October 17, 2013
Young people have grown up listening to parents and politicians who promise that the federal government will solve our problems. But, as they have suffered widespread unemployment, watched college costs soar and seen our legislators wrangling ineffectually, they have begun to doubt the wisdom of their elders. They have, it appears, lost faith in government.
According to an April survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics, only 39 percent of young voters count on President Obama to “do the right thing,” and only 22 percent trust the federal government. Those are shocking numbers for a group that turned out en masse to support Obama’s reelection.
This increasing wariness could become a life-long habit, just as faith in Washington was a hallmark of the millions who came of age during FDR’s reign or skepticism of Uncle Sam colored those who grew up listening to Ronald Reagan. With government programs spreading like an algae bloom and threatening our solvency, some pushback from the next generation could head off fiscal Armageddon. Today’s young people just need a little more convincing that the feds don’t have all the answers.
Well, that should be coming.