The 21st century is not yet the reaml of historians, but still current events. Americans face quite a range of serious issues in the early 21st century, but there is not yet any emerging consensus on how to deal with the problems. Americans who had thought that with the end of the Cold War that they could again withdraw into a new isolationists were rudely shocked by the Islamic terrorist 9-11 Attack on the World Trade Center. Americans disagree as to the extent and character of the threat and how to address it. Americans also disagree as to dangers posed by Global Warming and how to deal with it. The domestic debate has focused on income debate and immigration.
Americans who had thought that with the end of the Cold War that they could again withdraw into a new isolationists were rudely shocked by the Islamic terrorist 9-11 Attack on the World Trade Center. Americans disagree as to the extent and character of the threat and how to address it.
Americans also disagree as to dangers posed by Global Warming and how to deal with it.
One of the most serious problems facing Americans is an expanding income gap between rixh and poor. This is aproblem Republicans have generally declined to even admit exists. When challenged with the statistics, Republicanns will attempt to deflect the discussion by raising other indicators such as hime ownership which shows more favorable trends. The Democrats are much more interested in addressing this problem which is very real and growing. There was a fairly eqalitarian period during the 1950s and 60s, but sinces the 1970s, overall income growth has slowed. These statistics are uncontestable. The more valid question is what has caused the income gap and how to address it. The Democrats focus on tax policy as a major cause of the gap and want to more aggressively use taxes to address the gap. One study shows that since 1948 that there has been significant differences in income growth by economic level during Democratic and Republican presidents. [Barttels] While this is statistically true, the analysis avoids a lot of political factors that need to be taken into account, such as the fact that until 1994, the Democrats generally controlled Congress. Of course there are a range of other issues which need to be taken into account, such as globelization, social trends, education, job requirements, immigration, and other factors. While the Republicans tend to avoid the problems, the Democrats tend to take a very ideological approach to the problem. They generally avoid statidtical evidence that shows a substantial part of the problem is correlated with personal choices such as drug usage and having babies out of wedlock. The Democrats also do not want to discuss the impact of large numbers of poorly educated illegal immigrants on the wages levels of low-income Americans. These are important points because unless we understand why the income gap exists it is not possible to develop effective policies to address it.
Bartels, Larry M. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age (Princeton University, 2008), 325p.
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