While the Great Depression affected almost all sectors of the United States economy, the farming industry, which employed nearly a quarter of the country’s population, was hit particularly hard. In response, one of the first laws passed by the Roosevelt Administration was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA). Although it had good intentions at the time, the AAA has largely devolved into direct handouts to farmers, overwhelmingly incentivizing the production of only five crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.
While government subsidies persist, the agriculture industry has changed drastically. Despite representing only 10% of incentive recipients, large corporations now control much of the farming industry and receive almost 66% of subsidy dollars.
Since assuming the presidency of the Russian Federation in 1999, Vladimir Putin has deliberately worked towards an invasion of Ukraine. Over the past two decades, Putin has built up the Russian military, tested his boundaries with the West and repeatedly provoked Ukraine.
In 2014, following the pro-democracy and pro-European Maidan Revolution in Ukraine, Russia invaded and occupied the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with almost no resistance. The diplomatic backlash from the West, including the United States, Canada, the European Union and NATO was swift. However, the actual repercussions were small and mostly symbolic. Since 2014, Putin has continued to cause chaos in Ukraine through his support for Russian separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Despite years of warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine, the West still wasn’t ready.
The District of Columbia, commonly known as Washington, D.C., is the seat of the United States federal government and is home to around 670,000 Americans. Washington, D.C. was created by Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, which established the District in territory appropriated from Maryland and Virginia.
Uncle Sam keeps D.C. on a leash; the federal government directly administers D.C., meaning that Congress has the unique power to override any decision made by the local government. Additionally, D.C. residents could not vote in federal elections until the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961, which granted the District three Electoral College votes in presidential elections. However, D.C. residents remain unrepresented in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the primary federal law making institutions.
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Only 24 words, strung together in a single sentence; that’s the entirety of Section 1 of the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee full legal equality for all Americans regardless of their sex. Initially proposed in 1923, the ERA came close to ratification in 1972; it was passed by Congress and given seven years (later extended to 10) to be ratified by two-thirds of states, dying in 1982 just three states short of the 38-state constitutional threshold.
As the Russo-Ukrainian War continues to rage on, it has become clear that Russia has suffered an immense failure. From the first week of the conflict, when Russia failed to seize Kiev and topple the Ukrainian government, its forces have continued to face setback after setback with continued ground loss and mounting casualties. Russia still holds a significant portion of Ukrainian territory and still poses a significant threat, but its pride and military capabilities have been shattered. Yet, who does Russia blame for this? It is not Ukraine, but rather NATO and the United States.
As a member of the Fielding Fellows program through the Eisenhower Institute, I traveled to Boston with the other fellows in early October to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
We spent less than 48 hours in Boston, but saw and learned so many things in our brief time there. On the first day, we went sightseeing, and it was honestly just remarkable walking down regular streets and passing the cemetery where Paul Revere and other famous early Americans are buried. As someone from California, I’m not so used to seeing such rich history so easily.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many parents and children to work and learn from home, burdening families with additional responsibilities. Not only did parents have to take care of their children without daycare or external help, but they also had to care for sick loved ones while financially supporting their families. Universal paid parental and sick leave would have alleviated the stress on caregivers that the pandemic amplified. Universal paid leave should be enacted in the United States because it would have a positive impact on child growth and development, maternal health and participation in the workforce.
Over the past several months, American families have watched the prices of everyday goods and services ascend to new heights as inflation has reached never-before-seen levels. Everyday goods and services such as food, clothing, home supplies and air transportation have become impossible to purchase for many families across the United States.
Ike’s Anvil gets its name from “Eisenhower,” which translates from German as “iron miner.” It is in the spirit of President Eisenhower’s moderate and bipartisan consensus-driven leadership that Ike’s Anvil acts as a forum for students to hammer out compromise, constructive politics, and policy solutions.
I originally had no intention of watching President Biden’s State of the Union Address. The only reason that I did was because I was assisting with the watch party hosted by the Eisenhower Institute. With recent events in Ukraine, I was optimistic for President Biden’s State of the Union Address, as he had an opportunity to give a unifying and career changing speech. The President began his address with that very issue, highlighting not only how it has brought us together as a nation, but also how it has strengthened relationships on an international scale. This reflected the patriotic and determined qualities that many people value and the United States; qualities that I have not seen in our society for quite some time.