With its immense size and global influence, the United States is home to many social issues affecting not only those living within its 50 states but also individuals worldwide. From inequality to climate change, there are a variety of important topics everyone should be paying attention to for us all – both domestically and internationally -to move forward together. Here are some key examples of these pressing matters:
In the U.S., student loan debt is a major burden, with over $1.75 trillion in federal and private loans owed by borrowers on average of almost $29,000 each. This matters as tuition costs are rising at an alarming rate that outpaces relief measures put into place – resulting in collective debt growing 8% or more each year – making it harder to pay back existing debts while preventing access to other forms of credit needed for recovery from this crisis. The root cause lies in increasing tuition and cuts in state funding coupled with stagnant wages, which make repayment nearly impossible for many individuals drowning under heavy financial strain due to their student loans.
The stark inequality between the wealthy and everyone else in America has been growing for decades. A recent analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute showed that from 1979-2020, wages of those in the top 1% increased 179%, while those in the bottom 90th percentile saw a meager 28%. This trend is further highlighted in CEO pay compared to typical worker earnings; CEOs have seen an increase of 900%, whereas employees only experienced 11.9% growth over 40 years! Wealth continues to concentrate among fewer people – today, 10% own 70% of all U.S. assets. The old adage “the rich keep getting richer” couldn’t be more true than it is now!
Despite the United States’ long-standing efforts to establish a functional and affordable healthcare system, many people still struggle with medical debt. Black adults, those living with disabilities or in poor health, have been especially hard hit – collectively owing hundreds of billions of dollars due to rising costs and inequitable access. COVID-19 has further exposed existing cracks within our nation’s healthcare infrastructure, making it clear that an overhaul is necessary if we are going to be adequately prepared for future pandemics and everyday wellness needs. The long-standing systemic issues of healthcare access, price, and cost, inequity, marginalization of public health, and quality must be addressed.
Affordable housing in the United States is becoming increasingly dire due to stagnant wages, debt, and rising prices. As a result, many Americans have found it difficult to find an adequate home that fits their budget. This has been particularly challenging for millennials who are unable or unwilling to buy property; 18% plan on renting indefinitely because they cannot afford ownership costs. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2021 report revealed that no worker could make enough from 40 hours per week at minimum wage to rent even one-bedroom apartments across America – with New Yorkers needing 94 hours of work weekly just for a single room!
The attack on voting rights in the United States has become a major concern, with Republicans intensifying their efforts to pass restrictive laws that limit access. The Brennan Center for Justice tracked 34 such bills passed between January and December 2021, while 39 states are considering almost 400 different restrictive proposals – from limiting mail-in ballots and Sunday voting hours to imposing new voter I.D. requirements – at the risk of eroding trust in election results. With such drastic measures in place, it is no wonder that the issue of voting rights has become one of the country’s most important issues.
After decades of efforts by conservative politicians and advocates, the Supreme Court is on the brink of overturning Roe v. Wade which established abortion as a Constitutional right in America – sparking protests across cities. As soon as it takes effect, 13 states will instantly have illegalized abortions with no exceptions for incest or rape; Oklahoma is one among them that has enacted an extreme ban punishing anyone performing such an action up to ten years imprisonment. Additionally, this reversal would enable further attacks against contraception access around the U.S., too- thus putting other crucial cases at risk, according to The Guardian’s faculty co-director from Northeastern University Center for Health Policy & Law who says “every single other case is now open.” Many adopt an individualist attitude when it comes to our bodies and our sexuality. This attitude maintains that if someone wants to hookup on asian sex dating sites or seek long term relationships on Christian mingles or whatever their personal romantic/sexual pursuits may be, the government should stay out of it.
Racism has been a pervasive issue in the United States for centuries, and its effects were felt deeply during the 2020’s summer of civil rights protests. In response to this progress toward anti-racist action, attempts have been made to limit access to education about racism through book bans. Additionally, violence is used as another form of racism – such as an 18-year-old who killed 10 people in May due to their race-based on the Great Replacement Theory, which claims White people are being replaced by liberal politicians seeking power; unfortunately, this theory still holds firm with 70% of Republicans believing it somewhat true according to survey results from Southern Poverty Law Center.