The front page article of the New York Times, “A Growing Trend: Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government,” is another example of why individuals need a basic education in economics and finance, which they apparently are not getting in high school or in college.
The economic mess America finds itself in is a direct result of big government policies for at least 100 years, a trend that accelerated in the 1960’s under President Johnson who gave us a War on Poverty, the Vietnam War, massive new entitlements and regulations, which culminated short-term in the breakdown of the Bretton Woods monetary system, when his successor President Nixon ended the last vestige of the gold standard declaring to the world that the United States would no longer convert dollars into gold at the legally fixed price of $35 per ounce.
The cost of living, meaning everyday prices, has skyrocketed ever since there has been no legal brake on the Federal Reserve’s ability to flood the economy and the world with an ever-increasing supply of new money. The result, all prices including college tuition, health care and many other services and goods that families need to survive have outpaced real incomes.
For more than four decades, the federal government’s finances have deteriorated rapidly under both Democrats and Republicans, especially in the past few years as the national debt has raced past $16 trillion; the federal government’s unfunded liabilities (because of Social Security and Medicare) may be as high as $220 trillion dollars.
In the private sector, young people are having a hard time getting their first job while they are suffocating under a mountain of student loans. Making college “accessible” has been an expensive proposition for young people. The student loan bubble is here and will burst, with all the ramifications of another failed social experiment.
On social issues, gay marriage and abortion, two issues that should be left to state or local legislators to deal with, young people want government acceptance of nontraditional marriage and continued support for abortion. The Supreme Court overrode state prerogatives on the abortion issue in 1973 with Roe v Wade, and pro life Republicans have been outflanked on this issue ever since. As far as gay marriage goes, here is another example of government interference in a cultural institution. If government stayed out of this issue, then religious and secular institutions could sort this out civilly.
Instead both sides have used gay marriage to rev up their fundraising activities without addressing the real culprit here, government intervention.
If young people take the time to dissect the state of the union, they would see that big government has been running amok for at least a century. Undeclared wars, financial bubbles, disappearing jobs, skyrocketing cost of living, unsustainable federal spending, intrusive economic regulations, and the list goes on and on.
We have tried the big government “cure” and the results are not pretty. Young people need to learn a basic fact of life, the most dangerous sentence in the English language is, “We are from the government and we are here to help you.”