Thanks, Mr. President: Young People Face the Bleakest Economic Outlook in Decades

Posted: Dec 06, 2011 12:36 PM

In 2008, near-record numbers of starry-eyed young voters turned up at the polls to usher in their supposed champion, Barack Obama.  A few years on, however, young voters are increasingly disenchanted with the President and the failure of his big-government economic policies. College grads are moving back home in droves and finding themselves increasingly frustrated in their searches for employment, reaping the benefits of hope n' change.

We've all heard of the Misery Index (which, incidentally, is this year enjoying a 20-year high), and in that vein, the Young America's Foundation has devised a Youth Misery Index as a barometer of the economic concerns that pertain especially to young people. Measuring student loan debt, youth unemployment rates, and the crippling national debt per capita we're currently destined to inherit, the situation is not pretty. (Note the moderate recent downturn in youth unempoyment: in summer 2010, the Labor Department reported the lowest youth labor force participation rate in history; ergo, it would seem that many discouraged young people have simply given up.)

Exit question: can it be a coincidence that, as the federal government's involvement in education has escalated (hem hem, Sallie Mae), the young people that such federal programs are designed to help find themselves progressively disheartened and saddled with debt? Hmm...