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.
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*Paris Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions (subsequently withdrawn from by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
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