91. Tobacco Regulations. There is so much information on this topic that refining or narrowing will be crucial. Look for some of the original legislation. You will find some of the original research by tobacco companies online. Suggested subtopics include:
- Government rights and responsibilities in prohibiting harmful behavior.
- Advertising—Is it aimed at teens?
- Smokeless tobacco—Better or worse?
- Liability of tobacco companies. Be sure to find the legislation.
- Smokers’ rights versus non-smokers’ rights.
- Second-hand smoke. Find the legislation.
- Do not forget to consider the health and insurance company issues.
92. Tort Reform. If you are injured or suffer a loss as a result of another person’s negligence, you are entitled to speedy, adequate compensation. If you do not receive that compensation, you have the right to present your case through a court of law by filing a “tort” lawsuit. But has this right gotten out of hand? Slip on a wet floor at the mall and consider a lawsuit against the mall owner. Get cancer from smoking cigarettes and sue the tobacco companies. That is what many Americans do. It is our right. But is it right?
- Is our society becoming too litigious? If so, what are the causes
- What are possible alternatives?
- Do lawsuits cost taxpayers and customers more money?
- How do they affect the costs of goods and services?
- What can or should be done to correct the current situation?
- Should the law provide a set limit on particular torts to control punitive damages?
- Would a legislative bill to limit damages be unfair to victims? Why? Why not?
93. Web TV. Web TV gets you connected. Send e-mail to friends and family, surf the Internet, and interact with new forms of entertainment—all from your TV. Interactivity allows participants to play along with game shows, participate in polls, and chat with other viewers during programs. Questions to ask include the following:
- Is Web TV the way we will all access the Web and each other?
- Will easier access affect attempts to control the content?
- Will companies be willing to build to accommodate this medium?
- How will Web TV change family viewing?
94. Welfare Reform. You will definitely need to refine this large topic. You may just want to report on one of the issues, such as child welfare or the food stamp program.
- How will the Welfare Overhaul Law reduce welfare dependency?
- What is the correlation between welfare and teenage pregnancy? How will the new law address this and other welfare problems?
- Will new laws help or hurt needy children? Legal immigrants? Illegal immigrants?
- If welfare is a generational or an ethnic problem, how does the new law address this problem?
- How can a new law force or encourage or assist welfare recipients to change their lifestyle?
95. Women Athletics. Women’s sports are very popular, from ice-skating to basketball. However, women do not make as much money playing these sports as men do. This is an emotional topic for some. Think about it from the standpoint of college scholarships or professional sports. From your research, create a salary comparison chart – that will be an eye-opener. Following are a few ideas for topic refinement:
- Should women’s athletic programs receive as much money as men’s programs? What is being done to make funding more equitable?
- Should women train the way men do? Why or why not?
- Has participating in team sports traditionally given men a career edge over women?
- Will women’s basketball help establish women’s sports on television and other media?
96. Work Ethics. Work ethic may be defined as one’s sense of responsibility and loyalty to a job, identifying the amount of work needed and the accountability of an employee to fill that need. Do Americans still feel a responsibility to give a day’s work for a day’s pay? Perhaps the creation of huge companies and the lack of a feeling of company loyalty or job security is an emotional factor. Perhaps the fact that people do not expect to stay in one job for a long time contributes to the way they feel about their work. Choose a position on this issue, but be sure to find information on both sides so your argument will have substance.
- What is a “work ethic?” Are work ethics changing? Why or why not?
- How does the concept of a work ethic affect society as a whole?
- Can workplace ethics be taught?
- Does company loyalty (or lack of it) contribute to a poor work ethic?
- Should companies be responsible for improving employee/company loyalty?
97. World Population and Hunger. This is a topic so broad that it can be broken down in many different ways, concerning the effect of population growth on the environment, hunger, religion, or women (birth control). Hunger is a by-product of the problems caused by world population and should be worked into your report, if it interests you. We suggest you pick a small issue for a four-to-five-page paper because there is a great deal of information. Possible interesting broad issues include the following:
- Does population growth continue to widen the gap between the “haves” and “have nots?”
- Should governments limit families in countries where overpopulation is a factor?
- Is religion a major factor in population growth? What role do religious beliefs play?
- Does it infringe on human rights when a society limits family size?
You may find information about food distribution—getting food from the place where it was grown to where it is needed. That is a great economics topic. Many Third World countries have population limitations; you may find that to be an interesting topic.
98. World Trade and Globalization. Since nations first began trading with one another, governments have tried to control the flow of goods into their lands, usually through tariffs or through quotas limiting the amount of imports. Tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods to protect industries within a country from competitors, Today, most of the world’s industrialized nations support free trade and the elimination of trade barriers, claiming that such protectionist measures amount to economic discrimination. Suggested subtopics for research are:
- European Union
- Fair Trade
- Global Economy
- Multinational Corporations
- Trade Barriers
99. Year-Round Schools. Many school systems have tried year-round school and found that it creates many problems for families. What are some of these problems? How have these problems been solved? School districts around the country have tried it. Are they continuing with this schedule? You may look for a district where this program has been tried and then talk with school officials about its success or lack of success. There will be more information for more recent years.
- Does a year-round school schedule cost the school district more money, or does it save money? Is it a more effective use of costly schools? Does it save the cost of erecting additional buildings?
- What is the effect of year-round schooling on student learning and retention? In what ways does alternative scheduling affect transient students?
- How does year-round school scheduling affect family vacations? Scheduling for families with several children? Working parents?
100. Youth Crime. This is a hot topic that was barely an issue 10 years ago. Now, boot camps and teen crime have become the norm, particularly in large cities and suburbs. What is causing this trend? Consider the following:
- Is youth crime on the rise? Are children committing serious crimes at younger ages? Why?
- What social and economic factors may be contributing to this problem?
- Can implementing curfews, treating juvenile offenders as adults, and zero tolerance policies be effective methods for reducing youth crime? Are there other alternatives?
- Should parents be held criminally responsible for the crimes of their children?
- Are prison boot camps effective in rehabilitating youth?