10 examples of social problems in the US (2023)

With over 329 million people living in its 50 states, the United States has many social problems. The American political system and culture is also very influential globally, so what happens there affects people all over the world. What issues should everyone keep an eye on? Here are ten examples:

#1. student debt

In a 2022 article,Forbeslists shocking statistics on student loan debt in the United States. Total student debt is $1.75 trillion in federal and private loans. On average, each borrower owes nearly $29,000. About 92% of all student debt comes from federal student loans. This is important because the growth rate of student loan debt is outpacing the increase in tuition by353,8%. Federal aid measures are not enough. In 2020, collective student debt rose by more than 8%. Many are unable to pay their loans. When borrowers fall behind, their credit scores suffer, making other forms of debt relief impossible. Without additional lines of credit, people continue to go into debt. Why is this happening? Rising tuition costs are a clear cause, butcuts in state funding for higher educationand stagnant wages are also to blame. Debt write-offs would make a huge difference right away, but tuition costs, cutbacks and wages also need to be addressed.

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#two. wage inequality

An analysis ofInstitute of Economic Policyfound that between 1979 and 2020, the wages of the richest 1.0% increased by 179.3%. The richest 0.1% saw even greater growth: 389.1%. For the poorest 90%, wages grew by a paltry 28.2%. Inequality has worsened. In 2020, the poorest 90% received 60.2% of all wages, which is the lowest proportion since data tracking began in 1937. In 2021, the richest 10% of Americans had 70% ofall american wealth. The gap between the CEO salary and the typical worker salary also demonstrates stark inequality. Between 1978 and 2018, the CEO's salary increased by more than 900%, while the typical worker only saw an increase of 11.9%. The old adage "the rich keep getting rich" rings true in America.

#3. Health care

A functional and affordable healthcare system remains elusive in the United States. according to aKFF analysis of government data, about 1 in 10 adults has medical debt. 3 million people owe more than $10,000. Black adults, people with disabilities, and people with health conditions are more likely to have significant medical debt. Overall, Americans owe hundreds of billions of dollars. COVID-19 has also exposed many cracks in the healthcare system. FORarticle 2021He listed barriers to accessing healthcare, price and cost, inequality, marginalization of public healthcare and quality issues as the oldest systemic problems compounded by the pandemic. The US system was simply not equipped to handle the pandemic well. To deal with future pandemics and the daily health and well-being of people within its borders, the US health care system needs an overhaul.

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#4. Accommodation

In most places in the United States, affordable housing is very difficult to find. According toresearch bank, 49% of Americans said finding affordable housing in their community was a "major issue" in 2021. That's up 10 percentage points from early 2019. Stagnant wages are deeply related to housing concerns. according to a2021 reportof the National Coalition on Low-Income Housing, no worker in any state could afford a rented two-bedroom home with wages earned for a standard 40-hour work week. In New York, people would have to work 94 hours a week at the state wage of $12.50 an hour to pay rent for a room. In California, there is a minimum wage of $14.00 per hour, which allows you to rent a 1-bedroom apartment with an 89-hour workweek. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment in Texas at a wage of $7.25/hour requires a 100-hour work week. Issues such as stagnant wages, debt and skyrocketing prices also make home ownership a distant dream for many, especially millennials. According toList of apartments, 18% of millennial tenants plan to rent forever due to accessibility issues with the property.

#5. right to vote

Because of its effect on every other issue, the attack on voting rights is possibly the most worrisome problem in the United States. HeBrennan Justice Centertracks restrictions and between January 1 and December 7, 2021, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to vote. Republicans have always wanted stricter election laws, but after the Big Lie that Joe Biden stole the presidential election, they have stepped up their attacks. centerkept following the laws, finding that, as of May 4, 2022, at least 34 bills with restrictive provisions are pending in 11 state legislatures. During the entire 2022 legislative session, 39 states will consider nearly 400 restrictive voting bills. Restrictions include limiting mail-in voting, restricting Sunday voting, enacting new or stricter voter ID laws, and more. These laws not only restrict voter access, but also encourage lies about the integrity of the election and undermine voter confidence in the results.

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#6. reproductive rights

After decades of work by conservative politicians and activists, the Supreme Court is about to strike down Roe v. Wade, the case that established abortion as a constitutional right.politicalbroke the story in May, when they received a draft majority opinion written by Judge Samuel Alito. The report was soon confirmed to be authentic, sparking protests and outrage. When the official decision comes, reproductive rights in the US will be immediately undermined. 13 states already have "trigger" laws on the books, which means that once Roe is repealed, abortion will become illegal in those states with little to no exceptions. States have already restricted abortion rights in deceptive ways, such as enforcing prohibitions with civil actions rather than criminal prosecutions. Oklahoma recently established theStricter ban on abortion, including a bill making abortion a crime, punishable by up to a decade in prison, with no exceptions for incest or rape. With Roe's reversal, attacks on contraception would also be easier. InThe Guardian,the co-director of the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University is quoted: "After making the best-known decision in this category of cases, all other cases are now available."

#7. Prohibition of books in schools.

In recent months, education advocates, librarians, teachers and others have watched in horror as book bans increase across the country. For your first formal count of banned books,ballpoint pen americacollected more than 1,500 individual book cases banned over the course of nine months. The bans occurred in 26 states in 86 school districts. This represents nearly 3,000 schools serving more than 2 million students. Books have always been contested in school libraries, but 41% of bans listed in the PEN Index found links to state officials or elected legislators. PEN describes this as an "unprecedented change". The challenged books mainly involve sex education, LGBTQ+ identities, and the teaching of race and racism. conservative groups likemothers for freedomthey often use "parental rights" to justify banning books. Could the bans extend beyond school libraries? A Virginia legislatorsued Barnes & Nobleintended to prevent the bookstore from selling two allegedly obscene books to minors without parental consent. This is a relatively new wave of book bans, but it is currently one of the most pressing social issues in the US.

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#8. LGBTQ+ rights

In 2022, the rhetoric directed at the LGBTQ+ community and its allies has intensified. Conservative media pundits and politicians began using the term "barber", a retrospective attack accusing gay and trans people of taking advantage of children and "recruiting" them.NPRnames Christopher Rufo, the conservative activist also responsible for the crusade against critical racial theory, as one of the first and foremost promoters of this tactic. Tucker Carlson, who hosts the nation's leading cable news program, also accused teachers of "preparing" students when they talk about gender and sexual identities. The attacks went beyond rhetoric and infiltrated the law. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill is the most prominent, but in the first 3 months of 2022,238 anti-LGBTQ+ accounts(mainly aimed at transgender people) were held across the country. Groups opposed to gay rights alsomillion raisedin support of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. This level of hostility is extremely concerning and suggests a retrograde trajectory for LGBTQ+ rights.

#9. climate justice

Scientists and activists have warned about climate change for decades, but little has been done. The United States is beginning to see the most severe effects of climate change. In 2021, three severe winter storms swept across the United States, causing the worst power infrastructure failure in Texas state history. There were shortages of energy, water and food. In a final report, the State Department of Health Servicesidentified 246 deathsalthough the death toll could be higher.A studysuggested that warming in the Arctic triggered by climate change could be responsible for the storms, as warming increases polar vortex surges. Warm air weakens the polar vortices, they stretch and move south, causing the type of storms seen in Texas. Climate change also prolongs wildfire seasons and worsens heat waves, such asJune 2021in the Pacific Northwest that killed hundreds. "Unusual" events like this will only become more common, so action is essential.

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#10. Racism

Racism has been a social problem in the United States for hundreds of years. In the summer of 2020, the country saw the largest civil rights protest movement since the 1960s. Not surprisingly, there was a backlash to the progress sought by anti-racist activists. Book bans, which we discussed above, are a common attack, as the bans are aimed at educating children and their understanding of race and racism in the United States. Racism also takes the form of blatant violence. In May, an 18-year-old killed 10 people in a planned attack on black people. His "manifesto" explained his motives, which included the Grand Replacement Theory, an ideology that claims white people are being replaced. according to aPesquisa do Southern Poverty Law Center, about 7 in 10 Republicans believe, to some extent, that liberal politicians are trying to gain power by "replacing more conservative white voters". This does not mean that 7 out of 10 Republicans will commit an act of violence, but it shows how racist ideologies prevail.

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