Symposium 2012: What are the biggest social issues in America today?

Sydney: Given the state of the economy it would be hard to argue that unemployment is not the major social issue facing America today. High unemployment destroys families, leads to addiction and mental illness as well as homelessness and puts a huge strain on the welfare and health systems. Education is also a big social issue.

A good education is the key to a better future for both the individual and the community at large, however it seems that the education system is failing students. Essentially, it is not adequately resourced. Some people also argue that teachers need better training, and this may be true as well. More and more Americans are relying on welfare in order to survive. The strain being placed on the budget is obvious. It is, of course, difficult to take people and put them into jobs if there are not enough jobs to go around. Illegal immigration is another major social issue in America today. It is ironic that people complain that these illegal immigrants are taking the jobs of legal citizens but they are often employed in jobs, such as cleaning, that no one else wants to do.
Michigan: Where do we start? Social issues have only really surfaced in the last twenty years. We have had social issues forever but they have never been an issue in electing a president until recent times. Immigration, abortion, gay marriage and guns seem to top the list. Will any of these issues ever be resolved? I don’t think so.
RMC3: I think before we worry about the commonly discussed social issues, you know, abortion and gay marriage, we need to get our economy back on track and get our financial house here in America in order. If we’re bankrupt and the dollar collapses and the economy goes back into recession or depression and inflation skyrockets, aren’t all the social issues really irrelevant at that point?

Cartwright: Everyone talks about abortion and legalization of drugs and gay marriage, but those aren’t really important issues. They’re just distractions. The degeneration of American society is the biggest problem. That’s the big issue that no one wants to talk about. Everyone acts like our society is so great, but it really sucks. Family values have fallen by the wayside. We’ve got more and more kids being brought up in single parent households or in households where they’re basically on their own. They’re not getting much guidance in the department of what’s right and wrong, and they’re certainly not getting that from TV or the movies.

There’s this overbearing sense of entitlement among young people. They’re lazy and spoiled. They want everything handed to them without having to work for it. And you know what the excuse is? Oh, it’s hard for them. It’s different now. You’ve got to keep up with the Jones or you’ll get poked fun at in school and that damages them psychologically. Or, they come from a broken home, so mommy or daddy has to make them feel important by giving them everything they want to make up for not having the other parent in the house. And all that does is make the kids more messed up.

People have grown materialistic and self-centered. They’re all about me, me, me and what can you do for me. There’s no more ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’ Today, it’s all about what can the government give me or do for me. Where’s my freebies? They want more and more material goods as if that’s going to fill a void in their lives.

Society is turning away from faith and foundational values which is leading to this void in their lives that they’re trying to fill with material goods. It’s a lost cause. The happiness from material goods is ephemeral not permanent.

There’s a general apathy about what’s going on in this country. People don’t care about what the politicians are doing to this country. They go about their daily hum drum lives and don’t worry about it, but they’ll bitch when something affects them directly. They’re not educated about the issues and where we are in America and what’s happening and how we got here and what needs to be done to correct the situation.

Oh, there’s a lot more that we could go into, but I think I’ve made my point. It’s a real sad indictment of American society, and we’ve got to change the course we’re on if we want to get America back on track.

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