Countdown to 2016, prediction #4: The American Dream in the Crosshairs

bleak mayhem

 

This is #4 of my top 5 predictions for 2016. The prediction posts started December 27th and will be wrapping up on December 31st. #5DaysOfTrends

I’m on the fence about whether things are actually more dire than in the past OR if it’s our access to a 24/7 news cycle that has kept the mood so downbeat. However, if you’re a news junkie like me, who’s also addicted to twitter, the world can frequently seem to be spiraling out of control.  But whatever the case, there definitely appears to be more craziness, mayhem and violence in the world.

Politically, the tone is so shrill and disrespectful, it makes you wonder who in their right mind would actually want to run for office. And with three-fourths of Americans unhappy with the way the US is governed, something is definitely amiss.  Additionally, nearly 6 in 10 Americans currently feel that the “American Dream” is unattainable and that their children will be worse off than they were.

That said, people are definitely more engaged politically and that’s a positive I guess….

 

So, as we head into the 2016 election season, we have huge issues that need to be addressed. Read on below for the 3 that are most important to me:

1. Socio-political issues: ISIS and home-grown ISIS-sympathizers, mass shootings, gun control, race issues (#BLM), policing, crime and prison reform, homelessness, drugs, income inequality, and of course, the inability of our two political parties to work together on anything!  Note: Mark Suster recently recommended an essay by David Frum that I found very insightful (especially from my perspective as a non-American). Per Suster: If you want a thoughtful essay on “what is really happening in American politics” this is the article for you. It’s a fascinating read and in my mind the first that has truly captured the complexity of our demographic shifts in voting.  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/the-great-republican-revolt/419118/

2. Our crumbling infrastructure: where do I even start?? Arriving at any airport in New York feels like you’ve landed in a third world country. Roads, bridges, railroad tracks, subway systems are all in dismal shape as are most schools. As a bicyclist in NYC, I have never – in over 20 years – seen our roads in such disrepair.

3. America falling behind: Besides infrastructure, we’re also way behind other countries when it comes to our education system (especially in math and sciences), worker skills for new machinery and processes (e.g. almost 5 million jobs stand empty because employers can’t find skilled people to fill them), internet access/speed, and for a supposedly rich country, our homeless encampments and poverty rate are an embarrassment.

 

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