May the coming generations not have
cause to say, "Phooey on you." Instead, may they rise up and call
The generation of young people who are now entering college or
have recently graduated are suffering more than any other in this
poor economy. And their story is one of the most overlooked and
As USA Today reported in April 2012, more
than half of those under the age of 25 with bachelor's degrees were
jobless or underemployed last year. This was the highest number in
the last 11 years.
Instead of getting good jobs in the fields they prepared for,
these young college grads are working in jobs that require a high
school diploma or less. This means that it's going to be some time
before they can start paying off their share of the $1 trillion in
student loans that are now outstanding.
Many are working in food service jobs or have taken on work in
offices or retail. Their dreams of starting on their career paths
as engineers, physicists, chemists, mathematicians or computer
professionals are on hold, as are their dreams of starting a family
or living independently of their parents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall
underemployment figure is 17 percent. But among 18- to
29-year-olds, 32 percent are underemployed. Not only are recent
grads underemployed, according to Gallup the percentage of those
who are not working is 13.6 percent -- considerably higher than the
national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.
However, just as many say that the true unemployment rate is
closer to 10-15 percent. Ron Meyer of Young America's Foundation,
who spoke on the Truth That Transforms television program, says the
rate for youth is actually 17.4 percent -- one of the highest
levels since World War II. "Young people are taking an economic
shellacking," he says.
Unlike older Americans who have lost their jobs in the poor
economy, recent college grads don't have the experience and
knowledge to start a business or self-employ. As Meyer points out,
that has meant that "youth participation in the job force is at an
all-time low. Young people are either going back to college, moving
home with their parents, [or] trying to travel some place, because
there is simply no work for them. The way this recession worked and
the way the government has tried to fix the economy hasn't worked
out well for young people and no one is talking about it."
A recent college grad now working as a journalist and spokesman
for the Young American's Foundation, Meyer is reaching out to his
peers and encouraging them to speak up and get involved -- not with
Occupy Wall Street, but as "the catalyst for entitlement reform,
the catalyst for tax reform," because that, says Meyer, "affects us
Meyer says that young people in America are "indentured to the
government" through debt and through the present employment crisis.
Therefore, he's urging youth to "stand up and say, 'Hey -- enough
big government, enough big spending and enough high taxes. I want
employment and I want the government to do its proper role, its
proper constitutional role.'"
There is no other option, according to Meyer. "It has to happen.
Otherwise I think our future is lost … The future taxes from the
national debt alone will consume our economy just with interest
Proverbs 13:22 speaks of the wise man who leaves an inheritance
to his children's children. Yet unless something is done about our
nation's staggering debt -- now at $16 trillion -- today's boomer
and elder generations are going to leave their children and
grandchildren saddled with a debt that will sap all of their
energies and deny them the opportunities they desire to achieve
their goals, aspirations, and chosen vocations.
As Dr. D. James Kennedy said in 1989 in a sermon entitled,
"Christianity and the Federal Deficit":
"TThe Bible says that inheritances should go from the fathers
unto the sons. But we have reversed that concept. We are taking
from our sonsandour grandsons and are wasting it on our own
immediate wants… We want our grandchildren to pay for the high
standard of living that we are enjoying today. What we are doing to
our grandchildren is so criminal that I wouldn't be at all
surprised if the younger generation today says, when it reaches
maturity, 'Phooey on the whole bunch of you!' and just cuts us all
Ron Meyer isn't saying "Phooey on the whole bunch of you." He
has a vision for changing our nation that shows wisdom beyond his
"I think we can keep the American dream and save the American
dream from destruction by doing things like entitlement reform,
shrinking the size of government, giving more power back to the
states, federalizing these massive programs and massive
bureaucracies that are trying to solve problems from the top
Let's hope he persuades not only his peers, but also those in
the older generations who are more inclined to vote. For unless
such changes are made today, when today's younger generations gain
political power, they may very well say, "Phooey on the whole bunch
of you" and stop paying taxes to cover our Social Security and
In Isaiah 51:8 the Lord says, "My righteousness will be forever
and my salvation from generation to generation." And in her song of
praise, Jesus' mother Mary rejoiced that "His mercy is on those who
fear Him from generation to generation" (Luke 1:10).
God thinks "generationally," and so should we -- not just in
church, but at the polling booth as well.
When we vote this November, let us think of the coming
generations -- our children and grandchildren and even our
great-grandchildren. How will our vote make a difference in their
May the coming generations not have cause to say, "Phooey on
you." But rather, may they rise up and call us "blessed."
Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Truth in Action
Ministries (formerly Coral Ridge Ministries) and
author of "
The War on Children: How Pop Culture
and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk." She is a
career educator who has taught at all levels in both public and
Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr.Gushta served as the
first international director of Kid's Evangelism
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