DE GRACIA: The reason Millennials like Ron Paul

Before you judge the Millennial Generation, don’t forget who destroyed the world. Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak

HONOLULU, May 9, 2013 ― The Millennial Generation just can’t get any respect these days. They have been stigmatized as an attention-deficit-disorder-afflicted, visionless, shallow generation cursed by a failure to launch. Young people have always been lightly esteemed by older generations, but Millennials are excoriated more and judged more harshly than any other group before them because of the onset of America’s new recession scarcity mindset.

Politicians, mainstream media and parents alike have no shortage of advice for Millennials. “Go get a degree! Raise your GPA! Study harder! Apply for a job 24/7! Work harder! Force yourself to come up with new ideas! Compete!” There are people who actually believe young people today are in a slump because “unlike the former generations” Millennials supposedly chose to be underachievers and losers. But before you judge Millennials on their lack of works, don’t forget who created the crisis we’re living in today.

The Rise of Generation “E”

For most of America’s history, the United States was where people went to have the opportunity of monetary success and the freedom of ownership. America “worked” because work always paid off. During the colonial era, America was so successful that Britain attempted to finance their ballooning government and global ambitions by taxing the colonies to the point of revolution. Later, the United States underwent an industrial revolution that culminated in America becoming the most powerful and technologically advanced nation on the planet.

In America, working hard, studying hard and dreaming big historically meant the individual would reap the full rewards of their efforts so Americans went farther, faster and higher than any other nation. By contrast, today America is rapidly transforming into a palace economy where the private market no longer exists to meet the needs of the consumer, but rather to fuel the ambitions and redistribution plans of the government.

It is therefore no accident that older generations want the younger Millennials to get out there and work hard ― after all, over the last 50 years they voted for politicians to create an endless list of pyramid schemes that requires government to tax others to pay for their social “benefits.” This is why I call Millennials “Generation E” ― the “E” for exasperated ― because now the entire titanic weight of decades of reckless government spending, political delusions of grandeur and taxpayer subsidized greed is becoming their burden to bear.

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Young people were told to study hard in high school and ace their “mandatory” state exit exams which judged their competence in math, science and language. What young people weren’t told was that teachers unions and education lobbyists heavily influenced this process as a pretext to ensure their job security. The tests got harder and harder and many students couldn’t pass the state exams, so public schools were mandated to have lower student to teacher ratios (a pretext for employment, not education) and taxpayer dollars were poured like water into education.

No Child Left Behind was a gargantuan policy failure that made young Americans feel stupid just so government could hand out money to special interests. The truth is that Americans are smarter than they’ve ever been and process information more rapidly than any other generation before them, but government has stacked the deck against them.

Thousands of young Americans went overseas to fight in the Global War on Terror to preserve freedom, only to come home to a nation that rejected them and stripped civil liberties. (USAF file photo)

Young people were told to go to college and to get a degree because “a bachelor’s degree is worth a million dollars more over the course of a lifetime than a GED or high school diploma.” Young people were told not to worry about the cost, but to go to college and “get an education.” What they weren’t told was that student loans were being used as an investment device via the Student Loan Auction Rate Securities (SLARS) program and that students were being encouraged to rack up debt so that Wall Street investors could sell the right to be repaid to others.

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When the ARS market crashed, Wall Street ― which separated risk from investment ― cut their losses and moved on, looking for something else to monetize. Meanwhile state and municipal governments that invested heavily in ARS instruments were left in a lurch and students who racked up debt they could never pay off are desperate and unemployed.

Young people were told in the wake of September 11, 2001 to enlist in the military and to fight the new Global War On Terror. They were told to do their patriotic duty, to stand on a line for America and to stop the terrorists from taking away our freedoms. What they weren’t told was that politicians in Washington D.C. were incompetent at organizing for war and had egos so large that military necessity was drowned out by bureaucratic jockeying.  

4,977 Americans who did their patriotic duty to serve in uniform in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars never came home from combat. Another 41,936 would return wounded. When they came home to the United States injured and scarred by war, they came back to a nation whose liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights and Constitution were taken away not by al Qaeda, but by American legislators. Having fought to defend liberty, our soldiers came home to a country where elected officials say “Big Brother is here, get used to it.”

Is America stronger and more secure? The decade long GWOT was so expensive that now Washington is chopping up the military, shutting down bases, cancelling platforms and whole Air Force squadrons are going offline across the world due to sequestration. Young people fought to make America more secure and now we are weaker than we’ve ever been before.

And for all the soldiers medically discharged from the U.S. military, there are still no jobs in America.

We could go on and on. Young people have been cheated and lied to by the older generations who were either too greedy or too ignorant to stand up for America’s future. Young people supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the last presidential election because they recognize that government has betrayed them, failed them and still insists on blaming them for crises they created. 

Many veterans are returning from war wounded only to discover there are no jobs and their benefits are being scaled back. (USAF file photo)

We now live in a world where everything is demanded of young people to pay for the mistakes of their parents. This is injustice on a colossal scale and it is time for America to wake up to the truth.

Young people have no jobs because Washington’s policies have sent jobs overseas and raised the bottom line of small businesses.

Young people don’t own homes because the Federal Reserve was a willing partner in ballooning the housing industry so that Wall Street could sell mortgage backed securities and exotic financial devices.

Young people are barely making ends meet because the cost of living ― thanks to the stimulus and quantitative easing ― is skyrocketing and the dollar is dying.

We called young people “slow and stupid” when in fact they were geniuses; dimwit bureaucrats just couldn’t understand the new, emerging gifts and talents that God had given young people. We called young people “lazy” when the cost of paying for Medicare and Social Security was leveraged against their future. We called young people narcissistic yet are tearing apart America just to preserve the political pompousness of our current elected regime.

America has shamed an entire generation of young people. We have called evil “good” and bitter “sweet” and set the structural crisis for our nation to collapse while foreign nations rise.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”  Only a corrupt American political kakistocracy could possibly turn an eternal concept upside down into the dystopia we’re living in today.

So before you judge Millennials, don’t forget who destroyed the world.

The Filipino philosopher José Rizal warned, “The glory of saving a country is not for him who has contributed to its ruin.” Old leadership and corrupt political cabals have had their chance at running America and they wrecked it. The establishment failed and wants others to pay the price and carry the shame.

Enough is enough.

It’s time for new leaders, new voices and a new generation to have a chance at freedom. Instead of judging young people, it’s time America started listening to them.

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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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