What America needs from the next president is a willingness to address a series of existential crises that threaten our nation’s future.
Unfortunately, President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) and most of the Democratic presidential challengers are doing their best to ignore these crises. Notably, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) spent the last presidential debate sparring about 1970s busing policy and dead US Senators’ reputations.
Okay, the debates are meaningless political theater that most Americans wisely ignore. However, the choice of debate topics shows how out of touch our so-called ruling class really is.
“I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.” – Otto von Bismarck German statesman; source Brainyquote.
Crises the Next President will have to address
There are several crises, the next President; or a reelected Trump, will not be able to ignore. These crises include:
The Brookings Institution’s analysts estimate 61% of American workers will face a serious risk of technological unemployment by 2030. Additionally, 25% of American workers, one in four, will face high exposure to job loss to automation.
Brookings data shows some professions could disappear completely because of technology. For instance, Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators (93.7%); 81.4% of heavy truck drivers, and word processors and typists (90.4%). Meanwhile, working class jobs as diverse as dishwashers (85.6%) and aircraft mechanics and service technicians (77.2%) are at risk of extinction.
Notably, the Volvo Group (OTCMKTS: VOLVF) is distributing pictures of next-generation dump trucks and tractor trailers with no cab. Importantly, no cab means the truck will require no driver.
Thus, fears of mass unemployment of truck drivers are legitimate. Autonomous trucks could harm millions of American families because truck driving is America’s number one job, RTS Financial claims. In fact, RTS estimates there are 1.7 million heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers. Moreover, truck driving is the most common job in 29 states including California and Texas.
The Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve estimates 25% of American adults live in households with a family income of less than $25,000 a year. Additionally, another 37% of Americans live in homes with a household income of under $40,000 a year, the Fed estimates.
If the Fed is correct 63.47 million American adults make less than $25,000 a year. In addition, 93.94 million American adults make under $40,000 a year. To elaborate, the US Census Bureau estimated that 77.6% of America’s population or 253.88 million out of 327.167 million people were adults, in July 2018.
Meanwhile Deutsche Bank Securities’ chief economist Torsten Sløk estimates the richest 10% of US households controlled 70% of America’s wealth in 2019. Plus the Federal Reserve estimates the richest 1% of Americans now control 32% of the country’s wealth. Consequently, 3.27 million people control nearly one third of the money in America.
Historically, such income inequality has triggered revolutions. For instance, one of the causes of the American Revolution was the concentration of wealth in the hands of politically connected colonial elite.
Short of revolution, political and civil unrest and violence is likely if America we do not address income inequality. Do Americans want their nation to become the new France? Paris has seen 33 straight weeks of violence between the “Yellow Vest” protesters and police. One of the Yellow Vests’ signature gripes is income inequality.
The Housing Crisis
ATTOM Data Solutions estimates average Americans cannot afford to buy a home in over 70% of the United States, CBS News claims. Specifically, housing prices exceed what average wage owners can pay in 335 of America’s 473 counties.
Cities where average Americans can not afford to own a home include Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and even Detroit, Paste Magazine claims. Consequently, the next President will have to address this decline of the American dream.
Climate Change is killing Americans yet leaders do nothing. The November 2018 Camp Fire destroyed an entire city; Paradise, California, and killed 85 people.
Paradise residents are still living in trailers; and over 20,000 people are still homeless, because of the catastrophe, NPR reports. Climate Change made the Camp Fire inevitable, Daniel Swain claims. Swain is a researcher at the University of Southern California Los Angeles’s Center for Climate Science.
In a sane nation, the Paradise Fire would have prompted massive programs to address and prevent Climate Change. Instead, most Democratic candidates pay the issue lip service while President Trump practices loathsome denial.
Denying Climate Change today is like claiming the United States and Japan were at peace on December 8, 1941; the day after Pearl Harbor. How many Americans will have to die before our leaders wake up?
We need aggressive leadership on this issue now. In particular, we need to hold climate change deniers accountable for their lies.
The Retirement Crisis
Meanwhile, 57% of Americans; or over 100 million people, have nothing in their retirement accounts, the Institute for Retirement Security estimates. To make matters worse, 77% of Americans will never meet their retirement savings targets.
Thus, the next President and Congress need to take drastic action on retirement or tens of millions of Americans will spend their golden years in politics. Increases to Social Security and a Basic Income are obvious fixes for this problem.
Our Dysfunctional Foreign and Military Policies
Finally, the next President will have to deal with our dysfunctional foreign policy.
Notably, America could drift into war with Iran for reasons nobody seems to understand or comprehend. To explain, the conflict with Iran is over that nation’s nuclear weapons program. Strangely, former President Barack Obama settled that conflict with his nuclear deal, The American Conservative’s Daniel Larrison notes.
However, members of the Trump administration deliberately sabotaged the deal, Larrison alleges. Meanwhile, Iran could cripple America’s Navy by sinking most of the US fleet including aircraft carriers with missiles, The National Interest notes.
Thus, the United States could suffer its greatest military losses since World War II. Notably, the US could suffer mass casualties quickly in an Iran War. A Nimitz Class aircraft carrier carries 4,700 sailors and munitions and fuel for 60 aircraft.
Yet, one Iranian fighter or helicopter pilot; or drone, could turn a Nimitz Class carrier into a floating inferno by firing one missile. All the Iranians need to do to set a carrier on fire is to land a missile on the deck while aircraft are refueling.
Consequently, it sounds as if there is no serious foreign or military planning going on in Washington. Nor has there been any for a long time. Notably, obvious answers to the Iran crisis like asking the United Nations or China to negotiate are being ignored.
The next president needs to address America’s lack of a serious foreign policy before it leads to catastrophic war and needless death.
Things are Not as Bad as They Look
“There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America.” – Chancellor Otto von Bismarck” Source: Brainyquote.
Fortunately, things are not as a bad as they look. The United States has survived worse crises and incompetent political leadership before.
For example, the 1850s and 1860s when three bungling presidents in a row totally ignored slavery and refused to deal with the crisis it created. In particular, James Buchanan (D-Pennsylvania) refused to take action against the Confederacy even after succession.
Moreover, in the 1930s and 1940s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D-New York) ignored Japanese Imperialism until the bombs started falling at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, in both cases the crises prompted an aggressive and effective leadership.
Hopefully, history will not repeat itself in the troublesome times in which we live.