Greatest recession since the Great Depression of our grandparents time. Worst real estate market of the modern age. Unemployment at all time high for our generation. Gas prices soar. Spending stops. Foreclosure. Deficit. Debt. Bankruptcy.
These headlines crowd our newspapers, our blogs, our twitter feeds and our water cooler chats. But one particular group seems to not talk about it at all: our government. The White House continues to crowd out the number one issue in America right now, the economy, with anything else they can grasp at.
In fall 2008 when markets started to crash and the country’s outlook took a dive, Obama first started to talk about Health Care. I remember in late December hearing a speech ending with, “American’s number one concern is the state of heathcare.” And I distinctly recall saying, “Wait—isn’t it the economy?”
It certainly is to the under 40 crowd. No age group suffers more from un-and-underemployment then our recent college grad and young professionals. A recent article at FoxDC says that 37% of Generation Y is unemployed and 23% stopped looking (lots went back to school). And now a third of that generation has moved home because they can no longer afford cost of living.
When Obama came into office he rode on the heavy influence and support of Gen Y. Now he has turned his back on the generation most hurt by the current economic situation. Here’s how the system works. The recession causes job loss. Now Baby Boomers with more experience, more to lose, are out of work. So where do they go? They step down the ladder and take jobs that young college students would normally snatch up right out of school. Now some kids can’t even find employment because their underemployed parents stole those positions. So now you have a generation who either can’t find work or is unwilling to take an job for less than the salary they were told to expect by their college professors. Now there is a gap. Certain segments of Gen Y will suffer more than others, causing a “lost” generation of five or six years. These kids will not get the jobs they were promised out of school and by the time the recession ends younger, fresher college grads will appear to take the positions that finally open up.
But Obama doesn’t talk about Generation Y losing their faith in the job market and even public schools. He doesn’t talk about viable initiatives to safe these kids from falling into the “lost” gap. He spends his efforts on everything else. First it was Healthcare, then the oil spill, then cap and trade. Now its a re-focus on Katrina.
Don’t misunderstand. All these issues matter but poll after poll, survey after survey shows that the number one issue on American hearts and minds is the state of the economy. My guess is that he doesn’t have any real solutions to put forward. The stimulus bill has been an utter failure. He has shut down the few government entities who were providing real jobs (like NASA) and has continued to put regulations on business while refusing to offer relief to what truly drive our economy, small businesses.
Our youth and our future is at stake until DC decides to focus on what really matters, the economy.