Everything is tuned to encourage defectors and discourage cooperators.
America is anti-intellectual. They believe spending mental effort on things is a vice. America is commie-level egalitarian, which means that if one person was brilliant (Einstein) everyone is brilliant. That's why nobody should think hard about anything: it's already obvious, see?
Since everyone is but a temporarily embarrassed genius, nobody asks for help when they're cognitively overwhelmed, which advantages those who get cognitively overwhelmed less. Nobody gets help, but the latter don't need it.
Chamley-Judd Redistribution Impossibility Theorem: attempting to redistribute from the rich to the poor makes the poor poorer and the rich still rich. They attempt it because they want to advantage the already-advantaged. Egalitarians are seriously evil.
Because egalitarianism, they feel status anxiety. Because egalitarianism, they can't show off to cement their higher status. (They'll be called a showoff, and go down instead of up.) They're left with only bullying those weaker until they're so disadvantaged it's impossible to deny the gulf between rich and poor. It has to be...get this...already obvious. It has to be that nobody has to say anything.
(Until the Final Communism, there's always your marks at school. You can always quietly smirk at anyone who wasn't a straight-A student, right? At people like me, who was a sufficiently-solid B. That's egalitarianism for you. The bullying is important enough to maintain the unprincipled exception.)
If anyone does spend mental effort gaining a skill, it helps them hide it. "I'm just a regular bloke like you." "Yes, that is indeed what we're all supposed to think. I do what I'm supposed to do because I'm a good boy/girl!" Land of the free, everybody. The superior can then use this advantage to beat/scam everyone else, and the victims aren't allowed to even think about defending themselves, because it would mean deprecating the catechism.
Used to be that dumb, simple folk would seriously distrust any good speaker, for exactly the same kind of reason a short weedy guy has to be wary about the 6'6'' slab of muscle. (Talking probably 80+ years ago now.) They would refuse to even listen to you at all - literally holding their ears and singing - unless you were vouched by someone they trusted a great deal. They don't do that anymore: you can trick them at will, and they're not even allowed to blame you. They're the ones committing heresy. They're being evidence against egalitarianism.
On the flip side, if you spent mental effort gaining a skill and want to a) use it for others or b) teach them to have it too, you're shit out of luck. "I have something to contribute." "haha lol no u dn't" The American instantly dies to envy: they would rather you pretend to be an moron like them than benefit from being friends with you.
All things can be perverted. Anything man can make, man can unmake. There are some skills that have to be perverted to do evil, and America all but bans these skills. You can't tell anyone you have them, and they're way too expensive to apply. If you're going to learn a skill anyway, why not learn one of the scamming skills directly instead of twisting a puzzle-solving skill into somehow tricking folk?
Do you have deep insight into the problems men cause themselves? That's great: you can use it to cause more of them. Ideally without being blamed, because nobody else understands the relationship between cause and effect. You can see those problems coming so you can tell which scams they're particularly prone to falling for. America #1! In a sense!
Unprincipled exceptions aside, the only purely creative skills Americans allow are ones that look effortless, such as the ones done alone. E.g. you're allowed to be a good video editor, because they see the final video, not the editing process. Can't watch you working hard and get jealous. Everyone can pretend they're as good at editing as you are. "I'm just a regular bloke."
Sometimes folk worry about "assortive" mating in America. Something something meritocracy. It's not that. It's because you're not allowed to show any skill that someone in the room lacks. The result being to discourage friendships with anyone even slightly different, including slightly different cognitively. The more-skilled person sees no benefit in the relationship, they just have to painstakingly hide their skills all the time. They say "diversity is our strength" because they cling so hard to uniform conformity. They hate uniforms because it draws your attention to how they're all behaving identically (and thus all redundant beyond the first).
As long as everyone in the room can do everything you can do, you can pretend that everyone in the country can do everything you can do. "Oh yeah, solving partial differential equations isn't that bad. Step 32, start taking..." Nobody is committing any heresy against egalitarianism, especially not yourself. Everyone is Awesome (except Racists of course).