Agriculture America of the 19th century flipped over to Urban America of the 20th Century during the time period of 1900 through 1918. These were the years that concrete and steel built large urban skyscrapers.
It was the time when the new disk plow moved a whole generation of ex farm workers into giant urban centers like Chicago and St. Louis. Trains, planes, and automobiles move millions of Americans across the county. It was a time of great hope, change, disruptions and fears of the unknown tomorrows to come. It was the birth of America along 100 years of what world history would label as the American Century.
That was then and now is now. The 20th Century America is being replaced with the new 21st Century America. Again, we are living through 18 years of great hope, change, disruptions and fears of the unknown tomorrows to come.
All the usual suspects are gathering to help define what type of America will emerge, upon the world stage of nations and regions. Wars, depressions, fears, environmental disasters, great wealth divide, ride side by side with hope for the future, personal awareness of opportunities, technological innovations for man and planet as well as spiritual awaking for mankind to bend toward its better side.
There are hundreds of concerns and fears found in the 169 nations of the world. Below are listed ten mega fears moving to define how the people of Earth will live over the next 30 years.
1. Global Fears of Nationalism
President Trump is in the American White House. He just announced that he was against globalism and was embracing being a nationalist. He will practice a policy of America First or Fortress America against the world.
Recent Presidential elections in Brazil have placed another "Trump like" figure upon world's political and economic stage. Wave of nationalism is growing across the globe as America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin and South America entertain more restricted forms of government politics that are dismantling the past 70 years of trade and interlocking political structures for most of the planet.
2. Climate Change
Giant fires, extreme rains and flooding, great droughts, even greater extremes of blizzards and hurricanes and typhoons ravaged the earth in 2018. The effects of mankind living upon the act of burning fossil fuels is now moving the earth toward a tipping point of great climate change.
As the heat of the planet is increased by 1 degree of temperature, a new normal of rising ocean waves moving inland to flood coastal cities will redefine how the human race population will survive the next 10 to 30 years.
The specter of human and animal refugees from shifts in regional agricultural food supplies and loss of shelter will test just how great civilizations will adjust to the threats of global climate change.
3. Trade Wars
World economies are fractal beasts. Most international trade treaties have replaced the act of international world wars and regional conflict.
Yet, under President Trump, America is rapidly positioning itself to risk trade wars with Canada, Mexico, Asia, and most of Europe. The tragic fate of the Trade Wars of the 1930's seem to be, once again, a new normal for moving forward into a new century.
4. Middle Class, AI-Robots and job loss
The impact of technology and trade has redefined the American landscape for 21st Century manufacturing jobs. Bloomberg News has predicted that 50% of all US American jobs by 2030 will be impacted or loss from conversion of economy over to artificial intelligence and or robotics jobs.
With massive restructuring of jobs in America for the next 10 years, the concept of Middle Class living may well end with the Baby Boom generation. Current trends indicate that by 2030, only two types of wealth b left in America, super wealthy and working poor.
5. Urban-Rural Divide
East of Kansas, 230 million Americans live in, around and or near seven mega cities. They are (1) Chicago (2) New Orleans (3) Huston (4) Nashville (5) Atlanta (6) Miami (7) Boston-New York-Washington DC Corridor. Each city is core to large regional urbanization churning with coming and going population and economic opportunities. For example, some 300 people a day move to the Nashville, Tennessee area looking for jobs, education or a better quality of life.
Current population trends are defining a rural landscape as places of aging seniors, small towns with loss of tax base, loss of manufacturing jobs, loss of retail shopping, and loss of access to quality medical services.
6. Wealth-Poverty Divide
According to PEW Research, the top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. One example of this divide is the Walton Family from Wal Mart fame. They have more wealth than 42% of American families combine.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, "the richest 1 percent in the United States now own more additional income than the bottom 90 percent". The average employee "needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour."
"In Inequality for All--a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich in which he argued that income inequality is the defining issue for the United States--Reich states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1% net worth since 2009 when the recovery allegedly started. More recently, in 2017, an Oxfam study found that eight rich people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race."
7. Technology Disruption (speed of change)
In 1918, the American culture was being driven at increditable speed toward a totally new world from the 1890's way of life. Steel and concrete built new mega cities with manufacturing jobs. Telephone, Model T auto's, airplane aviation, electricity, urban and rural highways for the new automobiles, mass marketing of goods, Sears Mail order catalog were redefining the speed of how America worked and lived.
Forward to 2018 and the same drivers are redefining a new America for the 21st Century. The Internet, cell phone, personal computer, driverless car, rapid medical services advancement, total entertainment are shaping a 24 hour/7 day week of constant change in regard to personal communication.
8. Government policies out of step with cultural change
America is in the processing of reinventing itself. Technology, global economic markets, education, lifestyles are all now being pushed to new levels of interaction between people.
Yet at precisely the time that leadership in government should be working toward making this adjustment in the American physic easy, it is instead becoming more and more out of step with reality.
Congress is deadlock and cannot govern. The White House is lost in any kind of common sense policy direction. The Supreme Court has been ravaged with partisan politics. It will be up to the people making a strong voice on how the country should move into the future after the mid tern elections.
9. Rise of Women Power
Women power is now 100 years old. In 1918, the women marched and beat their way into the American political system of their time. They won the right to vote in 1920.
Now in 2018, women are again fighting for their fair share of the American dream. Equal pay, equal respect, equal education, equal structure within the halls of government are now forces pushing Women Power forward.
Yet, there is fear from many men as to losing their power base and having to share power with women. This women's revolution will become one of the turning points for framing and defining the 21st Century for a new America.
10. Health Care
Last but certainly not least, the number one concern of American voters is health care. Passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 by a Democratic Congress cost President Barack Obama a majority in Congress and many lawmakers their jobs.
The drumbeat against Obamacare was part of Donald Trump's campaign. Promises to repeal the law in toto became part and parcel of GOP talking points. Seventeen states joined a lawsuit to have the law declared unconstitutional. At this writing, that case is winding its way through the courts.
Then came a sea change in the electorate. Twenty million Americans got insurance under the program. The rule that insurance companies could not deny coverage for those with preexisting conditions became to penetrate the consciousness of the American public as more and more realized that their continued insurance would be dependent on "preexisting conditions" staying in place. Republicans now profess their love for the rule and their commitment to it.
There is a long list of countries with universal health care: include Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The United States is not on this list.
Forbes Magazine weighed in the argument that universal health care is an indication of a constricted economy. The magazine found that ten of the countries with universal health care have a freer economy than the US. Forbes Magazine January 2015
Health care promises to be the issue most likely to flip the American economy on its head in the 21st century.
Following the midterm election, policy makers will be looking at these factors to chart America's course through the 21st century.