Intensity and Effect of the Five Major Forces Affecting People
During the Decade from 2010-2019*
Every year, Americans’ fate is influenced by five, strong outside forces; namely, economics, science, politics, religion, and to some extent, sports. This report tracks those forces over time and shows their effect on the U.S. population.
These concepts are described in greater detail in the book entitled "The Major Forces Driving Humanity: Solutions for a Growing Divide".
Force #1. Economic Impacts
*Stock prices – 14% appreciation per year (i.e., almost tripling in value over the 10 years)
*Gross National Product – 2.3% annual growth rate over the 10-year period
*Federal surplus/deficit – Average $850 billion deficit per year ($7,000 per voter per year)
*Inflation – 1.7% average increase per year
*Purchaser Managers’ Index – 53.6 average (>50 reflects growth)
*Consumer Confidence Index – 1.8% average increase per year
Score = 90 (on a scale from 0 to 100; with below 50 conveying a negative influence).
Disclaimer: The National Debt now exceeds the Gross National Product. A solution to the
problem of managing this debt is much more difficult to administer in times of crises.
Force #2. Scientific Discoveries
*Fossils of new hominin species discovered in Africa and the Philippines dating back two million
*Two components of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity (1915) were documented by
the detection of gravitational waves and black holes.
*2016 was the hottest year since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) started recording global temperature 139 years ago.
*This decade included the worst outbreak of Ebola virus diseases in history. A vaccine known as Ervebo was tested in a clinical trial in Guinea in 2016 that proved to be effective.
Force #3. Political Progress
*Adoption of the Affordable Care Act (subsequently whittled back)
*Clean Power Plan of 2015 (later scaled back by the Affordable Clean Energy rule)
*Multi-country nuclear peace agreement with Iran (subsequently disowned by the U.S.)
*Paris Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions (subsequently withdrawn from by
Force #4. Religious Influences
* The Vatican brands the ordination of women as priests a grave crime
* The percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation grows from
fifteen percent in the prior decade to twenty-six percent
*Number of conservative federal judges increases, including a shift on the U.S.
Supreme Court to a conservative majority
*U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges removed obstacles to marriage
equality across the nation (i.e., allowing gay marriage)
*Fertility rates in the U.S. are following the decline observed in European nations
Force #5. Sports Inspirations
*Simone Biles’ dominance at the 2016 Olympic games
*Usain Bolt’s speed on the race track as the fastest person ever
*Kobe Bryant throws down 60 points in his final NBA game
*Tiger Woods’ comeback victory at the 2019 Masters
*Chicago Cubs overcome "demons" to win their first World Series in over 100 years
Overall Score = 65.
The major forces driving the welfare of the U.S. population were generally positive for the decade, except for the lack of a functioning political system that works on behalf of a majority of its citizens while protecting the rights of minorities.
Impact of the Major Forces on U.S. Citizens Over the Ten-Year Period from 2010 to 2019
*U.S. Population = the population grew by about 21 million people, or roughly 7%
*Average life expectancy = life expectancy was flat during the period
*Percent of adults overweight – the percent of obese adults increased a few percentage
points to 38%
*New cancer cases – the number of new cases per year increased by 400,000, or 27%
*The number of cancer deaths per year increased by about 55,000 during the decade, although
the rate of death per 100,000 people decreased by 15%
*Average personal income = grew less than 10% over the decade adjusted for inflation
*Medium net worth = increased by about $16,000 to roughly $80,000
*Unemployment rate = dropped from 10% to less than 4%
*National debt per voter = grew by $100,000 per voter over the decade
Overall Score = 70.
Despite strong economic growth, the nation faces considerable economic challenges, including a market failure in the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer and the resultant suffering and cost. Despite failing to understand and agree to a solution to this market failure, the U.S. politicians have separately run up a massive government debt with no end in sight.
* For an explanation and examples of how these major forces affect people, see: The Major Forces Driving Humanity: Solutions for a Growing Divide © 2008 by Steven A. Zecola
February 15, 2020