How the US Is Destroying Young People’s Future

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Let’s delve into a pressing issue: the intergenerational wealth transfer and its impact on our youth.

Our society, and particularly our economic policies, are failing our younger generations.

The Wealth Gap

For the first time in US history, a 30-year-old today is likely to be less prosperous than their parents were at the same age.

This is a fundamental breakdown of our social contract, leading to widespread frustration among the youth.

Minimum Wage and Housing Costs

Despite increased productivity, the minimum wage has stagnated. If it had kept pace, it would be around $23 per hour today.

Meanwhile, housing prices have soared. The average mortgage payment pre-pandemic was $1,100; now it’s $2,300.

This is due to skyrocketing home prices and rising interest rates.

In places like Vancouver, 60% of the cost of building a home is permits, making home ownership even more difficult for young people.

The Education Crisis

Higher education is another area where we’ve failed.

Admission rates have plummeted, and tuition costs have soared. In the 1980s, the acceptance rate at UCLA was 76%; today, it’s 9%.

As someone who got into UCLA with a 2.23 GPA, I can attest to the power of education in transforming unremarkable students into remarkable individuals.

The LVMH Strategy in Higher Ed

Universities have adopted a strategy similar to luxury brands: artificially constraining supply to create scarcity and raise prices.

Elite institutions like Harvard have increased their endowments significantly but expanded their freshman class by only 4% over 40 years.

Universities should grow their enrollment faster than the population and reduce tuition costs, not act as hedge funds offering classes.

Corporate Profits vs. Wages

Corporate profits have soared, while wages have barely increased.

This disparity has led to an unprecedented transfer of wealth from workers to capital owners.

It’s easier to become a billionaire now than ever, but it’s harder to become a millionaire.

Social Security and Wealth Transfer

Every year, we transfer $1.4 trillion from younger, less wealthy cohorts to the wealthiest generation in history.

Senior poverty is down, which is good, but child poverty is flat or increasing. The criteria for Social Security should be based on need, not age.

The Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic exacerbated this wealth transfer. While a million people died, the stock market soared, benefiting the wealthy.

Young people, on the other hand, face unprecedented levels of debt and fewer opportunities for disruption and growth.

The Emotional and Mental Toll

The impact isn’t just economic; it’s also emotional and mental. Self-harm rates, depression, and gun deaths are all on the rise among young people.

Social media, largely driven by algorithms, has significantly harmed the mental health of our youth.

Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, has made immense profits while contributing to this crisis.

What Can We Do?

There are solutions. We can:

  • Increase minimum wage to $25 per hour.
  • Restore a progressive tax structure and fund the IRS.
  • Reform Social Security to be need-based.
  • Implement a negative income tax.
  • Remove the capital gains tax deduction.
  • Break up Big Tech and age-gate social media.
  • Provide universal pre-K and reinstate the expanded child tax credit.
  • Implement income-based affirmative action and expand college enrollments.

Final Thoughts

If we truly believe our children are the most important part of our lives, we must acknowledge that they’re doing worse than previous generations.

We have the resources to fix these problems, but do we have the will?


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