The Government's War on Millennials

If you listen to certain pundits and politicians, you'll hear there's an economic recovery afoot. You can look at the stock market, analyze Federal Reserve policies, and debate what the various outcomes amount to. But if you're a young person, it matters very little that some Keynesian economist talking head claims even more government spending will ease your under-employment woes. Sadly, the cold hard facts — and your $148,000 share of the national debt — tell a different story.

A recent study from Gallup shows that for the month of June, the number of 18-29 year olds holding full-time jobs has dropped to a fouryear low. Currently, only 43.6% of millennials are employed in a full-time capacity. And even if you do have a full or part-time job, watch out, because Obamacare implementation is leading to severe cuts in worker hours – a reason to anticipate the aforementioned 43.6% will continue falling.

When you pair this bad news with data that shows only 48% of college graduates hold jobs that require their degree, that the average student graduates with $35,200 in student loan related debt, and the fact that effective youth unemployment rate is 16.1%, it's clear that esoteric discussions about economic recovery aren't producing results for Americans under 30.

The problem for millennials is that, unfortunately, the federal government has crafted a system built on generational theft, and it just so happens that 18-29 year olds are situated right in the eye of the storm. As Nick Gillespie and Veronique de Rugy explained at Reason Magazine: “Social Security and Medicare, which provide retirement and health insurance benefits for senior Americans, generally without regard to need, are funded by taxes on the relatively meager wages of younger Americans who will never enjoy anything close to the same benefits. The demographic math is irrefutable: Entitlements are killing the safety net.”

Welcome to the consequences of fiscally unsound decisions made for short-term political gain, young Americans! While you can't change the past, you're certainly empowered to reject current government schemes starting with hiding your wallets when Obamacare promotional groups come to your town looking for more of what little money you have.

To make a program function that even Howard Dean, (former head of the Democratic National Committee) admits won’t control health care costs, the government needs 2.7 million young people to pay more for insurance premiums than what's personally necessary for them, with no return on the investment.

Sadly, this scheme is just the latest shot fired in the government's long-standing war on youth. Millennials are inheriting an exponentially growing $17 trillion national debt, not to mention troubled Social Security and Medicare programs that by their own trustees' projections will be insolvent by 2033 and 2026, respectively.

To face the challenges foisted upon our generation, millennials need the opportunity to create real value through sustainable employment that requires the great educations in which we've invested. Unfortunately, contending with a government that encourages debt and stifles growth makes this task harder.

But the benefit that millennials do have is that we're an extremely innovative and entrepreneurial generation with unprecedented levels of technology at our disposal. If we work together to reject the coercive policies that have put this country on the path to Detroit-style bankruptcy, and finally win a few battles in the war government has waged on youth, the sky is the limit for us.

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Corie Whalen

Corie Whalen is the Spokesperson for Generation Opportunity, a national organization advocating for Millennials ages 18-29. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending. Before joining Generation Opportunity, Corie was the Political Director for the Campaign For Primary Accountability, National Secretary of the Republican Liberty Caucus, and the South Central Regional Director for Young Americans For Liberty. She is a 2009 graduate of Simmons College, where she double majored in Political Science and History.

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