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What issues should the U.S. Congress be addressing/prioritizing to prepare for a changing United States as we progress toward 2050?

As time passes, the United States will, more than likely, see changes within its demographics and its society as it gets closer and closer to 2050.

Data indicates that the U.S. population will not only grow but also see an increase in the aging of its citizens the closer we get to 2050. In addition, medical and technological advances will possibly enable people to live a longer, healthier, more productive life.

As well, some of the regions of the United States will see increases in terms of population which will stress the water resources and infrastructure of the area.

It is likely that many major cities will continue to be densely populated but many suburban areas will also experience tremendous growth.

Immigrant groups are also going to continue to grow and cultural, language, and educational needs are going to be addressed for this segment of the population.

Obviously, technology is advancing and this is going to impact things such as education, communication, and transportation in the near future, in 2050, and beyond

Furthermore, much of the infrastructure of the country is aging and in need of repair. Roads will possibly need to be widened to accommodate larger populations and bridges will have to be refurbished to ensure the safe travel of motorists and goods.

Overall, it is safe to say that the next 30+ years in the United States will bring about tremendous change.

As a result of these impending changes, amongst others, what issues should the lawmakers (Congress) of the United States be addressing and prioritizing to ensure that the citizens of the United States are adequately prepared when 2050 gets here?

This topic will be discussed/utilized in a high school class. Individuals are encouraged to comment and provide elaborate responses so that the high school students can evaluate and learn from your responses.

Thank you for your consideration in participating in this TED conversation.


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  • Nov 10 2013: As to the question of what issues Congress should be addressing, i think the question truly is what issues should American citizen / customers be addressing. Congress does represent or work for us as should all governments work for their citizens. Otherwise, why do we need them, what good are they? Rhetorical to some degree.

    I absolutely see a real strong need for prioritization of objectives by our society. I will speak to our American one in this moment. I see priorities of American citizens as follows:
    1- Implementing term limits of 8 years max for all federal, state, local, city, dog catcher's within these here United States. No more lifetime guarantees for politicians and their benefits. This can eliminate corruption, nepotism, promote true political theory and move us forward on everything else once we have regained integrity within the political sphere.
    2- In the same light as #1, remove ALL monies from politics. Replace political funds with a government provided identical amount for each candidate to use as they see fit, whether at the federal, state or local level. The goal is to eliminate ALL specific lobbying for the powerful few which currently overshadows the good of the whole or the many.
    3- Invest wisely in education throughout society, focusing obviously on the lower and middle. Just imagine if we truly could educate and motivate 20 - 30 million currently unproductive citizens. I see this being done by gathering the brightest 1,000 educators and hammering out a better way to spend the billions we seem to be wasting with insufficient change apparent over the last several decades.
    4- Invest wisely in infrastructure and environment. The objective here is to both update existing infrastructure that is in need of repair AND invest in future long term infrastructure related to global warming and earth changes. We have to invest now to protect the shorelines of our large cities so that our children and grandchildren will be safe.

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