Top 5 American Woes
indar kumar is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
When going through a rough patch every other thing seems to be frustrating and irritating. Something similar is happening to America right now – its going through a tough time and its woes don’t seem to end. However if classified there are some issues which need to be dealt on an immediate basis. Here’s a compilation of Top 5 worries for the United States of America.
1. Unemployment/Layoffs – Much has been talked about this issue in the campaigns of both the Democrats and the Republicans. Without a doubt this concern is concerning the American people.
Thousands of Americans are jobless even those who are with one are in an anxious state.
Recently Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) laid off 16,000 employees. Justified or not, it has caused fear and panic among the people. Other organizations are also following suit. American Airlines subsidy of AMR once the market leader in Aviation industry is facing bankruptcy and has laid off 11, 000 workers already. Companies like Avon, Research in Motion and battered retailer Talbots (NYSE: TLB) are laying off in huge numbers owing to their bad financial condition. Talbot as a part of its strategy to save around$50 million annually has decided to close 110 stores around the nation and lay off workers in significant numbers to cover up its quarterly loss of $22 million.
2. Real Estate – Now this one’s a special sector for America. It triggered the recession and now is rendering people homeless. According to recent survey by “Forbes” around 15 million people are facing shelter problems. Problems are plentiful including increasing rental prices and devaluation of property but the focus should be on the solutions like refinancing and increasing the momentum of foreclosures.
3. War – We wage a war and then refuse to get out of it. Also we take the problem of the whole world on our shoulder and then perish because of it. America’s military spending equals the spending of the next 14 countries combined. I mean this is too much when in state of a recession. America is not the only defender of Human rights, especially not when its own economy is fighting a war against slowdown.
However the cost of war is not entirely wasted. It does benefit heavy industries and creates services; the problem is that the State is borrowing all of the money which increases its already mountainous debt pile.
4. Debt – No, I am not referring to the debt pile America has accumulated but the consumer debt. Consumers have started using more of credit cards. During the boom of 2005-07 America saw the rise in the use of plastic money, soon people became habituated. Now, this habit hasn’t left and many of them still rely on those plastic cards. This plastic money is a devil in disguise. It is not creating any actual wealth on the contrary its stealing it. For E.g lets take the case of Discover Credit cards (NYSE: DFS).Shares of discover cards rose by 3% contrary to the expected 1.21% This shows that more and more consumers are still favouring credit cards and are being swallowed by debt. Although the company says that credit quality has improved and America will repay its debt, statistics show that unemployment have continued to grow and people recently unemployed use more credit cards to maintain their lifestyle.
5. Healthcare – Even though America has the most expensive health care system in the world about 47 million Americans have no health insurance.During the past eight years insurance premiums have nearly doubled, which has made health insurance a farfetched thing. Surprisingly, according to the organization Health Care for All – California - one-half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. Hospital emergency rooms are being stretched, the number of emergency visits are increasing the have gone up by 120 million a year in 2006, up from 90 million ten years earlier. Conversely , the number of hospital emergency departments dropped by 7%, according to the 2009 National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine. Millions of sick people who cannot afford medical care are availing emergency services - which by law cannot refuse to treat them. Expenses are going high, Facilities are going down, what will happen when the system explodes?
This is not a complete list of issues of course. But with all the jitters that America is going through we need to get more people worried, focus more attention and concern here, and begin to address these issues. Our economic wellbeing and our hope are reliant on fixing them.
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