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The Evolution of Cities in the US

Time is relentless, and has presided over a plethora of social and political changes in the US, many of which have been to the benefit of individual citizens and everyday existence. However, while it has seen great advancements in medical and technological progress, it has also witnessed the continued degeneration of once great places and cities, as they have become the victim of social and economic circumstances. Detroit is one such city in the US, and it was reported this week that they have become the only state to suffer a cumulative population loss over the last decade.

The Decline of a City

The figures are starting, especially when you consider the consistent population growth that the US has encountered since the turn of 1990. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the US Census reported that the population of Detroit decreased from 951,270 to713,777, which is its lowest recorded figure since 1910. This is a stark state of existence for the city, which had a peak population of 1.5 million individuals in 1950 and was once the 4th largest city within the boundaries of the USA. This decline is sudden and vast, and with several different financial and social triggers.

At the turn of the century, Detroit was the heartbeat of the US automotive trade, and this prosperity and purpose caused its population to swell accordingly. Sadly, the recent economic hardship and painstaking recovery put paid to this, and seemingly tore the meaning from a city as well the livelihood of many of its occupants. This has had further consequences on the economic performance of Detroit, and the proposed closure of several state schools may well have been the final straw for many of its dedicated individuals.

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The Resentment of Authority in Contemporary USA

After 2010 saw a 40 percent rise in the death of law enforcement officers in the US, government officials have this week moved to resolve the issue and offer better protection to those who serve their community. Police representatives have come under increasing fire while in the line of duty, and are currently shouldering the burden of a growing unrest and ill conduct that discerns contemporary society. While the vast and unchallenged presence of firearms is undoubtedly significant, there is also the issue of people’s diminishing respect for figures of authority.

Declining Values in Liberal Times

It is all too convenient to attribute the rise in violent crime with the existence of firearms, but this does not make any allowance for human behavior and values. Guns are clearly dangerous and potentially fatal weapons, so there is always likely to be concern and instances of misuse when they are so prevalent within a culture or community. However, were they not to exist, then humans who choose to perpetrate acts of violence would simply find a different methodology, and use this instead to suit their purpose.

So, we must address the values and attitudes of people who use guns, and maximize these findings to cultivate a more socially suitable behavior. If we look at society as a whole, then there is a clear degeneration in the conduct of young adolescents and teenagers, which is reflective of both their environment and a decreasing level of respect for their elders. This individual ethos is conditioned in early childhood, and if encouraged or unchecked then it will manifest itself though violent or anti-social tendencies in later life.

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Should Doctors Apply Morality to Treating Patients?

Doctors exist to serve the well being of society, and the role is often considered to be more vocational than merely perfunctory. Aside from the many years of dedication and academic work that needs to be invested in making a medical career possible, the role itself requires a great deal of commitment and communication skill in order to be performed successfully. Traditionally, doctors have been expected to treat patients without exception or a process of selection, and also regardless of their own beliefs or ethical values.

However, in recent times doctors have sought to take an increasingly hard line and moralistic attitude towards treating their patients, applying more stringent conditions to potential visitors. An example of this surrounds the controversial notion of vaccinating children against diseases, and a rising number of doctors are refusing to retain or treat patients who refrain from allowing their offspring to subject various vaccinations.While this action is supported in policy that allows doctors to retain a right to refuse treatment of individual moral grounds, the question remains as to whether this appropriate to their role as ethical service providers.

Why Do Parents not Vaccinate Their Children?

The statistics are less than specific, but physicians themselves suggest that there is a growing number amongst them who adopt an unswerving policy to treating unvaccinated children. In fact, there are increasing instances where doctors have spent several months advising and educating parents in the benefits of individual vaccinations, only to refer them elsewhere when they continually refuse to let their children be immunised. While some physicians claim that this decision is taken predominantly to protect other children who are considered at an increased risk of illness, there is an undoubted sense of morality and individual selection being applied to their decision making processes.

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The Issue of Social Perspective

As the US continues to witness civilized protests and an increasing display of social unrest, it would be easy to assume that the nation is in the midst of a truly challenging and difficult set of circumstances. While this may be true in some respects, it may be considered a view without the requisite level of perspective, as any issue that the country is currently experiencing pale into significance when compared with those of previous generations. Social issues are always relative however, both to the time and specific demographics, and need to be considered on their own merits accordingly.

This was exemplified and drawn into focus earlier this week, as it was revealed that the last remaining US survivor of World War 1 died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday. Frank Buckles of West Virginia had celebrated his 110th birthday on February 1st, and as he passed so too did the final living reminder of one of histories most ill conceived and barbaric wars. With this in mind, it is interesting to consider the magnitude of social issues between generations, and understand the role that governments play in cultivating trust and perspective within society.

The Changing Perception of Hardship

As Frank Buckles passing comes at a time of social discord, it is an opportunity to apply this perspective to contemporary USA and draw conclusions from its current situation. The first thing that becomes apparent is how the perception of hardship has evolved over the generations, which is obviously a clear consequence of progression and technological advancement. As living conditions improve in terms of health, technology and privilege, so too individuals become accustomed to particular standards and expect more from their existence.

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A Democratic Battleground, Part 1

For those who only retain a passing interest in the current affairs of the US, they may well be aware of a certain level of hostility that presently exists between the government and its citizens. As online and television media continue to report the closing of schools, budget cuts and a continual rise in poverty across the southern belt line of the country, it is easy to assume that the nation is currently trapped in a cycle of slow economic growth and increasing social frustration.

However, to those who keep their finger pressed firmly against the pulse of US developments, there is a growing impression that the nation is faced with one of the most challenging sets of domestic circumstance in its recent history. Given the US states efforts to integrate cultures and reduce a debilitating national deficit simultaneously, they are faced with difficult confrontations with several factions of society, each with their own concerns about the future of the country and its direction.

The Perils of Contemporary Democracy

While some of these concerns are valid, others appear to be based on ill considered or disagreeable values, and herein lies the significant battle that democracy is forced to wager on a regular basis. Each individual or section of society has an audible voice, afforded to them by the privileges of democratic rule, and this remains intact regardless of the validity or potential consequence of their assertions. With the country in a seemingly permanent state of transition, this state of affairs is likely to worsen before it begins to foster the society it desires.

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Tackling Gun Control in the USA

Just a single week after the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords at an Arizona shopping mall, thousands of US citizens attended an annual gun show in Tuscon yesterday. Despite the incredible levels of feeling and emotion that the incident has prompted nationwide, the two day event has attracted a staggering 7000 attendees, which is a noticeable increase on the number of citizens who visited in the previous year. Of course, both the timing and nature of the event have raised several questions about gun control and the use of firearms within the USA.

The debate is a longstanding and emotionally fraught one, as the subject of firearms and their usage becomes ever more pertinent in a violent and desensitized culture. Critics have questioned the validity of gun control and regulatory legislation affiliated to firearm ownership, and have been quick to cite the Arizona shootings as supportive evidence. Of course, gun enthusiasts take a different view, and are quick to assert that firearm related violence is a wider issue of contemporary society and alternative negative influences.

Gun Control in Contemporary Society

If assessing the arguments objectively, it is hard to disagree with gun enthusiasts within the US. Gun control and supportive legislation has been assessed and evaluated regularly over the last decade, as federal government has attempted to regulate their levels of control over the types of guns viable and the status of registered owners. Given that law enforcement bodies were also at the Tuscan event monitoring specific sales and purchasers, it appears that those responsible for the safety of US citizens are continuing to do all they can with regards to firearms.

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