Essay by:
Emily Readinger
Emporia State University

America, Wake Up!

American’s today have a problem. Since our government has a money spending problem, we are all in debt. According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, with the estimated U.S. population contains 306,050,902 people and every one of those people will owe $36,588.58 dollars. Well I personally do not like that idea. I will owe enough money with all my student loans that I have had to take out because of the cost of school. Technically I am already in debt, and I haven’t even entered the “real world” yet, so to speak.

Everyone is going to be affected by the national debt. My nephews, who were just born, will probably be affected by it. The baby boomers will most certainly be affected because they are starting to retire. However, many of those people who had money saved for retirement have lost some, half, or all of the money. I know my family has lost money and friends of my parents have lost money. Many of the almost retirees cannot retire now because they do not have enough money to. Those people are going to have to either keep their current job for as long as they can or find a new one that will pay enough so they can live.

Another group of people who will be greatly affected are students. They already have enough debt to pay with all of their loans. Yes some students have gotten scholarships and grants and will be alright but the majority of students only have loans. Even if a student has a fairly well paying job, they still have to pay for tuition, books, housing of some sorts, food which is getting expensive, and any supplies they need for school and just surviving. Students do not need any more debt, especially the government’s debt, than they already have.

Social Security was a wonderful idea that the government came up with. However, it doesn’t seem to be working properly. The money in Social Security seems to be disappearing. Where is it going? I’m sure it is not going to the people who it is supposed to go to or where it needs to. No one is making a decision on what to do or even just suggesting something to do. It is like being back in a class room and the teacher just asked a tough question but no one is answering because they either don’t know the answer, are scared of being wrong, or are just shy so no one is raising their hand and the teacher is getting annoyed. I think it is pretty simple and obvious what we need to do. We either need to cut benefits and increase taxes a little or make retirement security a personal thing that the people just figure out and leave the government out of it.

As soon as anyone says “increasing taxes” everyone turns off their ears and starts bad mouthing the person who said it. Well guess what, sometimes we need to do things that we don’t want to, that’s life. Get used to it. Increasing taxes and cutting benefits for only as long as we need to and only increasing them slightly would help the government to keep social security and that way everyone could have a stable retirement. The only other reasonable option that I see is getting rid of social security completely and it being every man and women for themselves. Of course if anyone says that people will respond with “what about those who can’t afford it?” Well they should have planned better and or gotten a better job. Then the people will say the government should pay for and we will be back to square one. Not everyone will be happy with the choice that is finally decided on, but there is no possible way to make everyone happy. That is impossible. If people prepare for it, by spending smartly, perhaps putting a little bit of money away every month then no matter what decision congress makes, maybe they will make a smart one or even just a decision for once, everyone will be alright.

There are other problems with the government right now like the health care. I believe Medicare is defiantly needed; however I personally have problems with Medicaid. People who have a low income are usually on Medicaid. Which if it is really needed I understand. However I know that a lot of those people are on Medicaid for their kids who have the health problems they do because their parents were stupid. They messed up and now their kids are paying for it by needing a ton of meds. Also some parents are getting drugs for their kids that they don’t need, but the parents either use them or sell them. Do I have proof of this? No, but sitting in the back of the pharmacy waiting for my mother to get off of work, I have seen a lot of things. Programs like this one and others that give low income people money I have problems with. They are good for getting people back on their feet, while they look for a job. The problem is that people are living off of these programs and buying expensive stuff with the money but never looking for a job because they are lazy. I think that those programs should stay but people who are granted them only get them for a limited time. In that time they should find a job, there are plenty out there. Yeah a lot are messy, disgusting, and gross but they are jobs. Be happy that you have one.

Yes this nation is heading for trouble. Guess what, it was bound to happen. It was probably time to have a decline to wake people up to see that, hey everything is not ok and everyone needs to get a job and spend wisely. We are nowhere near to a bad a recession as the Great Depression, yet. Will we get there, honestly, yeah most likely. But until I see people selling apples on the street for five cents an apple, I’m going to say that we aren’t there yet. However everyone needs to prepare and expect the worst. Everything gets worse before it gets better. We just need to stick together as a country, fix some problems with our government, and wait for this storm to end because behind the clouds, the sun is always shinning.

Citation
U.S. Nation Debt Clock, http://brillig.com/debt_clock/.




Re: America, Wake Up!

Good essay and I could definitely tell you were passionate about what you were saying. I definitely agree that people look the other way about taxes but we just have be realistic.

Phyllis Conner


Re: America, Wake Up!

Great essay! I really liked how you connected our social secuirty problem to a tough question and no one answering. I also liked your conclusion in comparing this to the Great Depression. Good job.

Dell Jones


Re: America, Wake Up!

I like the way you illustrate your points with analogies like the "tough question no one is answering" referring to the way we handle--or are not handling--the Social Security issue. I think you are right: no one says anything because we don't know the answer, and those in charge probably really are afraid of getting it wrong if they try. So instead, everyone waits for someone else to come up with the solution. Very good illustration of the problem!


Re: America, Wake Up!

Good job. This is a well-written essay.


Re: America, Wake Up!

I think your paragraph on Social Security really hit it on the nose. Like Dr. Cattlet says, is is suicide for politicians to suggest changing our current social security policies, however you are right. They aren't working! Great essay. -DeZ Rude


Re: America, Wake Up!

I enjoyed reading this article and I never thought about the part about the students. I didn't think about how we as students are in debt already bacause of student loans and then on top of that the debt that we are all in is added pressure on us. Good Essay!
Tina Commons


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