There are four major challenges facing the next president, whether Donald Trump remains in office or Joe Biden replaces him as the 46th president of the United States. The year 2020 has seen an unprecedented number of catastrophic events, including a worldwide pandemic that has taken close to 200,000 American lives and a record number of natural disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires that have burned over 3.7 million of acres of land in California. These events have taken their toll on the economy; over 30 million are out of work. They have also placed huge burden’s on the nation’s infrastructure, its health system, and educational institutions nationwide.
At the same time, there are other pressing issues confronting the nation. The national healthcare system implemented during the Obama administration has been under fire and the reforms promised by the Trump administration have yet to see the light of day. Climate change—which has been determined to be a crucial factor in the California fires and the increase in the number of weather-related disasters—is also a major challenge that will be a priority for the incoming administration.
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For the purposes of this assignment, the issue is not who will be president, although you will have to consider the political ramifications for undertaking any of these challenges. The primary objective is to focus on the challenges for the government, and especially for public administration.
Identify a public policy issue or an action-forcing incident (such as the growing population residing in New York City shelters, for example) that represents an inadequacy in current government policy.
What is the problem? Identify the underlying problem, providing the context for the current situation (for example, healthcare reform, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic).
What does it look like? Has the problem resulted in a disparate impact on any particular group? Provide measures of the problem that demonstrate its size, scope, and impact on affected parties. Include data or statistics, preferably in the form of a table or other graphic figure. Use the most recent data available, gleaned from a reliable source. (For example, how many people are unemployed due to the economic downturn? Use a table from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, or create one of your own to depict the size and scope of the problem.)
Is there an existing policy? Problems generally occur due to policy failure—an inadequate law or policy that fails to address a pressing issue. Problems also arise in the absence of an effective policy. Identify the existing policy/law associated with the issue–give its exact title, as specified in the enacting legislation (for example, the Affordable Care Act).
What would you recommend to the president? Given what you have learned in researching and writing this paper, what advice would you give the president? Identify one action you think the president should prioritize during the first six months of 2021.
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