Millennials around the world are clamoring for more responsibility in every aspect of society. It makes one wonder how millenials in the US will respond in the 2020 elections.
Americans are very idealistic in their early years and have grandiose observations about what is wrong with the country. It happened big time in the 1960s when civil rights and the Vietnam War dominated our lives causing massive protests and civil disobedience. Today the issues are different, but just as important to young people.
What are some of the most important issues to millennials?
From an individual perspective, young people have been complaining on end that they are saddled with significant debt, in particular loans used for higher education. Not many colleges have done much to rein in ever-higher tuition costs in recent years. However, some institutions have taken dramatic steps to give more scholarships in lieu of loans that must be repaid. For some schools, huge endowments have made entitlements readily available. Other wealthy institutions should be encouraged to do more, rather than increasing investment assets.
The irony is that some students are breezing through college taking courses that have little relevance to the jobs they ultimately apply for. It would be wise for students to take courses that are affiliated with areas they wish to pursue after graduation. History majors are soliciting administrative positions, for instance. It would also be beneficial for schools to offer more classes that teach students trade skills.
The pressure of high debt has impacted the number of marriages among millennials (they are less and later in life), the timing of having children and the ability of young people to buy homes (and move away from their parents). It’s unfortunate that some life decisions are directly related to the amount of money one has in the bank.
More generally, young people think the previous generation has been screwing up things for them prospectively. Many believe the government is too intrusive, and there are too many restrictions and laws that impede their lives. Prohibition of the sale and personal use of marijuana are major items for a large number of young people. Additionally this same group feels the government is spying on them and invading their privacy.
Scores of young people are sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden and to income inequality, more so than their parents, or so they think. Somehow being successful and becoming well to do is considered evil and all Americans in this category (the 1%ers) are not paying their fair share. Note: the definition of “fair share” is debatable and highly elusive.
Related to the life styles of the rich and famous are young people’s concerns for those who need assistance. What they believe is that every conservative either does not want to help Americans that ask for support, and that Republicans purposely elect leaders and lawmakers that perpetuate poverty in the country.
In fact most rich people are inured to paying an oversized share of taxes in the US. The frustration for 1%ers is more related to irresponsible government spending and the inability of free-spenders to creatively fund entitlements.
Over time young generations must assume responsibility and take over the government. America is at a crossroads, as older politicians are unable to pass the baton. Ironically, Democrats that include most millennials, have three seventy year-olds seriously contending for the presidency. And, in the House of Representatives, the top leaders are all significantly over seventy. In the meantime, several young (and mostly female) neophytes defeated incumbent Democrats during the mid term elections.
What has been the response of the Democratic establishment? They have threatened anyone who assists a Democrat in an effort to replace an incumbent Democrat.
Our Congress is chock full of old white men whose time has come to retire. Both parties are suffocating because old dogs don’t do new tricks, and old incumbents don’t want to give up their seats. Term limits are desperately needed on Capitol Hill and throughout all government.
Let’s discuss Democrat presidential candidates. The old adage that you must be radical in the primaries and moderate in the general election has already come into play. Every Democrat has either overtly or implicitly espoused socialism- that’s how far left the group has come. Their proposals are idiotic, too expensive and totally pie in the sky. They’re promising new entitlements that cannot be delivered.
Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the only source of new revenues for Democrats. There has been no thought given to abrogating entitlements that are no longer productive or doing what they were intended to do.
There are plenty of young people in the Democrat’s mad rush to regain the presidency, but none of them are leading the group. The Democrats are headed towards a real catastrophe next year that will become more obvious in the impending debates.
Young people have some important decisions to make. Many may just stay home on Election Day as they have done historically. Let’s hope not.