The difference between other so called 'civilized' cultures (matter of opinion) and America is: We as rugged individuals expect others to be a bit 'tougher' than some of you cultural folks... and as such a 'weak' person ends up being taken advantage of. When one is in Rome, one plays by Roman rules...
I see no need for improvement... especially if that so called improvement includes more govt intervention into my life. Remember the USA was formed by folks who did NOT want govt intervention into citizens lives... it is the lack of understanding on the part of citizens that allowed the amount we have now.
Manipulation of data goes both ways... this is why one has to research a whale load of data to find trends. Simply citing one or two facts does not define a social trend.
As long as there are folks alive who wish to discuss... there will be discussions... Some casual and some heated... depending on how passionate folks are about their beliefs.