The American Dream Is Fading

The American Dream is fading further and further out of reach for young Americans. They are falling behind their parents’ generation in the accumulation of wealth—a recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that the average American head of household under the age of 35 now has less than one third the net worth of his or her counterpart in 1984. Economic inequality has reached new heights: the overall disparity in wealth between households headed by seniors and those headed by individuals under 35 is at its greatest level since record keeping began in 1989.

While individual wealth isn’t growing, young Americans are shouldering a greater amount of student loan debt, but can’t find employment to begin paying those debts. Unemployment and underemployment continue to plague recent college grads—the Associated Press reported that a staggering 53.6 percent either found insufficient employment or were unable to land a job at all last year.

According to a recent poll by the Harvard University Institute of Politics, only 1 in 5 people aged 18-29 believe that “government spending is an effective way to increase economic growth.” However, that’s the path we continue to follow, and it will be today’s youth who will be left footing the bill to pay for our massive debt.

For years, politicians have been over promising retirement and health care benefits to voters expecting the next generation to pay the bill. As a result, despite a lack of jobs or wealth, young Americans are responsible for an increasingly growing share of our $16 trillion national debt. Now more than ever, today’s youth must take a stand, hold our elected officials accountable, and vote in the best interests for our future.