The young and the liberal


The Bank of America building, which is now empty, in Providence, R.I.

The 2012 presidential election campaign was framed as a choice between a former governor who knows how to get the economy producing good jobs (the Romney line) but is unacceptable in character and experience (the Obama line), and a sitting president who is “cool” and understands your life situation (the Obama line) but is economically incompetent (the Romney line).

Large majorities of young voters and self-described liberal voters (who in some cases, but not all, are the same people) voted for “cool” and understanding rather than good jobs … and it seems today that they are getting exactly what they voted for.

As noted in a summary of economic news stories reporting on the employment situation of young Americans on the Weekly Standard blog, “the official unemployment rate for those under age 25 is 16.2%, more than double the rate for the population as a whole.” Further, “only one age group has managed to go the past year without reducing its unemployment rate. It’s 20-to-24-year olds.”

And anecdotally, the same blog includes a post about news articles highlighting the economic situations of various states. In the “blue state” of Rhode Island, according to a report from the Associated Press, the state’s “tallest building” and “most distinctive feature on the Providence skyline” will “soon be its most visible symbol of the state’s long economic decline,” as the last tenant remaining in the building has left. According to the news article, the state had a 9.4 percent unemployment rate in February, and “has had one of the worst jobless rates in the nation for years.”

On the other hand, in the “red state” of Texas, the city of Midland (population 111,000) is “growing quickly as companies bring in employees to drill new oil wells.” As a result, “Midland officials are welcoming plans to erect a 53-story skyscraper that would be … the sixth tallest in all of Texas.” Housing and office space are reportedly “hard to come by.”

The lessons? First, you get what you vote for. Second, perhaps the liberal politicians and thought leaders are the real danger to the economic well-being of young people, not the corporate and political boogeymen that the liberal politicians and thinkers incessantly use to influence the votes of younger generations.

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