Debt-Weary Millennials More Likely to Have Emergency Cash

More than other age group, millennials are more equipped to have funds available to use for unexpected expenses, indicating a generation weary and leery of debt.

According to a survey from Bankrate, 69% millennials were prepared to deal with emergency expenses by either dipping into savings or cutting back on spending, compared with an average of 61%. Among baby boomers, that number dips down to 56%, meaning that 13% of young people are better at dealing with unexpected financial responsibilities without going into debt than their parents. [Read more…]

Why the Youth Are Avoiding Politics

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan

Young people just aren’t getting involved anymore. And you really can’t blame them.

Yes, you heard that right: I’m defending lack of youth participation in politics.

It’s not that the next generation has no sense of public service or greater social responsibility. In fact, the opposite is true. They just don’t trust in the government to effect real change. And are they so wrong in their distrust? After all, they voted for hope and change. For peace. For transparency. And what did they get? A government that persecutes whistleblowers with a vengeance. More wars. More of the same across the board, with no hope in sight.

The youth, it seems, have predicted the future, and by doing so will render it a self-fulfilling prophecy. The future in question: we’re moving towards a voluntary world. The era where all of society’s great issues are dealt with by abdicating to government is over. Now, today’s young folk are doing precisely what is required to build a brilliant future: taking said future directly into their own hands.

So don’t bemoan Gen Y’s flight from involvement in the system. The leaders of tomorrow are simply building their own system of dealing with the world’s challenges. And they’re going to be just fine.

Liberty Rising: Follow the Youth

youth protest

The kids are going to be alright.

Never mind sky-high global unemployment. Or the looming collapse of the central banking system. Or social and political unrest. Today’s youth are going to make it through just fine.

Why? Because they want to be free.

That’s not to say that there won’t be difficult times ahead. There will be. But the next generation has the one tool that really matters in the upcoming struggle: a yearning to be free.

No matter how bright and sunny the world is, no matter how peaceful and prosperous a society, complacency will be its doom. An unwillingness to take charge of its own world will make a populace slow to respond to the challenges of its time and vulnerable to encroaching tyranny. When a people is of a free spirit, they will not only fight totalitarianism tooth-and-nail. They will also take charge of their existence and build for themselves any future they desire. With that mindset, anything is possible.

Liberty is rising. A bright future awaits. And the youth will lead the charge.

China’s Next

china

It’s coming. China’s time of troubles is right around the corner.

We’ve heard for years about how the populous hybrid of communism and capitalism is on a triumphant victory march. We’ve been told countless times that its rigid national discipline, newfound business acumen, and large size will lead it to global dominance. We’re all too familiar with the scenario of America crumbling into ashes while China rises like a phoenix in all its firey glory.

That’s not going to be the case. The People’s Republic is coming up on hard times.

I previously wrote about today’s restless and futureless youth from a more American perspective. It’s not, however, a uniquely American problem. It’s a problem caused by the old world, the old system of human society. The Chinese are just now coming to more or less accept this predominantly Western model, thinking it to be the key to a glorious future. They would be right had they come to the game a couple of decades sooner.

But now that model is outdated and unsuitable to the new world. And the cracks are showing, with China’s youth experiencing diminishing prospects of securing employment. That’s never a good sign, nor is it an isolated incident. More bad news is on its way.

Expect a full report on China’s looming struggles soon. Until then, suffice it to say that you’re in for quite a show. Sit back and relax, and enjoy the view from faraway shores.

In Defense of the Entitlement Mentality

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

What’s wrong with kids these days? Today’s youth are so demanding. They think they’re owed something. They have this insufferable, all-permeating sense of entitlement that sours the very air in their proximity. Why don’t those little ingrates just learn to respect their elders and be thankful for everything they have?

Or so the conventional narrative goes. But I don’t buy it anymore. The young people are right this time. I’m here to defend the entitlement mentality of today’s youth.

The young people of the modern age do have some things to be grateful for. For most of the world, we live in an era of unprecedented safety, high life expectancy, and technological wonder. Never before has it been so easy to be fed, healthy, and able to access the entirety of human knowledge and achievement from virtually anywhere. All that, however, is only the silver lining on the looming stormcloud. All the high living by previous generations was done on credit. That’s debt that will have to be paid down the road. By today’s young people. And it’s happening already.

First and foremost, unemployment. While global unemployment is through the roof across the board, the youth have been hit especially hard, with countries such as Greece reporting rates of over 60% without jobs. Government regulations on business and barriers to entry into the marketplace, voted on by the older generations, have effectively handicapped the youth’s ability to secure gainful employment. This comes at a time when young people are pursuing higher and higher educational achievements in hopes of getting a job. Unfortunately, this strategy just isn’t working as expected, causing the youth to spend years of hard work and accruing a lifetime’s worth of debt for no better future prospects.

And about that debt. We’re talking about in excess of $16 trillion in the U.S., which amounts to about $52,000 for every man, woman, and child. Add that number to existing school debt, which in many cases is upwards of six figures, and we’re looking at a lifetime of debt to pay off. Decades of financial slavery that can’t even begin without first finding a job. If that isn’t a stolen future, I don’t know what is.

Finally, the cherry on top of the bleak-future sundae with extra nuts: currency. The last century of central banking has seen rise to the most wicked and insidious tax of all, that of simply printing more money to cover higher spending, devaluing the people’s hard-earned savings in the process. This approach crushes any hope of saving up for the future if all store of value rapidly bleeds said value. Push the devaluation trend enough, and eventually people will lose confidence in government paper currency altogether, causing money as we know it to become worthless.

So, after all’s said and done, a young person today faces grim prospects of securing a job. A job that would pay wages in severely devalued money. Money that would go towards paying off a debt that the debtor had no choice in accruing. All because the older generations hampered business with senseless regulations. Established onerous taxes to pay for an ever-growing state. Spent untold fortunes on wealth redistribution programs, unnecessary wars, and every kind of waste imaginable. Robbed all savings of its value in order to pay for the here and now.

What’s wrong with kids these days? They have no future. They have no hope. They have been stripped of all opportunity to shape their own destinies, to build a better tomorrow, to live free from indentured servitude. Are young people entitled? You bet they are. They’re entitled to a fighting chance. They’re entitled to a blank slate. They’re entitled to be able to live and die by their own decisions and convictions, not waste their precious short lives as slaves of the older generations. Generations who had their chance, still possessed their liberty, and made their decision to build an empire out of the broken dreams and stolen freedom of those not yet born.

What’s wrong with kids these days? The sins of the father are being visited upon the son. And the son has had enough.

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Follow the Youth

YAL youth

Political movements come. Political movements go. Which ones will last? Which ones will fail? How do we identify the principles that will shape our future?

The answer: follow the youth.

Now that might lead us to believe that Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign was the real deal, the game-changer for the future of the American political landscape. Not so fast. A massive PR con job that lasts one election cycle isn’t quite the same as an organic, lasting, growing youth movement. Young people might be impressionable, but they’re quick to learn. A younger, multi-ethnic frontman with a minimal political record can only hide the same tired old policies for so long. Soon enough, the youth will abandon a false prophet of hope and change and get behind someone who is truly on their side. Someone who sincerely fights for their future.

And that’s exactly what happened. Take another, opposite, unlikely youth leader: Ron Paul.

The political career or Dr. Ron Paul can easily be viewed as a failure. During his generation-long service in Congress, only one out of the 620 pieces of legislation he sponsored ever became law, hardly an encouraging sign of success. Paul ran three times for President of the United States, and all three times fell far short of victory. Earlier this year he retired from Congress, quietly slipping out of the public sphere.

But Dr. Paul didn’t fall short where it really mattered: inspiring future generations with hope. The firey youth-based movement he rallied refused to die long after his political campaigns came to an end. Organizations like the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty continue to carry out the work of his movement. And they’re not going anywhere. They’re only getting stronger.

While time will be the ultimate judge as to the lasting impact of Ron Paul’s youth movement, the signs are already there. I witnessed one of these signs firsthand this past weekend at a Young Americans for Liberty conference in Fullerton, California. Dr. Paul addressed a room full of youth activists via Skype, some of whom had driven all day to be able to attend. An old man in his office bent over a computer received a standing ovation from a packed auditorium thousands of miles away, full of young people of every ethnicity, gender and background, most of whom were younger than his own grandchildren. This happened in California, a state known for adopting policies opposite of what Paul spent his life advocating. Proof be damned, this one powerful piece of evidence spoke with the force of a thousand statistics. Make no mistake: Ron Paul has won the youth of America.

The youth are the future. Those who control the youth, therefore, control the future. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. And, judging from the lasting impact of the movement Dr. Ron Paul inspired, the future has been won for liberty.

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore