For all the claims the president has made about the miraculous job he did dragging us out of the Great Recession, Americans have a dim view of the economic future awaiting the next generation. According to a new poll commissioned by insurance provider Haven Life, only 1 in 8 Americans believe the next generation will have more financial security than they do. Additionally, only 1 in 5 respondents felt that the next generation would have a better quality of life.
The poll shows once again a nation that has been besieged with pessimism. Unfortunately, there are very good reasons for that pessimism. Regulations and restrictions on the economy have made it extraordinarily difficult for small businesses to get off the ground. Obamacare mandates have had a shrinking effect on the full-time job market. Illegal immigration threatens to take the bottom out of the employment ladder. And one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world is sending major corporations in search of foreign ownership.
“There are certain economic realities that a lot of parents are facing in terms of difficulty making ends meet and struggling with their own financial challenges,” said Yaron Ben-Zvi, the CEO of Haven Life. “A lot of it is taking their own experience and projecting it forward and thinking their kids are going to be struggling with some of the same issues.”
Unfortunately, there is every reason to believe that the next generation will face a whole new set of financial challenges. As liberals push for higher minimum wages, businesses are going to start looking for technology solutions that can replace low-income workers. Those technological solutions are coming regardless of the minimum wage, but Democrats seem eager to speed up the process. Free college educations will erode the value of a degree to the point where it is meaningless. Nationalized healthcare and other socialist policies will subject the next generation to a crushing tax burden that will make it impossible to accumulate wealth. Without dramatic entitlement reform, “retirement” will be a luxury affordable only to the rich.
Fortunately, that future does not need to take place. If we return to the principles of small government, privatize entitlements whenever practical, take the handcuffs off the economy, and roll back the gradual trend towards socialism, we may be able to pave the way for a bigger and better America. But any sober look at the path we are on cannot inspire much hope. Can we change course? Absolutely. Will we?
That’s another question.