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.