More than 10 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. Most cross the border to pursue a better life but face significant challenges on arrival. How can they integrate into a society that does not allow them to legally? Current policy directs authorities to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who are trying to find opportunity in the U.S. Why not instead provide a realistic and timely path for them to work and live legally in America?
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.
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.
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.
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.
COVID-19. Russia’s invasion. The Supreme Court. Inflation. Mass resignations. Student debt. Global warming. The United State’s role in the world. Recently, these are at the forefront of our thoughts at one time or another, and for some, every day. This week, President Biden will likely address all of those and more at the 2022 State of the Union (SOTU).
People are smoking more marijuana than ever before. As the usage and social acceptance of this substance continues to increase, more Americans are in favor of its decriminalization and legalization for medical use. In spite of these favorable national trends, marijuana is still federally considered a Schedule 1 drug, a substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This federal ruling contradicts various literature and scientific findings. Studies show that marijuana is not a gateway drug and its usage does not contribute to subsequent addiction later on in life— at least not any more than stress and “life-course variables.” Legislation must change to reflect changing American values and scientific findings. In doing so, the MORE Act will promote racial equity, economic prosperity, and well-being as it would ensure the protection of minorities, is fiscally beneficial, and protects consumers.
This is only one of the effects of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v Federal Election Commission. Rather than their constituency, campaign funds now greatly influence Congress members’ decisions. Citizens United created a democracy that no longer works for the citizens, but rather for those with the largest pockets. Consequently, for democracy to return to the hands of the people, the Citizens United decision needs to be overturned.