For many decades, the USA has been the most influential, successful, and hospitable country in the world. It is not propaganda but statistics. The American economy is strong: the economy of particular states can be compared to the economy of sovereign world countries. Experts prove that the USA succeeds in recovery from the economic crisis, as its gross domestic product is one of the highest in the world. The US army and naval forces are the most powerful in the world; they also have the greatest nuclear weapons capability at their disposal after Russia. The country is the founder member of NATO and the member of the United Nations Security Council. Having significant economic, political, military, and cultural influence in the world, the USA is regarded the superpower at present. However, as suggested in America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy by Capitol Reader, America can “no longer dictate its terms to the world”. Nowadays, the country faces many challenges and it is not always able to overcome them. This paper will consider the main challenges and goals that American society will face in the future.
Domestic Policy: Challenges and Goals
Evidently, racial and ethnic diversity will continue to increase in the United States, Hayutin, Dietz, and Mitchell predict that by 2042, the previously called “minority” of the population can become “the majority” of the population. It means that more than half of the population will be Afro-American and non-Hispanic. Moreover, racial and ethnic minorities have certain differences regarding life expectancy, living habits, disease prevalence, income levels, and poverty rates. Thus, some arguments based on racial or ethical difference can provoke conflicts or cause many disturbances.
Although people live healthier and longer nowadays, health remains a primary concern for the population. The death rates as well as disability rates fall; particularly, the decrease can be observed in heart disease and stroke, but the chronic disease prevalence in the population remains high. Many age-related health conditions and diseases affect the quality of life and living arrangements for older people.
In its report, the National Science Foundation states that the satisfaction of “future social needs for manufacturing, communications and transportation require new technological methods for producing food, chemicals, and materials” (Advisory Committee 26) that bring profit and minimize damaging impacts on the environment. These processes need advanced strategies that present technical challenges and, therefore, require fundamental research work to identify new chemical processes and materials.
Other issues to be considered for the future of America are the existence of universal problems as climate change, poverty and inequality as well as the shift in the global power from the West to the East. There is a significant alteration going on at the world stage. The Internet and other high technologies have changed the way we communicate and interact. A big amount of information spreads over the borders, and as a result, people are more informed, they possess more knowledge and, thus become politically active. That is why the role of influential power shifts to the East. It is considered that America has lost its confidence, and that is why such challenges seem difficult to overcome. American leadership is necessary for the world, but “it should be leadership via inspiration, rather than dictation” (Capitol Reader 6). The paradox of the American people consists in their ability to be well educated and, at the same time, amazingly ignorant in the world affairs (Capitol Reader 6).
If these challenges and changes are understood, the decision-makers in business, government, and communities across America will agree on what to do, what policies and practices to meet for American society to develop. The problems are complicated and interrelated, and the modern trends, which are typical for many countries, gain momentum. It is urgent that our government and our communities address these issues and implement effective solutions.
Civil Rights: Challenges and Goals
Despite the fact that America’s immigration system has many benefits, various problems such as “illegal immigration and an unauthorized population of the immigrant” (Hayutin et al. 17) now overwhelm this system. In general, immigration has troubling consequences since the labor of illegal immigrants can cause the decline of labor standards, which will result in the reduction of the possibilities of having a good job for the American-born workers. Hence, the government should pay more attention to the immigration policy and try to strengthen control over the unauthorized immigrants. The government should allow family unification and the arrival of the required foreign workers who can compete in a new economy
One of the crucial goals for improving the living standards of Americans is health care reform. In general, people are satisfied with the quality of health care, but they disapprove of the cost of the health system and the structure of health insurance scheme that lack universal coverage. According to Guerrero, “the US federal government failed to pass the law on comprehensive health coverage” (271), and that is why every state had to elaborate its health reform. Many people do not have insurance at all. Moreover, for some of them, for example, illegal immigrants, the access to it is restricted. As a rule, they do not have insurance and they use the emergency room as a place to receive primary care. Health care problem is an important issue to discuss in Congress and at the White House. The latest federal health care laws include the Medicare reform, the Patient’s Bill of Rights, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Another thing that should bother every American is the drug problem, which is typical not only to the USA but also to the entire world. Guerrero suggests that alcohol is the most popular drug today, but then come other “abused drugs like marijuana, nicotine, cocaine, and methamphetamine” (339). That is why the government should be preoccupied with the preventative measures that may reduce substance abuse. The ban or restriction of drugs is less efficient than the policy of discouraging and deglamorizing of substance use. It is better to educate young people than to conduct drug testing in schools and universities. The younger generation should be aware of the negative outcomes connected with drugs.
Nowadays, sexual minorities, especially those who are married deserve to have the same rights as straight people do. The government is ready to confirm that all same-sex marriages are lawful, and that means that such couples will be eligible to receive Social Security regardless of where they live. Now, being in a legal marriage, the same-sex couples have the access to the Social Security benefits that are unavailable under the Federal law. Thus, a same-sex pair that marries in the state where this type of marriage is lawful and then visits another state where it is not, the protection provided by the Social Security Act to families is unavailable. Therefore, such couples should demand the fulfillment of their rights; otherwise, they will not have access to their benefits.
Another important point concerns a retirement savings plan at work, which 78 million Americans do not have. Most people live without planning their retirement and they are not interested in contribution for the future. The USA has to encourage families to save some money for the future and give them better chances to retire securely.
Foreign Policy: Challenges and Goals
Nowadays, the world witnesses the aggressive actions of Russia towards its neighboring countries. To stop the Russian aggression and attempts to limit the foreign and domestic policy choices of other nations, the USA should offer political, economic, and military support to its NATO allies and partner states in Europe. It is known that the USA has provided financial assistance to the governments and economies suffering from the Russian pressure.
The USA can help to strengthen the military forces of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia so that the countries could withstand the Russian aggressive acts. Relying on the document Investing in America’s Future, one can see that the United States assistance will contribute to democracy and good management, “increase the power of security forces, strengthen the rule of law and anti-corruption measures, and encourage European Union integration, trade, and energy security” (The White House 46). The other aggressive entity such as ISIL is perceived as a real threat to the global peace. The USA tries to defeat ISIL by supporting security and authority of regional partners, by bringing stability and promoting the conditions for negotiation, which can put an end to the conflict in Syria. In the document Investing in America’s Future, ISIL is considered an immediate threat to “Iraq, Syria, and American allies and partners throughout the region” (The White House 46). ISIL strives to overthrow governments, gain control over territories, terrify the local population, and launch an attack on the United States. The present-day conflict can threaten the stability of the Middle East, which can cause a massive wave of immigration to various countries of the world. The financing may be largely aimed at military operations, diplomacy, and humanitarian and security assistance projects to fight these problems.
Summing up, I hope that the USA is powerful enough to solve the existing domestic problems and maintain an influential country image. I think that being an obedient citizen of America, working hard, paying taxes, and providing my future children with a good education will contribute to the striving of our country. The USA is an exceptional country as it appreciates such notions as human rights and human dignity. If we continue our policy, then there is a chance that the world will help us to combat similar challenges. I believe that in future, the USA will remain a prosperous superpower with the leading economy, stable policy, and intelligent and patriotic citizens.