Essay 3; example

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Essay 3; example

  1. 1. The United States is the third largest populated country in the world and accounts for 4.6% of the world’s total population. It is expected that in the next few years that this country’s population will reach twice the size and as a result of significant demographic trends extant in the U.S. the population mix will be considerably different from what it is today (Shrestha, 2006). Social Scientists working in the field of demography, which is a subfield of Sociology that examines the population size, compositions, and distribution, have learned through research that the age composition, racial and ethnic diversity, and urban growth will be three of the contributing trends that will impact the population mix of this country. These trends will present significant consequences on society and put extensive strains on the economy, thus impacting the tax burden imposed on the citizens. (Kendall, 2008 Chapter 12, 19). During the last 25 years the United States has been in the midst of a profound demographic change: the rapid aging of its population, as reflected by an increasing proportion of persons aged 65 and older. A major contributing factor to this phenomenon is the fact that Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are moving into middle age. The number of citizens age 65 and older increased significantly between 1980 and 2000. Today a much larger percentage of the US is over the age of 65 and according to the US Census Bureau about 20% of the population will be age 65 or over by 2050. The population of people over 85 has been growing particularly expeditiously and is one of the fastest growing segments of the population. This group is expected to double in size between 2000 and 2025 and will reach 20 million or 5 per cent of
  2. 2. the population (Kendall, 2008 pg. 384-385). As biological research on aging continues, new discoveries in genetics may eliminate life-threatening disease and help discover early identification of other diseases possible (Kendall, 2008 pg. 411). Unfortunately, along with the increase in life expectancy, the average number of years that a group of people born in the same year could be expected to live, a financial strain will be put on our government. Elder issues such as assistance for in-home care services; availability for medical services for preventative care, chronic illness, and disability; and housing for older persons will be the focus of many political debates. A 1994 government report warned that entitlements are growing so rapidly that they will consume nearly all federal tax revenues by 2012. This will result in leaving the government without funds for other vital issues. John Danforth, a former senator and member of the commission cautioned, “There will be no money for national defense, for law enforcement, for the environment, or for highways” ((Kendall, 2008 pg. 410). The graying of America will not only impact our population mix significantly but will present many financial challenges for our country, creating increase in tax burden. The United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse largely as a result of the movement of people into the country, commonly referred to as immigration. Every year more than 1 million people, mostly from Latin America and Asia, flock to this country. They come both voluntary and involuntary in response to various pull or push factors. Pull factors at international levels, such as a democratic government, religious freedom, employment opportunities, or a
  3. 3. more moderate climate may entice many immigrants to voluntarily come to this country. Conversely, various push factors for example: international unrest, violence, war, famine, and natural disaster may also encourage people to leave their homeland and relocate in the United States (Kendall, 2006 pg. 632). Many undocumented workers seek to enter the United States so that they can work and obtain better quality of life for themselves or their families (Kendall, 2006 pg. 627). The influx of these illegal aliens is not without serious socioeconomic consequences. One far reaching outcome as a result of their incursion into the United Sates is the series of serious hidden medical consequences that has transpired. To start with, American hospitals welcome anchor babies, illegal alien women come to the hospital in labor and drop their little anchors, each of whom pulls its illegal alien mother, father, and siblings into permanent residency simply by being born within our borders. Anchor babies are instantly qualify for public welfare aid, thus adding additional strain on the economy. Between 300,000 and 350,000 anchor babies annually become citizens because of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. The free medical care of anchor babies, as well as the healthcare required by this segment of society as a whole, has degraded and closed some of America’s finest emergency medical facilities, and caused hospital bankruptcies. Furthermore, uninsured people receive medical care in hospital emergency departments under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985 (EMTALA), which obligates hospitals to
  4. 4. treat. Also unseen is the percentage of the uninsured who are illegal aliens. No one knows how many illegal aliens reside in America. For instance, if here are 10 million, they constitute nearly 25 percent of the uninsured. The percentage could be even higher. In the state California alone, 84 hospitals have been forced to close their doors. Furthermore, many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease. America’s inadequate federal border enforcement permits massive daily border penetrations that violate the integrity of our medicine. (Cosman, 2005). Yet another contributing trend that will alter our population mix will be urbanization, the process by which an increasing proportion of population lives in cities rather than in rural areas of this country (Kendal 2208, pg. 11). This pervasive trend is not only becoming prevalent in the United States but can be observed world wide. Two hundred years ago only about 3 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities, as apposed to 50 percent today. It is expected that by 2050 that the world population will swell to the point that two out of three people in the world will live in urban areas by 2050 (Kendall 2208, pg. 642). The Industrial Revolution was a key factor for the change made in the nature of the city in this country. Factories began being built as production shifted from agricultural sector to manufacturing sector. The factories offered new opportunities for employment not available to people who lived in more rural areas. New forms of transportation and agricultural production made it possible for people to move to the city. Between 1870 and 1910 the population in New
  5. 5. York City grew by 500 per cent. Larger metropolitan areas have experienced an increase in the number if highly paid professional jobs and a larger percentage of workers have been able to find employment in these high paying fields and have reaped financial rewards as a result. In contrast, those who lived outside these growing professional categories have not been as fortunate. The quality for life for this segment of society has deteriorated and job opportunities have become increasing limited to secondary labor markets (Kendall 2008, pg 644). Poverty, crime, racism, sexism, homelessness, inadequate public schools, alcoholism and other drug abuse, gangs and guns, and other social problems are most visible and heightened in urban settings (Kendall 2008 pg. 652, 653). Currently the United States spends more than $150 billion annually for civil and criminal justice. This figure amounts to more than $500 for every person residing in the country (Kendall 2008, pg. 231). We can only expect these figures to sky rocket as we experience growing urbanization in our nation, thus presenting an additional tax burden to the citizens in an attempt to address the social consequences that increase in deviance and crime will present in years to come (Carlson, 2009). As the population of this country climbs to the projected 299 million people expected in 2050, the United States citizens and government will face many challenges as they attempt to deal with emerging demographic trends that are altering the population mix in this country (Shrestha, 2006). Trends such age composition, racial and ethnic diversity, and urban growth will have to be reckoned with as we realize the consequences that they will present. The
  6. 6. healthcare issues resulting from the aging of our population and the influx of immigrants to this country, as well as the additional tax burden that is created by these issues and urbanization trend will require our government to work diligently to overcome wide-ranging consequences that assuredly arise. BIBLIOGRAPHY Carlson, PhD, John (2009). Class Lecture March 24, 2009. Cosman, Ph.D., Esq., Madeleine Pelner (Spring 2005). Illegal Aliens and American Medicine. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons , Volume 10 Number 1, Retrieved March 22. 2009, from http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf Kendall, Diana (2008). Sociology in Our Times: Seventh Edition. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth. Shrestha, Laura B. (2006, June, 7). CRS Report for Congress. The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States, Retrieved March 20, 2009, from www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRS/abstract.cfm?NLEid

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