Is the planet in danger? Depending on who you ask — scientists, liberals, conservatives, lobbyists, young people — you may get a different answer. What most people seem to agree on is that the next generation of Americans will face different challenges than their parents.
Several of the biggest challenges ahead will be caused by either misuse of technological advances or the advances themselves. Others will be the result of overuse of natural resources and climate change. Others yet will reflect either cyclical economic forces or shifts in demographics and societal norms.
Government agencies and institutions are still struggling to adapt to these shifts. Serious proposals to address problems related to climate change, widespread use of artificial intelligence, rising carbon dioxide emissions, racial inequality, the rapidly aging population, and many other issues, are either ineffective or non-existent.
It’s impossible to predict with 100% accuracy the challenges ahead, but leaders should not ignore evidence of current or possible future problems. They have to prepare for many scenarios — from geopolitical chaos to cyber attacks and natural disasters.
To identify the biggest challenges Americans will face in the next decade, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed government sources such as the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, news sources such as the BBC, and academic research such as the Institute for Women’s Research’s recent study on gender pay gaps. We also consulted experts on monetary systems and finance.