How Washington Is Disinheriting American Kids

By Jared Meyer and Kathryn Hickok

Is Washington, D.C. disinheriting America’s kids? You bet. Achieving the American Dream will be more difficult for the next generation because policies and programs created by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington restrict economic opportunity for the young.

The expansion of entitlement benefits and government services places a major future financial burden on the young. The federal government’s $18 trillion debt is only the tip of the iceberg. Unfunded liabilities driven by Social Security and Medicare push the total federal fiscal shortfall to more than $200 trillion.

The Affordable Care Act has raised health insurance premiums for younger adults. While people under 30 only spend an average of $600 a year on health care, young people cannot pay less than one-third of what older people pay.

And these are only two examples of the financial burden our government is placing on the next generation.

Many think a larger government, and higher taxes to pay for it, would benefit young people. This isn’t true. The key to restoring Millennials’ lost economic opportunity is for government to get out of people’s way.

Washington is robbing America’s young. Our country is facing a crisis, and change is essential for young people to achieve the kind of future their parents and grandparents worked hard to build. Otherwise, the bill will eventually come due, and the next generation will pick up the tab.

Jared Meyer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the coauthor with Diana Furchtgott-Roth of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young (Encounter Books, May 2015). Cascade Policy Institute will host Meyer to speak on this topic in Portland on October 22, 2015. Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director at Cascade Policy Institute.

Washington’s War on Millennials

By Jared Meyer

Tens of millions of Americans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and achieving success will be more difficult for these so-called Millennials than it was for young people in the past. This is because politicians and bureaucrats in Washington have put in place policies that restrict economic opportunity for the young.

It does not have to be this way.

Washington’s expansion of entitlement benefits and other government services places a major future financial burden on the young—one that many did not even vote for. The federal government has a debt of $18 trillion, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Unfunded liabilities driven by Social Security and Medicare push the total federal fiscal shortfall to more than $200 trillion.

As if this were not enough, the Affordable Care Act has raised health insurance premiums for the young in an effort to pay for older Americans’ health care. Now, even though people under 30 only spend an average of $600 a year on health care, young people cannot pay less than one-third of what older people pay.

In elementary and secondary school, ineffective teachers are protected from being fired. This serves the interests of older teachers and their unions, but it harms those who would benefit from high-quality teachers. Common-sense reforms to improve education outcomes such as vouchers and charter schools are consistently opposed by teachers unions.

In their college years, young people are encouraged to attend a university even though four in ten college freshmen fail to graduate within six years. The current system of excessive federal student aid raises the cost of college tuition, which forces students to take on mountains of debt.

As if this were not enough, after high school or college graduation, Washington and state governments prevent young people from entering the job market. Occupational licensing requirements are meant to protect public safety, but often they mostly protect established businesses and workers. This comes at the expense of everyday consumers, entrepreneurs, and young workers, as unnecessary licensing makes many promising career paths too prohibitively expensive or time-consuming to enter.

Minimum wage laws, though they may seem well intentioned, make it more difficult for young and low-skilled workers to acquire valuable experience. Again, the government is telling young people that they are not free to work. Destructive labor-market laws need to be scaled back so that the first step on the career ladder can again be within reach.

Some think that if government were larger and gave more handouts, and taxes were raised to pay for these programs, then young people would do better. However, this would only make matters worse. Government tends to pick winners and losers, and the politically unorganized young are ineffective at lobbying for their interests. The key to restoring Millennials’ lost economic opportunity is for government to get out of their way.

Washington is robbing America’s young. Our country is facing a crisis, and change is essential for young people to achieve the future they deserve.

Jared Meyer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the coauthor with Diana Furchtgott-Roth of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young (Encounter Books, May 2015). Cascade Policy Institute will host Meyer to speak on this topic in Portland on Thursday evening, October 22. This article was originally published by The Salem Statesman Journal.

Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young

Cascade Policy Institute

presents

Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young

Jared Meyer

Jared Meyer

 

Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Author of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young

 

For Millennials, achieving success will be more difficult than it was for young Americans in the past. This is because Washington made decisions that render their lives more difficult than those of their parents or grandparents. Too many public primary and secondary schools are failing their students, college graduates are saddled with heavy debt burdens, and labor market restrictions keep young Americans from building their careers. Meanwhile, Washington expects Millennials to pay higher taxes for government entitlement and health care programs that benefit middle-aged and older Americans, most of whom have better jobs and more assets. It is time to address the crisis facing America’s young. The future of America can be saved, but only if Washington’s betrayal comes to an end.

This special event is a critical talk for Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation. Jared Meyer is a fantastic, engaging young speaker. His presentation is designed to bring all the generations together to promote a path to preserving our American way of life for years to come. Bring your kids; bring your grandkids; young adults, bring your grandparents!

Jared Meyer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. His research interests include microeconomic theory and the economic effects of government regulations. Meyer is the coauthor along with Diana Furchtgott-Roth of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young (Encounter Books, May 2015). His research has been published in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, RealClearPolitics, City Journal, and New York Post. Meyer has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including the BBC World Service, NPR, Fox News, and CSPAN. He received a B.S. in finance and a minor in the philosophy of law from St. John’s University in New York. Follow him on Twitter @JaredMeyer10.

 

$25 ticket price includes a delicious Italian Buffet:

salad, two pasta choices, entree, bread, coffee, tea or soda

No-host bar (cash only)

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