Tens of millions of Americans are between the ages of 18 and 30. These so-called millennials are, or soon will be, entering the workforce. Their situation is substantially worse than that of prior generations of Americans. It is not because they are less intelligent. It is not because they have worked less. It is not because they are any less deserving of the American dream. It is because Washington consciously made decisions that render their lives more difficult than those of their parents or grandparents.
Mary Parrilli, now in her 20s, living outside Chicago, told us: “I am outraged. We have been scammed, end of story. I do not expect to get back any of the money I am paying into Social Security—to me, it’s just another tax. I think people should help the elderly, especially their own family, but it is immoral for the government to force this upon us. This is a perfect example of punishing the young and successful, and rewarding the irresponsible.”
The explosive growth of programs that benefit the old at the expense of the young is only one aspect of the myriad government policies that disadvantage America’s younger generation. Not only are the young forced to pay for their parents’ health care and retirement benefits, but they also encounter an education system that bankrupts them and leaves them far behind their peers in other countries. When young people leave school, they face a hostile job market littered with government regulations.