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The Big Three Issues Facing America

As we now enter the latter half of February, many Americans continue to face great obstacles and issues in our local communities, states, and nation. With the midterm election over and the 118th congress has been sworn in, there have been talks about the main issues Americans want to get fixed the most. 


When looking at the long list of issues this country faces, there are a variety of topics popping up that Americans believe are the most important issue. To get a more in-depth look, looking across multiple different polls from credible sites will show a pattern of specific topics having the most priority among the majority. The three polls that will be shown are Gallup, Pew Research, and YouGov. 


Across these different surveys and polls, the top three issues that have appeared across the board are government/leadership, economy/inflation, and healthcare costs.


Looking at Gallup first, it lists the government as the current top issue with 21% of Americans choosing this topic out of a list of issues with the nearest being inflation at 15% and immigration at 11%. 


Gallup also presents a table comparing what Republicans say are the biggest issues facing America and what Democrats say are the biggest issues. Across both political parties, both agree with 24% of Republicans and 18% of Democrats choosing the government as the biggest issue this country is dealing with. Both also showed inflation as the second top problem with 18% of Republicans and 11% of Democrats voting for it.


As for the reason behind this trend, Forbes wrote that due to the recent controversies and issues that sprung up like the 15 votes that took place just to get a new house speaker elected, revelations of Rep. George Santos fabricated most of his resume, and multiple known political figures having classified documents in their own homes and past offices, have all created a bad image of the government.


With the government ranked as a big issue, combating this issue is not easy. One simple way is done every 2-4 years when elections occur to help deal with this big issue by electing new leaders to push out those who are viewed by the American public as ineffective or bad. However, other ways can be taken to help solve this problem.


If one wants to become a leader, then training how to become a great and effective leader is a good starting point toward bringing good changes to your local community, state, and country. 


One example is the nonprofit organization Partnership for Public Service which helps train those who are interested in being part of the government through internships and programs to help grow new leaders for future generations.


In the next poll, Pew Research has the economy as the top issue based on what actions Americans want which showed 75% of participants wanted to strengthen the economy. Two other policies, reducing healthcare costs and defending against terrorism both tied for second with 60% picking that as the top priority that the president and government should tackle this year.


A different graph presents the percentage of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents wanting the policy of strengthening the economy to be ranked highest in priority. Those on the right increased to 84% compared to 82% from last year, the left went up 5% from 63% in 2022 to 68% in 2023, and those in the middle had increased up to 75%.


The factors behind this majority of opinions have been inflation and high prices. World Economic Forum published an article pointing out what items across foods, energy, and other categories have increased or decreased in prices. 


“Inflation has caused the cost of many goods to increase significantly compared to last year. The most dramatically affected item is elementary school lunches, a cost in the U.S. that is already unaffordable for many families.”


Combating this economic issue has been in the works since early 2022 according to an article by the U.S. Bank Wealth Management. Currently, the Federal Reserve has been slowly increasing interest rates since last March to help slow down economic growth for prices of goods and services to plateau instead of rising.


This works as CNBC News reported that higher interest rates help reduce demand for items which leads to companies hiring less or laying off workers. This leads to a decrease in the pressure of prices increasing, possibly resulting in prices going back down to meet the current demand. 


“In other words, when the Fed increases interest rates, it reduces demand for goods and services, which could result in companies hiring less or laying off their workers and potentially lead to a much-feared recession.”


While it can potentially lead to a recession, it remains a viable plan to deal with inflation and high prices.


The last poll, YouGov also lists inflation as the most important issue facing the U.S. Under 20% of Americans view it as being the most priority of problems. In the second place, the graph also shows healthcare as ranked second with 14% of Americans choosing it as the most pressing issue. 


Focusing on the second-ranked issue for both YouGov and Pew Research, healthcare and the cost of it has been due to the trend of population aging and several other factors according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.


“There are many possible reasons for that increase in healthcare prices: The introduction of new, innovative healthcare technology can lead to better, more expensive procedures and products. The complexity of the U.S. healthcare system can lead to administrative waste in the insurance and provider payment systems. The consolidation of hospitals can lead to a lack of competition or even a monopoly, granting providers the opportunity to increase prices.”


How this problem is being addressed varies. Organizations like United Healthcare, provide lower-cost options to help reduce the amount of spending patients spend. These examples include advising patients to go to stand-alone imaging centers instead of overpacked hospital departments, promoting services at free-standing facilities, and directing surgeries to cost-efficient sites.


One other way has been the passing of last year’s bill The Inflation Reduction Act which was passed through congress and included cutting Medicare drug costs for the next ten years and lowering Affordable Care Act premiums for the next three years according to the Association of American Medical Colleges


While other solutions have been thought up and implemented, these problems currently remain as some of the top issues facing the U.S. until either new issues arise in priority or are given some fixes to help lower these affairs’ impact on American lives.

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