Essay by:
Elizabeth Meigs
Emporia State University

We definitely have a growing problem in our country with facing up to our challenges, especially with the way we view Social Security, Medicare, the cost of education and much more.  Our national government is spending more than it has collected it taxes and we just had a tax cut for the wealthy.  Those people would definitely not be hurt by a tax increase because they could still afford the cost of living as well as a tax increase.  I am sure if everyone fully understood what is happening by increasing our debt they would gladly pay higher taxes to help get us out of this mess.  We are also going to need to figure out a way to extend our Social Security and Medicare.  The generations before us have just been putting the burden on to our younger generations, so we are going to have to be the ones to stop it and to help the older Americans see what they are doing.        

The first thing we need to do is understand the sacrifices we must make.  For example, we should raise the age for Social Security and Medicare to at least 68 if not 70; we need to do this sooner rather than later.  Eventually, a tax increase will also be necessary, especially on the wealthier Americans.  I would not mind paying higher taxes if it meant that these programs would still be around when I get old enough to need them.

We would also greatly benefit by helping to pay for higher education for our children.  If our children go on to college it would mean that they can get better jobs and be able to pay taxes and contribute more to our economy.  In addition, if they can get better jobs, they will make more money over their lifetime, then they actually will be able to afford healthcare and enjoy living longer and healthier until age 68 or 70.  Then they can retire and their Social Security and Medicare will kick in.  With all our health advancements, people are living longer and staying healthier.  Therefore, we are able to work more years because we are staying healthier. 

Our generation sees the need for our government to increase the spending on higher education.  If we can help young people to stay in school to be better educated, and prepared for careers about which they are truly passionate, they would have more of a reason to stay in that field and not to retire quite so early in life. Therefore, they will be contributing a greater amount to our society and its social programs over a lifetime compared with someone who joined the labor force right out of high school, working at a job they may not love or even hate.   

Energy independence is associated with this as well and by continuing our children’s education, they could very well lead to finding solutions as well as creating many jobs our country needs.  In addition, energy independence would let us quit spending so much of our money on foreign oil, which has implications for many activities and groups around the world.

However, our grandparents and older Americans do not seem to see how that would help our economy and our country over the long run.  As the baby boomers retire, they are going to be contributing less to our economy.  I do not foresee another baby boom anytime in our near future.  Therefore, we need people to be able to get better jobs so that they can contribute more to our economy.  If we have a tax increase, it is important for taxpayers to be able to afford the tax increase as well as the cost of living and be able to live a good life.  We have a federal debt of over 10 trillion dollars; we cannot continue down the path of continuing to accumulate more debt. Increasingly, we are borrowing from other countries, which will make our lives harder and harder.

If we continue to help younger Americans get further in their education, we look forward to effective long-term solutions to some of these problems and we will also have more educated people in the future to create better government policies.  Hopefully, we will be able to stay out of this kind of mess in the future.   Neither the politicians nor the government we have seem to know how to fix the problems we face. The generations before us have just been putting the burden on future generations, so we are going to have to be the ones to stop it and to help the older Americans see what they are doing.  Why do we have to wait?  Perhaps someone will look at the ideas generated in this contest and seriously consider implementing ones to improve America’s future.




Re: America's Growing Problem

Detailed essay, however like other that put burden on retirement, needs to look at how many people are physically able to work at jobs they actually qualify for, not many. And if they are able to work, it is usually a part time minimum wage job that does not allow them all they need, my aunt 50 for example had to chose between meds, or heat in winter after house rent and other utilities ect. again just look at opposing views.

Angela Cooper


Re: America's Growing Problem

I agree with much of your essay it was very detailed and very well spoken. However, if education is an every growing demand as well as taxes increasing it makes me worry that some people will not be able to afford the cost and that they will then become part of the unemployment population because of their lack of education.


Re: America's Growing Problem

Elizabeth,

I liked your essay it was very detailed and organized. Most of the points you made were valid and very important. I agree with your thoughts on the fact that the national government is spending more than its collected taxes which is not good. However, i do contemplate your thoughts on education. If the education is growing while taxes are increasing then won't some people be pushed towards unemployment if they can't afford the educaion? Just a thought. Other than that, great job!

Whitney Franklin


Re: America's Growing Problem

Good Essay, Very detailed. Good points shown that I havent read in other essays yet.

Taylor Northup


Re: America's Growing Problem

Elizabeth,
Very detailed paper but I would have to agree with some of the comments referencing education. If taxes are raised then it will become even more difficult for those from lower income families to afford proper education.
-Brandon Rich


Re: America's Growing Problem

You had some interesting points, although education is something that should not be compromised. Schooling is a aspect of life that is very much needed, especially for poorer families. Other than that, great paper.

Kelsey C.


Re: America's Growing Problem

Elizabeth
Yes, I believe that you are right about helping the younger generation so they can better educate themselves but for us to get higher ages for retirement I do not believe that it would work because alot of people are looking for there .time to retirement
Maria Garcia


Re: America's Growing Problem

Your emphasis on education in your essay is commendable. I agree that it is one of our most important structures of our government that we must focus on and help rebuild.

-Gabe Moyer


Re: America's Growing Problem

Elizabeth,

I like this subject, because our government does need to make better decsions with what little money this country has!! I to want the options of social security and medicare when I reach that age, it makes most people wonder what benefits we will have, if anything??

Whitney Cates
Emporia State University


Re: America's Growing Problem

I love the all the detail and the lack of education you brought up in the essay. The rest of the paper speaks for itself.

Jordan McManigal


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