We can’t blame young people for turning to socialism

Regarding Gary Oilar’s letter in The News-Review on June 14, titled “Blind to the Prosperity,” I agree with one point:

“We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought.” But that is where we part ways.

Yes, we do live in prosperous times, and yes, we’ve become completely blind to it. We’ve become blind because most of our economic gains have benefited the top one percent of earners, just as Trump’s signature tax cuts have.

As an old baby boomer, I can attest to my ability to walk in off the street with a high school diploma and secure a living wage job with union protection and benefits upon high school graduation. My first year of college cost me approximately $150 in tuition and fees per term. Those days no longer exist.

Many millennials, a generation Mr. Oilar so harshly criticized, leave two and four years of college saddled with debt to find an increasingly automated, anti-worker, low-wage workforce. With that debt they are no longer able to purchase homes or automobiles, or start a family when they choose.

They have known a country at war in the Middle East for most of their lives. They have watched parents lose homes and savings because of medical illness, fraudulent bank practices or other financial scams, off-shore manufacturing, layoffs, etc. all stacked against little guys.

Millennials have watched assorted climate deniers prattle on while weather changes destroy whole communities.

So, why shouldn’t young people look at democratic socialism and vote in their own best interests? Universal healthcare, strong and affordable education, a clean and safe environment, and peaceful resolution to world conflicts are all things worth fighting for.

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(4) comments

BetsyC

Many people in today's "prosperity" cannot even afford housing. Some of most vulnerable citizens are literally living on the streets because of it. That is prosperity for some but not all. Something that young people turning to socialism have a better handle on than those who benefited from the socialist policies we have, including social security and medicare.

TLH-ALB1

You're right Ed, you are not being negative. You are however, falling in step with the "me too-victimization" crowd. You are whining...plain and simple. These are the same challenges and opportunities available and faced by every preceding generation. The only difference is the mindset of today, to adapt and overcome in these situations. How one chooses to live will determine their ultimate success. [How one determines success...well, that's another topic for discussion.]

Rise722

I simply disagree with your negativism....my husband and I started a business 30 years ago, which we still work at part-time, now that we're soft of retired....so, the opportunities are out there....

edfrancis24

Yes, there were more opportunities for young people 30 years ago, but not today. A working class kid with little or no capital does not have the access to to affordable training and/or higher education that we had. Not to mention the high rents and housing crisis facing them. In 1982 I rented a nice little 1BR house for $185./mo.. Now try finding housing in today's dollars that cheap. That's why so many employed, college grads are currently back home living with Mom and Dad. I'm not being negative, just pointing out the reality for many young folks.

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