1) Some states that didn't fall 'so hard' have it better then the lower, less rich states. So basically, i'd say it depends on what your professions was/is, and how rich you are XD
2) Since people don't really buy things anymore, it's more like the 13 colonies, with how money has different value from state to state. Something that may cost a buck in Vermont, may be 50 cents in Connecticut, etc....
3)Companies are still around and competing. They know they can do anything they weren't allow to do when the gov was around (for example, monopolize an industry)
4) Yep, stores are still around. Just don't expect them to be as clean as they used to be. Food stores....there's likely the risk of cockroaches running past something you pick up. Clothes, expect them to be dirty
5) Very limited reading skills. This is NOT a site where all characters can read like they went to college XD It all depends on if your parents tried to give you some basic schooling, while you were at home
6) Arranged marriages are completely controlled by parents/guardians. If you don't, or your past eighteen and your parents/guardians are dead, then normally an unknown figure pulls the strings. The 'unknown figures' are typically someone in the community you have settled yourself down in. If you are a complete wanderer, someone older you know will typically put your name in for the marriage roulette
7) There is some racism, specism(lol i just made a word =D), etc... There always will be that, especially in the world we thrust our characters into . Times are tough, and thus, people get a little more... feisty towards each other. There's no 'specific' hostility towards each other at the moment, all the races pretty much feel neutral towards each other. Check the Monsterpedia section(click)
for full details on all the species.
8) Since there's no real reliable sense of tax money, buildings will have a tedency to fall down, crumble, get mildew, etc...It's up to the community to decide if they want to bring it back to life or not
9) Think those mega cheap phones you find in wal mart that are hardly reliable XD Phones only work within the state, no long distance. If the phone can text, it's very unreliable that the message will go through, it may be 'lost in cyberspace'
10) As I said with the reading, it'd be incredibly limited. No trig, calc, etc...match courses you find in high school. Basically grade six and below is roughly everyone's math skillage
11) The animals didn't suffer. Not like we had a nuclear factory blow up XD Actually, species have become more stabilized as years went by. Simply because, people are actually beginning to hunt them for food. People don't trust the grocery store anymore (reason? It typically has flies going about it), so they decided to go hunt the population themselves. They use everything like the Indians did. Horns for weapons, fur to keep warm, claws for weapons, the meat for food, perhaps even the organs for food if they're really that hungry, etc...
12) Weather conditions are roughly the same. I typically do some research for the season changes to find the average temperature for the season in New England.
13) Guns are still made, yes, but people are beginning to rely more on 'home made' types of weapons. Steak knifes, lamps (you'd be amazed how useful these things are), pens, scissors, weapons made of animal parts, etc....That, or people try to get their hand on an animal (like a viscous dog) and use that as their means of defense
14) It'd be like the first TVS in the sense that you only get a few channels. No government sponsored channels like PBS or shit of the sort. The only 'news' type of channel that'd be available is community news station. You'd be able to know what happened in connecticut if you lived there....but nothing outside the state. The TV has crappy picture quality, so most people don't bother with getting TVs anymore. They believe it's not worth the money.
I hope I answered your questions well =) feel free to ask more