the way of life you're talking about, the american way of life, has been brought on by the citizens of that country.. the government has simply capitalized on it, they really can't just change it all of a sudden.. it would completely throw off the natural flow of the economy.
in response to your claim that any person who doesn't accel at a sport will be stuck in a job they get no satisfaction from, what about people that go to work everyday, knowing that the job they do will change peoples lives... i definitely wouldn't consider that mind numbing. i too am quite a cynical person, but to believe that life ends after high school is a very ignorant (and close minded) statement. sure, you don't see as many of your old friends as u would like, but when people return home from school, the times u have with them are that much more memorable.. and u will find that people mature, and u can enjoy very trivial things.. plus when you go on to do whatever it is u do after high school, there are an infinite number of people you will meet, and become friends with. suicide is a permanent solution to very temporary problems.. but hey, you don't have to take my word for it! (lavar burton).