Opinion: Consider reality of today's world before blaming younger generation, says Massena resident
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 9:41 am

In response to “Opinion: Today’s Economy Offers Endless Opportunity, says Hannawa Falls resident”, reality says otherwise...I disagree. North Country Now published the facts in their Feb. 3rd article entitled “St. Lawrence Co. Unemployment Rate Higher in December”. According to that article, every county experienced a rise in unemployment between Dec. 2018 and Dec. 2019. Present unemployment rates are as follows: St. Lawrence (5.7%), Jefferson (6.8%), Franklin (5.4%) and Lewis (6.6%).

The writer chooses to blame the new generation for being lazy? According to the CDC, suicide has become the second leading cause of death among those 10-34 years old. According to the Census Bureau, the number of young adults in their 20s living with their parents is the highest it has been in 75 years. What hope do we give our young people in the face of two past decades of economic turmoil?

As a young person, would you be optimistic about your future having observed the 2000 tech stock crash, the 2008 housing market crash and the Great Recession? President Bush brought this country to its knees with the lowest GDP (.05%) in recorded history. President Obama spent 8 years restoring that economy; raising the GDP to 5.5% at its highest and bringing unemployment from 10% down to 4.8%. Currently, the GDP is at 2.1% with Trump’s highest being 3.5%. (1)

Trump voters will choose not to believe the facts that Obama’s economic accomplishments were better than Trump’s current boasts. But young people see the pitfalls in this economy and I don’t think they are just looking for “free” handouts as the writer implied. The US could offer some hopeful incentives like lower interest college loans, small business loans or the opportunity to pay into a healthcare system the way Americans do with Medicare. Trump blaming our economic woes on immigrants, global trade deals, conspiracies, the Democrats, the media, China or wherever he randomly takes aim does nothing to reassure our young people that there is going to be a promising future for them to get a steady job, marry, own a home and support a family.

So before we blame the young generation for not taking advantage of “endless opportunity”, consider the reality of the world we are leaving them where once again Republicans enabled the greed of over-leveraged corporations, overvalued stock prices and unregulated Wall Street to send the market tumbling at the worst possible time. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45827430

Martha Hodges

Massena