The past several weeks have been some of the most crucial in American history.
From a government shutdown to an impending debt ceiling breach, from the implementation of sweeping health care reforms to continually unfolding crises in the Middle East, the decisions our political leaders make on several key issues could have drastic impacts on each of our lives moving forward.
It’s time to pay attention.
As college students, it’s imperative to stay updated on the ongoings of our government. While the impact of most of these issues seem distant and negligible in the here-and-now, each and every one could have a big impact on us. No one seems to know it, though.
Over the past several days before and after the government shutdown, both students and most of the population have only just started asking questions about current events.
That should be unacceptable. If you are a citizen of the United States, you have the responsibility to understand what your elected officials are up to and to understand what is happening in the world. That means keeping up with the news each day, no matter where or how.
This month will go down in history as the one that determines the fate of the U.S. economy. Either lawmakers work to re-open the government and avert a fiscal catastrophe by breaching the debt ceiling, or we will find ourselves back in the midst of a recession or worse.
It’s important to be aware of what’s happening and to put pressure on your representatives to avert these crises.
These crises should be hitting home with students. A debt ceiling breach would likely make jobs for recent graduates, already too difficult to come by, virtually impossible to find.
Many students can say goodbye to their grants if this shutdown debacle continues for several more weeks, as some Washington insiders fear, according to reports.
That doesn’t even touch the Affordable Care Act, which allows children to stay on their parents’ medical plans until they are 26, expands Medicaid for low-income households (in most states) and, negatively, has led Central Michigan Universities and many other institutions to cut back on hours to avoid having to pay health insurance to employees, among many other provisions.
So, pay attention.
Our generation has a reputation of being self-centered, stuck in a bubble and oblivious to the goings-on of the world. Yet, we’re the ones who most embrace social media and the ability to have news and information directly at our fingertips.
Let’s take advantage of that incredible opportunity to be well-informed and up-to-date on news. Our futures could depend on it.