1) Lack Of Personal Responsibility: As a society, we encourage a "victimhood mentality" and an overweening government that never met an issue it didn't want to dive into with both feet; so we shouldn't be surprised that so many Americans expect to be rewarded for failure.
If GM fails, we've got to step in and keep it afloat. If people snuck into this country illegally, we can't be so hardhearted as to obey the law and deport them! If you bought a house you couldn't afford, you shouldn't be penalized for that when the market takes a bad turn. If you bought a blender, tried to start it in your bathtub, and were nearly electrocuted -- that's not your fault! The manufacturers should have put a warning sticker on it.
We're descended from pioneer stock. Our ancestors explored, conquered, and tamed a continent. They couldn't rely on the police to show up if an Indian raiding party showed up at their isolated cabin at 3 AM. There was no school lunch program on the Oregon Trail. If your buggy whip company was going out of business because of those new fangled auto-mo-biles, you didn't get 20 billion dollars in taxpayer money so you could open up a new branch in China, you went out of business. If our ancestors were alive, they would sneer in disdain at what a nation full of whining babies their descendants have become.
2) Short Attention Spans: Perhaps because of the internet, the stunning variety of news sources, or the complexity of modern society, we've become much less able as a people to follow logical arguments and deal with complex messages.
This has bled over into Congress where they write legislation dealing with issues they don't truly understand. That legislation is voted on by legislators who admit that they haven’t read it and it affects the lives of millions of people who were unaware that such legislation was even being contemplated.
The problem with this is that there are many issues in life that are too knotty to be broken down into a soundbite or a 30 second commercial. Those affairs require more extensive knowledge and deeper thought and consideration than can be placed on a bumper sticker or weaved into a music video. When we lose sight of that fact, utter disasters that have been in plain sight all along for anyone with an attention span longer than five minutes can blindside much of the population.