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In contrast, 72 percent of the debt held by Americans aged 40 to 49 is mortgage debt, which comes with tax advantages and allows debtors to build home equity as they repay their loans. Meanwhile, the job market has turned a college education into a lose-lose choice for many young Americans. In , a single year of tuition, room, and board at a private college cost 78 percent of median household income. Most American families can barely afford to send even a single child to college without loans, let alone two or three.
Yet young workers without a college degree are deeply disadvantaged in the workforce, and more so all the time.
By the same author
Young people then struggle to stay above water financially after they graduate. The net worth of the median Millennial household has fallen nearly 40 percent since This is not because they eat too much avocado toast ; it is because student loan payments consume the income that they would otherwise save. Headline unemployment figures show that the labor market is humming. Sixty-three percent supports making public colleges and universities tuition-free.
Read: How post-Millennial voters could change America. Younger voters are also far left of center on most other economic and social policies. Among voters under 35, this is not even a question. Nearly 80 percent oppose the wall. Gen Z are not a trusting bunch.
But they take an extremely dim view of Trump, Congress, Wall Street, the press, and the social-media platforms where they get their news: Twitter and Facebook. But they favor big-government economic policies regardless because they believe that government is the only protection workers have against concentrated corporate power. Young voters are also far more willing than their elders to point to other countries as proof that the U.
Will Gen Z voters moderate their views after they enter the labor force? Probably not. Most Millennials have already been mugged by reality: competing in the job market, paying taxes, and—for those 26 and older—taking responsibility for their own health care.
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In the process, they have lurched left, not right. On questions of political philosophy, Millennials are far closer to their juniors in Gen Z than to their elders in Gen X. Even young Republicans have been caught up in this philosophical leftward drift. Gen Z Republicans are four times as likely as Silent Generation Republicans to believe that government should do more to solve problems. In short, Ocasio-Cortez is neither an aberration nor a radical.
Shadi Hamid: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands politics better than her critics. Can the Democratic Party convert this tectonic shift into victory at the ballot box? Maybe, but not necessarily. As the party tries to harness its younger, more progressive wing, it faces three interrelated challenges.
The first challenge is the perennial problem of low youth turnout. Democrats have been working for decades to get more young Americans to vote. They have partnered with organizations such as Rock the Vote to make voting cool. They have invested heavily in social-media microtargeting and experimented with mobile apps that use peer pressure to drive up turnout.
Yet they have never gotten youth-turnout rates high enough to swing a close presidential election in their favor. Since , the percentage of eligible voters in their 20s who actually vote in presidential elections has held steady between 40 and 50 percent. For Americans aged 45 and up, voting rates have been far higher: between 65 and 75 percent. History offers Democrats some reason for hope. The closer an American is to middle age, the more likely he or she is to vote. On the other hand, turnout rates are declining across the board, and it is the toyear-old age bracket that has seen the steepest decline over the past four decades.
Unless Democrats can show younger voters that their votes translate into policy change, they could find themselves trying to mobilize a generation that is permanently apathetic and politically disengaged. When freshman Representative Ilhan Omar made comments about Israel policy that were widely criticized as anti-Semitic, the Democratic-controlled House voted to voice its opposition.
When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tried to block staffers from joining primary campaigns, Ocasio-Cortez told her followers to stop donating.
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These squabbles could easily lead to a rupture within the party. The third challenge is that when young people organize, they do it in their own way and on their own terms. That may be one reason why early-voting turnout among toyear-olds soared. But it was young people driving the agenda and the party following—not the other way around. In , 41 percent of voters listed health care as their top issue. Three-quarters of them voted for the Democratic candidate.
However, on most other issues, the demographic trend lines are clear: By the mid s, if a preponderance of young voters support an issue, the Democratic Party will probably have no choice but to make it central to the platform. Today, 43 percent of self-identified Democrats are either Gen Zers or Millennials. By , by our calculations, this figure might rise to 50 percent. If the Democrats are not already the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they will be soon. We love New York, from where we write, and we want to tell it to Italians.
We love Italy, and we want to tell it to the world. In the era of email and smartphones, the arrival of regular mail is an unexpected event. At this time of year in the US, seniors in high school and their parents are expecting the arrival of the mailman with great anxiety, eager to receive heavy packages in the mail. In fact, between November and April, university admission committees take hundreds of thousands of applicants into consideration and try to win over the strongest applicants by offering scholarships and other incentives.
Now let us get started: first of all in the US, after high school, most people attend university rather than pursuing a job. If a student is admitted to Yale , only after their second year do they declare a major. The first two years are comprised of a series of general academic requirements that every student must fulfill, the subjects range from foreign language, to mathematics and so forth. Often times, these course requirements in college compensate deficiencies in secondary school education for certain students.
It is important to note that to be admitted to any university, one must complete a rigorous application process that includes a national exam administered by a private company that students can submit once they are satisfied with their score you can take the test multiple times.
Young Americans for Freedom
Students must also submit their high school grade point average, their past selection of advanced courses and their extra curricular activities, which include sports, volunteer work etc… At the end of high school, there is no final exam and, absurdly, a student already admitted to a university in April can have his admission revoked in June. At that point, the student would have to repeat the year in order to reapply to the university.
For most young adults this is the time in life when many are still in school or just beginning to enter the workforce. Young people are not allowed to vote until they are 18 years of age. At this age they are more concerned with their own short-term thoughts and not on what affects them in the long run. The concerns of future policy, a political candidate presently running for office is speaking about does not override their own agenda.
Students in college can feel disconnected, especially if they are away from home. A majority of college students simply do not want to take the time to acquire an absentee ballot to vote in their home state or county elections. How can we rectify this situation? We as a nation need to make it easier for all people to vote. Same day registration and easier absentee access would surely help voter turnout among young people. Voting using the Internet would be a viable solution. The key to really changing America's thoughts on young voters is education and socialization.
The community, teachers, and parents must insure they are passing on the important value of being a voting citizen. The best way to do this is to lead by example.
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If the older population does not vote, how can they expect the younger generation to vote? Citizens who are 18 years of age received the right to vote in by way of the 26th Amendment. Ignoring a given civil right once excluded goes against the very nature of being a virtuous citizen. That is why educating voters on the history of voting in America, especially when it comes to learning about extending the power vote to certain disenfranchised gender, racial, and economic groups throughout history. Many young people still decline to vote. This could be possible due to the widening of the generation gap.
When they look at the available candidates to choose from they see politicians sometimes two to three times their age. They feel disconnected from them because they do not think their issues and concern will be taken seriously and addressed. How can this gap be lessened? Young voters need to know that voting is one of the simplest forms of being an active and empowered citizen but it is not the only one. Taking time out to allow themselves to become involved with their local government in some form, whether it is through a summer internship or just volunteering, is a way to be more empowered.
There needs to be more reach-out opportunities coming from the mature generations that will engage not only newly enfranchised voters, but also those under the voting age as well. These do not have to necessarily be partisan programs, but one that would teach and instill the fundamental value and importance of each person's vote.
Adults should take part any way they can, especially in any mentoring programs that would enhance a young person's understanding of the political process.
Engage for Good
Young voters, on the other hand, have to also take their future into their own hands. They have to realize that decisions elected officials make today will ultimately affect them when they become older adults. The power is in the vote and the vote can make anyone stop and listen. They have to understand that if they band together as a cohesive group and go out and vote their concerns can and will be listened to as much as older voters.
What many young voters do not realize is that, unfortunately, politicians and candidates listen to the citizens that actually go out and vote the closest. They have a lot of constituents to reach so they will choose to spend more time on the concern of voters who they know will at least vote. This does not mean that all is lost, but young voters ultimately cannot wait for anyone else to make them count; they have to empower themselves and that has to start on Election Day. I am sure that this is not a trick question. Most of us will either be sitting through class after class.
If Election Day is on a weekend, then it is up to the imagination as to what will be going on. Please notice the fact that I do not even know when Election Day is. I might when the time comes closer, but for the moment, I fall under the typical ignorant category. That is the problem, though. Politics bore me, and, quite frankly, I think I speak for many of my peers when I say that I am so incredibly tired of the mudslinging contests that go on in this nation.
I have a couple of suggestions for the hierarchies as to how to motivate me to vote. First of all, make it quite clear what is in it for the voters. Sure, the lawmakers and even the president are influential people in our lives, but it sure does not feel like we have any say in what goes on in Washington unless there is an all-school petition sent in with tens of thousands of names. It is hard enough to get a professor or department to change a curriculum, even when everyone protests, so how are we going to change this country? One little vote? Speakers can come, or even run specials on our school's television station.
Most professors in related departments will give extra credit for attending such lectures or watching the program. Also, gear information to each department. Educators want to know what each candidate will do for children and the educational systems. Health and fitness majors will most likely want to know what is happening with health issues, as will the medical students.
This should not be so hard to figure out. Second, there are 38, voters on my campus, which is more than 5 times the number of people in my hometown. Just about every walk of life is represented here, as well. There is also the fact that we are the ones who are the closest to being the next group of CEO's and employees.
Yet, I do not recall ever hearing that any politicians were coming to meet us and shake our hands. Sure they have a busy schedule, but in our world of studying and working to pay tuition - a busy schedule is their problem and if they want our vote, then take time to meet our needs.
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That, combined with our ignorance as to where, how, and when to vote, is causing severe deficits in numbers of voters. The Internet has become such a widely used tool that secure on-line voting is one idea.
Voting by hall is another possibility, or even just having a voting site in one of the main campus classroom buildings would be greatly appreciated. Having a voting holiday is a personal favorite, but mid-week is the best time. That way we would actually stick around campus and vote.
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