends meet,” said one user.
Far too many people say, “well, get a better job,” but who would do these menial tasks if everyone in them got a better job? Society would cease to function.
We must acknowledge how much we need these workers and pay them enough to live.
Also See: 10 Things that are Far More Expensive than they Should Be!
Opinion vs. Truth
Our society values individualism to such an extent that we give uninformed opinions just as much weight as scientific results.
In addition, we take what we hear from family, friends, and even social media as absolute truth without checking sources or verifying the facts.
“Too often, people are more likely to believe in something just because their friends or family say it’s true. We have to be conscious of the sources from which we get our information before accepting what someone else tells us as fact,” stated one user.
Society accepts this and gives weight to everyone’s uninformed opinion. As a result, the real truth gets buried under a sea of conjecture and misleading information, making it virtually impossible to determine what’s real and what’s not.
What Else Does Society Get Wrong?
Society is filled with people, so of course, it’s flawed and will get things wrong occasionally. Do you agree with Redditors that the items listed here need work, or do you think society got them right?
What do you think society gets wrong?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.