17 Things That America Needs to Improve in the Next 10 Years

Americans rate different priorities as more important every election cycle, but there are some constants that many feel need improvement. Whether it’s immigration reform or reducing economic inequality, most Americans agree that these issues need to be addressed over the next decade. Here are 17 things America needs to improve over the next ten years. 

Healthcare System Reform

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Healthcare is a mixed bag in America. High costs, even for those with insurance, see many on lower incomes forced to pay for food and rent over healthcare. Transportation barriers in rural areas and the poorer healthcare outcomes of people of color are also significant issues. The University of Southern California recommends expanding insurance to cover healthcare costs, extending telehealth services, investing in mobile clinics, improving cultural responsiveness, and educating the public about healthcare sites to improve the system. 

Economic Inequality Reduction

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Americans are increasingly calling for a raise in the federal minimum wage from its current figure of $7.25 an hour for covered nonexempt employees to a higher number that reflects the increase in living costs. Implementing a fairer tax system in states, particularly southern states, that have a regressive system will ensure the wealthiest in America pay their fair share and reduce economic inequality. 

Immigration Policy Reform 

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Illegal immigration is a major politically divisive issue in America. Bipartisan support for enhancing border security, comprehensive immigration reforms, bilateral cooperation with Central American countries and Mexico, shifting focus toward humanitarian assistance, and creating better legal avenues for temporary and skilled migration are vital developments for the next decade. 

Cybersecurity and Privacy 

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Data protection should be strengthened in America with stricter laws on data privacy and protection against identity theft. Cybersecurity infrastructure should also be improved to protect against cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. 

Social Welfare Systems

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Reform over the next decade will ensure the long-term sustainability of Social Security. Food deserts should also be addressed to increase access to nutritious food for low-income families nationwide. 

Criminal Justice Reform

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Statista notes that America has the most prisoners in the world, with “roughly 1.8 million people incarcerated at the end of 2023.” Overhauling sentencing guidelines to reduce this mass incarceration and shifting the focus to rehabilitation will be necessary over the next decade. 

Public Health Initiatives 

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Implementing national strategies for healthy living to combat obesity and prevent chronic diseases is essential for public health over the next decade. Learning the lessons from COVID-19 to improve readiness for future pandemics is also important. 

Education System Enhancement

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Significant disparities in education quality are based on geographic and socioeconomic status in America. Stand Together notes that “the education system has long been criticized for its one-size-fits-all approach” and that “American students continue to fall behind their global counterparts” despite significant investments. They suggest a move toward individualized education and training paraprofessionals “to address teacher shortages,” among other solutions. 

Electoral Reform 

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Proposals to make voting more accessible for Americans over the next decade include mail-in ballots, early voting, and making election day a national holiday. Reforming campaign finance can also reduce the influence of money in politics. 

Race Relations Improvement 

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While race relations in America have significantly improved over the past century, there is still room for improvement. Over the next decade, increasing economic opportunities for minority communities and promoting educational programs about different cultures will be important. 

Technological Advancement and Ethics 

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AI can drastically improve productivity, help students in schools and colleges, and generally make work easier in America. However, regulations must be enacted to ensure they are used ethically and to mitigate job displacement. 

Infrastructure Modernization 

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Infrastructure across America is decades old, designed for smaller trains, boats, and vehicles, and often poses safety risks. The Council on Foreign Relations argues that while the “Biden administration is implementing the largest federal investment in infrastructure in decades,” America’s “infrastructure is dangerously overstretched and lagging behind that of its economic competitors, particularly China.”

Veterans’ Affairs

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The need to care for America’s veterans will continue over the next decade. Their access to healthcare services should be improved, and mental health services tailored to their requirements should be extended. 

Workforce Development

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Skill training and vocational education programs should be improved over the next decade as AI improves and new industries grow. The workforce will need to be prepared for the jobs of the future, particularly in the technology and green industries.

Environmental Sustainability

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A push toward environmental sustainability, with sustainable farming, manufacturing, and consumption practices, is vital for the next decade. Recently, the USDA announced a $124 million investment “in renewable energy and fertilizer production projects in 44 states to lower energy costs.” Still, investment will need to be continuous over the next decade and beyond to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

Cultural and Arts Promotion

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Increasing public funding for America’s arts and cultural institutions over the next decade will be important. Further integrating arts education into public school curricula will help the next generation become interested in the arts. 

Diplomacy and International Relations

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Strengthening alliances and international cooperation on climate change and security issues will reassert America’s role as a leader in global diplomacy over the next decade. Prioritizing human rights in foreign policy decisions will also be important.

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