Burdened From Within the Nation’s Borders


Annabelle Anchondo

A self-made display for the representation of inflation.

Annabelle Anchondo, Editor

It is no secret that the United States faces the worst cases of crisis within its own borders. From BLM marches and riots to the surge of Covid-19 throughout the nation and globe, the U.S. has faced many challenges in the past few years. Serving as the biggest and unmistakingly the most difficult conflicts to resolve are the disputes brewing and extending from Washington D.C. Due to the endless rivalry between the nation’s political parties, several issues have taken the back burner as less important struggles made headlines. In the midst of such occurrence, a new issue became apparent and one that called for the attention of all Americans: inflation and the concern of recession. Now, the Biden-Harris Administration, as well as Congress, have been delegating what steps to take in regard to this new area of interest. Several bills have already been disputed and put into effect in order to combat inflation and the risk it holds in relation to the nation’s economy and people. These measures, though, are not enough to zone in on the matters causing such distress. In fact, most bills with the intention to counter inflation lack the means to offer assistance to the problematic areas of life that are causing economic concern, including unemployment, agriculture, and the nation’s heightened spending. 

One of the biggest contributions to the nation’s peaking inflation is the rise of unemployment. During the pandemic, many Americans lost their jobs and were unable to work, struggling to find a source of income to provide for their families. Stimulus checks were offered to Americans to alleviate some of the burden, but it caused a foreseeable issue. Some people began to rely on such stimulus checks granted by the government and no longer saw a need to return back to the workforce. Savings were then accumulated, and people began to live off of that. Others simply did not want to return back to work after the pandemic. Many issues concerning the labor force came about during the outbreak of Covid. Ever since, people have lost the desire to fill the numerous job opportunities that have been created and even some that had previously existed. Due to such issues, the United States has seen a higher unemployment rate. The government’s response to such levels of unemployment was to pass bills that would create more job opportunities. However, that was not the answer. By creating more and more job openings with every bill they pass, Congress is only worsening the issue of unemployment. While some individuals are returning back to work with the implementation of these bills, it is not a high enough percentage to be pleased with or even a number that should encourage the creation of numerous more jobs. Instead of creating more jobs, the government should be focused on ways to fill the jobs that already exist. There are positions already in great need of workers. Solutions can be found and do exist that could potentially motivate people to return to the workforce and therefore, decrease unemployment rates. 

In fact, most bills with the intention to counter inflation lack the means to offer assistance to the problematic areas of life that are causing economic concern, including unemployment, agriculture, and the nation’s heightened spending. 

One of these solutions is the simplest of them all: money. Money is one of the biggest motivators for Americans to do anything, including work. Increase their salaries, and workers will begin to occupy the many open jobs that exist. With that being said, money cannot just be increased with just the mention of a salary increase. That is where the government and other agencies will need to prioritize the outflow of money and salary distribution across all areas of life. For instance, workers within the medical and educational fields, such as nurses and teachers, should be paid better wages than dancers on TikTok. This way, priorities will be set straight and career areas lacking the most workers will be encouraged to go back to their jobs with the introduction of higher wages.

Another solution to this unemployment concern is quite simple: if Americans refuse to fill the jobs in the United States, then find people who will. There are hundreds and perhaps even thousands of immigrants wishing to come to America and are willing to do whatever work is available to them. If these people are truly wanting to come to the United States to aid the poor economic state of the U.S. by filling the jobs unoccupied by Americans, then by all means, the United States should welcome these people with open arms. It would solve the issue of unemployment, and perhaps, encourage Americans to also start working again if they do not want other people fulfilling the roles that they are capable of performing. Both of these solutions would sufficiently work in regards to solving for unemployment. 

The authorities that head the nation are creating a far wider issue by the methods they are currently using, and consequently, they are adding to the issue of unemployment. If America is wanting to curb inflation, then unemployment needs to be addressed and addressed in a way that existing jobs are filled before new ones are generated. 

Another great issue adding to the economic crisis in the U.S. is the government’s lack of resources being extended to agricultural communities across the nation. Agriculture serves as a great importance to the country’s economic state and provides products that fuel the basis of life in America. Food and materials needed for basic production of goods in the United States is supplied by farmers, ranchers, and other individuals within the agricultural profession. Yet, these people are often disregarded by Congress and authorities running the nation. Their importance to the nation’s economy is further ignored. Being the sole provider of food shipped from within the U.S. to other regions in the country, farmers and ranchers serve a very important role in the United States’ economic state. Materials grown and generated from American farms are what fuels the production and establishment of companies and businesses within the nation. Without agricultural means, the foundation of the industrial market would collapse in an instant. People would be struggling to provide their own means of life, including the food found on everyone’s dinner tables. 

Farmland in Earth, Texas. (Annabelle Anchondo)

Despite these very facts, some began to pin the blame on farmers and ranchers as their prices increased with the rising of inflation. Individuals became angered by the fact that produce found in their local grocery stores had escalated. While valid concerns to have, many looked to criticize innocent parties who were bringing them the commodities they needed. All along, individuals should have been pointing their fingers at themselves and leaders of this nation for the inattention and lack of concern for agriculture within the economy. While too focused on other matters, farmers and ranchers were and still are struggling to feed their own animals, grow their crops, and pay for the production of their commodities. In more recent times, farmers can be seen shipping hay from across multiple states in order to feed their livestock and paying ridiculous prices for fertilizer for their crops. 

In spite of this, people wanted to demand that their cost of goods be lowered without any consideration of what was taking place to raise these prices in the first place. The Biden-Harris Administration assumes that these prices will decrease with the introduction of their latest attempt, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. However, they need to be looking at ways to reduce the dependency on expensive fertilizer from Belarus and Russia and invest in infrastructure that is going to aid agricultural communities in a way that they can keep the production of food and materials thriving within the United States. 

The mention of fertilizer dependency from Belarus and Russia sparks the final piece to restricting inflation: producing more goods and materials in the United States and eliminating the reliance on outside countries. With the introduction of Covid, it became clear to Americans how big of a disadvantage the nation has when heavily relying on the importation of goods from other countries. After individuals went without common products because of this dependency on other countries, one would assume that production would have become centralized in the United States. However, one to believe this would be painfully mistaken. 

Money surrounding the gas tank. (Annabelle Anchondo)

In fact, Americans are paying the price once again in time of inflation through the increase of gas prices nationwide. This payment increase of gas is a direct reflection on the effect of dependency on other nations. Because of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine and Russia, the price of crude oil has increased drastically due to the disruption and uncertainty of oil supply. Gas prices go hand in hand with the price of oil. With oil prices soaring, consumers were bound to pay more at the pump for gasoline. The citizens of the United States had to suffer the consequences and pay record high prices of gas because of an unneeded dependency on outside countries for resources. Reverberations should have been expected when looking at the ramifications other countries were paying due to an overdependence on Russia. 

Europe, for example, has suffered numerous shortages and insanely high prices for goods because they rely heavily on Russia for basic resources, such as oil and natural gas. Similar situations have happened and are happening in the U.S., serving as a direct cause of inflation. Inflation could be helped by simply eliminating the dependency on other countries for resources that can easily be produced, manufactured, and generated in the United States and used by the nation’s citizens. 

Increasing rates of unemployment, the inattention to agricultural concerns, and dependency on outside countries are all key factors contributing to the poor economic state of the U.S. A modification to the procedures being taken and methods currently being carried out by the nation’s head authorities would immensely aid efforts to curb inflation. However, the fixation on other matters and practices currently being exercised within the U.S. will need to be readjusted to the three matters discussed above. Only then will a positive future of the nation’s economy exist.