Young Americans get the shaft from their elders, writes Matt Miller of the Center for American Progress in in the Washington Post. Neither party will do anything about it.
As many as 100 million Americans live in households today that are earning less than their parents did at a similar age.
. . . In 1980, a year at a public college cost about 12 percent of median family income; the maximum Pell grant covered 70 percent of that. Today, public colleges cost a staggering 26 percent of family income each year, and Pell grants cover at most a third.
. . . The job market for young people is a disaster, the toll of a burst financial and housing bubble that both parties let fester. The crisis has reached the point where years of unpaid labor (in the form of internships) have become a way of life for millions of Americans in their 20s.
Our K-12 schools have slid from the best in the world to mediocre under both Republican and Democratic presidents and governors. That’s largely because for decades we’ve embraced a bipartisan policy of recruiting middling students to become teachers.
Politicians from both parties “have pre-committed virtually all public resources to seniors,” Miller writes. “Want to help a poor child or fix a bridge? Sorry, kids, the till is empty.”
The generational war is raging and the young are losing, writes Rick Hess, who thinks it’s time for baby boomers to “step up.” Of course, many boomers are paying their children’s high college costs.