It is always fashionable to criticize the upcoming generation for their music, hairstyles, and perceived laziness–but a poll of college age students has found that in the future, the government may be better run and more constrained. That is, if the next generation actually believes what the poll has found, that about 61% of college aged students want the government to back off. According to a CNSNEWS article:
In a survey launched by Young America’s Foundation and conducted by the polling company, Kellyanne Conway, Inc., more than 60 percent of college-age students feel that government should not take an active role in their day-to-day-lives, and half of respondents believe that the federal government is mostly hurting economic recovery.
If it is true, as the article states, that 45% of 18-34 year olds are unemployed, than it should be no wonder that they learned their lesson earlier than the generation currently running government. We saw the bailouts, the stimulus, and the spending and it did not work; the economy is stagnant at best, and in reality probably slipping back into a recession. So it is encouraging that young people can apparently learn from their and others’ mistakes; we tried the “government save us” approach and it failed, so lets try something proven to work. When more money is left in the private sector, people’s lives improve because there are more jobs, opportunities, and growth.
If history teaches us anything, a lower tax rate, less spending, and less regulation is the recipe for success. When President Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act in 1981, 20 million jobs were created, inflation plummeted, and net worth of families earning between $20,000 and $50,000 increased by nearly 30 percent.
You see, the economic self interest of young people could be exactly what saves us all. The study also asked the issues that matter most to young people, and most “cited the economy (21 percent), jobs (16 percent), education (16 percent), and the national debt (14 percent)”. We want results, not empty promises. Unlike many of the people in power, young people apparently do not stick blindly to an ideology when it is so obviously destructive. The next generation appears ripe with entrepreneurial spirit and free market enthusiasts. “66 percent of the students polled had a positive opinion of “entrepreneurship,” 44 percent found “free markets” positive, and 42 percent believe the federal government is an opponent rather than a partner in the pursuit of the American Dream.”
Seventy-six percent of respondents feel that government spending has to decrease if we are to have any hope of improving our economic situation, nearly 40 percent want less regulation, and nearly 60 percent want lower taxes.
76% is a striking number of young people that correctly see that the same dollar cannot be spent twice, and that the private sector provides more meaningful and productive employment, for the most part, than jobs thought up by the government. Maybe waiting around for a job has made many young people see the writing on the wall for a future created by government. The individual spirit will triumph as people are no longer content with meager handouts, but must go out and earn what they want, and build a life for themselves and their families. Maybe all this free time of young unemployed people is really what made the difference.
Maybe young people with nothing to do had to go out and find something to keep them interested. A recent study found that “adventuring” grows the brain. When lab rats were given an exciting environment to explore, the ones who moved around more had more brain activity and development than the more stagnant rats. The control group of rats without an exciting environment to explore likewise exhibited limitted brain growth compared to the “adventurous” rats, whose brains created more new neurons. So when a person goes from the confines of high school, to the confines of college, to the confines of work, maybe there just isn’t enough adventure to properly grow the brain. The fact that young people could not so easily get a job could be a blessing in disguise. Let’s hope, as the survey suggests, that this next generation is full of highly developed adventurous brains who will work to solve the issues our government has created, instead of passing them on to their children.