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In the United States, there are several societal problems that concern the nation. Some of them are more drastic, long-term problems, while others are short, quick fix problems that just might be hard to implement a realistic solution. However the national government doesn’t have to necessarily address everyone of these problems at their level. Many problems can be taken care of at the state and local levels.
One societal problem that the national government would be better at addressing would be unemployment. While minimum wage changes from each state to state, the national government is the one who sets the standard. One reason that there are many people out there that are unemployed is the fact that companies simply cannot afford to pay employees. They can only afford so many people, even on minimum wage. Douglas McIntyre suggests a system in which “[e]mployers would add workers a certain wage below than the minimum wage, and employees would get reimbursed by the federal government” (Cut Unemployment in Half). In this system, while the government is still paying people, these people have jobs where they can put money back into the economy, and the national government is not paying people unemployment.
Health care is a debate that will go on forever. More than likely, nobody will ever be truly happy with the solution. Every country has a different take on how the government should take care of health care and insurance. The current problem with health care in the United States is the fact that many people are without it, because the simply cannot pay for it. These people rarely go to the doctor and hospital because it is so expensive out of pocket. While many people are insured in some way or another, whether they are covered by their employment, a commercial company, or some government program, many others go without. Should some terrible injury or illness happen, they are left with a large amount of debt. For those without insurance coverage, Dana Goldman says that “a sensible and affordable health-insurance system would thus be based on universal catastrophic coverage. The federal government could actually provide it… at a cost far lower than that of the Affordable Care Act. Catastrophic insurance involves nothing more than a high-deductible policy that covers all, or nearly all, health-care expenses in excess of the deductible amount” (The Health-Insurance Solution). While we shouldn’t force the government to pay for everything, when it comes to people’s health, that should be on the top of their list.
The United States is a country made up of people with very diverse cultures and backgrounds. Everyone wants the opportunity to have a piece of The American Dream. Because of this, some people will do whatever it takes to get into the country. According to American Democracy Now, “The majority of immigrants to the United States are young people seeking two goals: reunification with family members residing here and work that will provide a better quality of life than they are able to achieve in their home countries”. However many people come over illegally, that is, without the required paperwork and documentation that the government requires. Unfortunately this can, and does hurt the nation because not everyone who comes over has clean intentions. Judd Gregg claims, “We need to secure the borders. Although progress has been made, the border with Mexico where most illegal immigrants cross is still not secure. It is inexcusable that the resources and technology needed to stop the flow are not in place. All it takes is funding and commitment” (How to solve illegal immigration). There are many states that share the border with Mexico, making this a problem that the national government would be best as solving.
It’s no secret that America has a very large population of overweight and obese people. While this problem can also be a personal and individual one, local governments can help to curb the current junk food and sugar trend. Lainie Rutkow suggests, “A state or local government could pass a menu-labeling regulation that requires restaurants with fewer than 20 locations to list their lowest calorie food items first to encourage the selection of healthier, lower calorie items,” (Improving Obesity). While most fast food chains are already required to post the nutritional facts about their food, encouraging the healthier options and giving healthy choices is just one option that can help make Americans healthier.
The national government is better equipped to handle larger, broad problems such as unemployment, illegal immigration, and health care. They have more resources and are more influential when it comes to getting problems solve. However when it comes to smaller specific problems, local and state governments are plenty capable in solving. These problems fit the category of enumerated national powers, as is obesity a problem best fitted in the category of powers reserved to the states as stated in the 10th Amendment.
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