Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Youth Misery Index At All-Time High

Fitting in perfectly with yesterday's post Youth Vote: Our Future, Laughed Off Stage, Young America's Foundation (YAF) spoke at Heritage's Bloggers Briefing today about their initiative on the Youth Misery Index.

The Youth Misery Index is a modern take on Jimmy Carter's Misery Index and today stands at a record 90.6!

Here's how they calculate the number:
The Youth Misery Index adds together youth unemployment, average graduating student debt (in thousands), and national debt per capita (in thousands).

Youth unemployment is at 17.4 percent—one of the highest levels since World War II. Average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $26,300. National debt per capita is $46,900—the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 90.6 (17.4 + 26.3 + 46.9 = 90.6). 
YAF's call to action reflects my point yesterday that my generation can't depend on short-sighted politicians in DC to represent our interests:
To fix these problems, young people must become more active; we cannot expect policy makers in Washington to fight these battles for us.  
YAF encourages campus activism to get students involved in reaching out and teaching their peers about conservative solutions to the issues most important to them.

...In other youth misery news, George Scoville points out that the Obama Administration has reversed its position on unpaid internships at for-profit companies.  Now Obama has unveiled a new "We Can't Wait" summer jobs program.  The problem?  Most of the positions will be "unpaid training opportunities."  I guess internships are fine since Obama hasn't figured out how to create jobs.  Obama's message to young people: We CAN wait for real jobs, we CAN'T wait for empty gestures designed to win back the youth vote in 2012.


George Karris said...

Spot on. Check out the documentary I.O.U.S.A. The next generation is in big trouble and will have a significantly lower standard of living than our parents or us. http://www.iousathemovie.com/

By the way, government spending will continue to increase under either a democrat or republican president/senate until our country is no longer financially solvent, at which point we will reduce spending and increase taxes by necessity (think Greece) and the we will suffer a prolonged depression as a result for many hard years.

Unfortunately, to have a long term view means accepting the pain of lower government spending and higher taxes today, which frankly most Americans and no politicians have the stomach for.

Guy in Ohio said...

George, we could have averted the coming crisis that you've described had we just been willing to bite the bullet a few years back, and balance the budget. Now that our combined debt has grown to the astronomical proportions that it has, the crash is going to be devastating. We have ourselves, and our politicians to thank for that. We will all suffer terribly before it's over ...

Jay said...

I don't disagree with the underlying point, but technically, if you're going to add in student debt and national debt, you should adjust for inflation. Otherwise the "index" will be heavily biased toward more recent times because of decades of inflation.