99 Problems: The Road to Making America Great

In the previous post, we talked about the Christian approach to politics. While we often think that the Kingdom of heaven’s concerns transcend earthly kingdoms’ concerns, the truth is that not only do the heroes of Scripture take-up political agendas, but we are obligated to do so as well.

To that end, I offer my big list of things (a BLT, if you will) that need people’s attention. Some of these are a lot more important than others; some of them could be fixed today, some will take a lifetime. But consider each of them and the attention they deserve.

General Economics and Welfare

1. Nepotism—by some accounts, the United States is far worse than other developed countries regarding this particular form of corruption
2. Corruption in general
3. Use of the penny—we need to go ahead and get rid of them
4. Monopolies—good when it means you have one login for everything; bad for everything else
5. BitCoin—is this good for the world economy? Is it not? It deserves looking into
6. Youth Unemployment
7. Homelessness
8. Rural poverty—poverty outside of the cities often goes unnoticed and uncared for
9. Finding work for those with an IQ less than 85

Government Finance, Taxes, and Welfare

10. Balancing the Federal Budget
11. Tax Loopholes
12. The Postal Service is a sinkhole for tax dollars—go read up on some people’s idea to convert post offices into banks
13. Can we just have taxes baked-in to sale prices?

Private Business and Spending

14. Let’s get rid of obligated tipping—I hear other countries don’t do it, and it sounds great
15. Income and Wealth Inequality
16. Payday Loans—lots of shady stuff around this
17. Crippling Student Debt
18. Child labor in the Fashion Industry (and I assume other industries)
19. Paid Parental Leave—we need more of it
20. Predatory Churches and Televangelists
21. Credit Scores—they’re important in the modern economy but notoriously unreliable in a significant enough amount of cases
22. Background Checks—same as above
23. Debt Buying Industry
24. Retirement Plans—people are not prepared for the future; a lot of that is their fault, a lot isn’t; in either case…
25. Car Financing and Subprime Lending
26. Pyramid Schemes and Multi-level Marketing
27. Corporate Tax Evasion

Representation and Elections

28. Presidential Campaign Financing
29. Congressional Fundraising
30. Gerrymandering
31. Judicial Elections and the shenanigans surrounding those
32. The amount of Congress representatives per person is too low to capture the public opinion
33. Incentivized Voting—offer a $15 tax credit or have a bowl of DumDums at the booth
34. Voting rights in U.S. Territories
35. Voting rights in Washington DC
36. Voter ID Laws

Politics

37. Radical Partisanship
38. America’s ability to leave the Paris Agreement—that sort of fickleness will have lasting effects

Food and Drug

39. Marijuana—everything surrounding that
40. Food Waste
41. The Chicken Farming Industry (and other similar industries)—a good friend of mine brought to my attention the ways in which this racket is hurting working families in my own state of Arkansas; it is a serious problem

Environment and Resources

42. Global Warming
43. Sugar Addiction
44. “Crumbling Infrastructure,” in the words of Bernie
45. Clean Energy—we need it
46. Nuclear Waste
47. Waste Management in general

Science and Education

48. Net Neutrality
49. Metric System—I was told we were gonna get this; when are we gonna get this?
50. Health Education
51. Patent Trolls
52. Standardized Testing
53. News Access—It is far too hard for people to get their hands on quality, objective news
54. Charter Schools—dealing with corruption and money-grabbing, but also advocating for the strengths of charter schools
55. School Segregation—it’s still a thing
56. A. I.—they’re taking over and we need to be ready

Health

57. Universal Healthcare
58. Quality of Healthcare
59. Mental Health—our country isn’t the worst, but we should be doing better
60. Care for the Elderly—and making sure they’re not being taken advantage of
61. The Opioid Epidemic
62. Drug Rehabilitation Clinics—watch Unsane
63. Sex Education
64. Teen Pregnancy
65. Vaccines
66. Lead Poisoning—we’re dealing with this slowly but surely
67. Water Cleanliness

Entertainment

68. Professional Sports Organizations—and the corruption therein as well as the unhealthy living they sometimes promote
69. NCAA—I’ve heard of lots of issues with their treatment of college athletes

Foreign Affairs

70. Foreign Meddling
71. Corruption in foreign governments—their problems are our problems too
72. China’s control and relationship with the people of Tibet and Hong Kong
73. Poverty around the globe

Security

74. Immigration—looking to the health of our country as well as ethical treatment of those in our borders and those outside
75. Border Patrol—authority abuse
76. Refugees
77. Gun Control
78. Government Surveillance
79. Cyber Bullying
80. Revenge Porn and Child Pornography

Military

81. Drones—the only thing worse than humans killing humans
82. Civilian Casualties
83. Torture
84. Guantanamo Bay

Criminal Justice

85. Capital Punishment
86. Incarceration—the United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the highest per-capita incarceration rate; this is not inherently bad, but it should be alarming
87. Racial Conviction Rates—Asians don’t go to prison as often as some other demographics
88. Police Brutality
89. Mandatory Sentencing—this seems like it could be a good tool, but the blanket coverage makes it extremely problematic
90. Public Defendants—they’re not great
91. Prisoner Reentry—the point is supposed to be rehabilitation, but more than often that furthest from the case
92. Forensic evidence—it’s not as reliable as CSI would have you believe… and that’s the problem

Social

93. Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities—though there is a far range of opinions regarding the LGBT+ community, civil rights is mandatory
94. Intellectual Suspicion—not trusting experts leads to lots of bad decisions
95. Journalism Suspicion—not trusting journalists is bad for a democracy
96. A general disregard for the truth—think 2016 election
97. Sexual harassment
98. Bad movies
99. Racism

This list might stress you out—and I get that, it stressed me out writing it. But the point here is that there are lots of things we need to make better about our country. Sure some things are clearly more important than others, but if we elect candidates who aren’t thinking about any of them, then none of them get done and we do our country a disservice. Some solutions may be through legislation, some may be grass-roots, but the people we vote for affect both, directly or indirectly.

There’s a lot to consider. Don’t worry about fixing it all; just worry about fixing some.

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