Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America's Young
May 19, 2015 12:00 ET

Consistently, Washington has made decisions that result in it being more difficult for young people to achieve success. These barriers to opportunity lead to millennials putting-off important life milestones such as buying a home, saving for retirement, and starting a family.

Six years into the economic recovery, the unemployment rate for young people ages 20 to 24, at ten percent, is almost twice as high as the official overall rate. The teenage unemployment rate is 17 percent. The rate for African-American teens is 25 percent.

Meanwhile, Washington is encumbering young people to pay off the $18 trillion national debt and to lose out on part of their paychecks to fund entitlement programs whose benefits will be vastly diminished when they retire—if the programs exist at all.

And by raising the minimum wage and banning unpaid internships at for-profit companies, Washington is preventing young people from gaining valuable work experience. Bureaucratic rules that protect established businesses instead of public safety close off many avenues for entrepreneurship.

Now, Washington’s entrenched interests protect the old at the expense of the young. This needs to change if we’re serious about securing a prosperous future for America.

It is time someone told the full story of the betrayal of America’s youth. America is facing a crisis. The future of America can be saved, but only if our government’s betrayal of our youth comes to an end. It is a Pyrrhic war without victors, only victims. The birthright of the millennials must be restored. Disinherited explains how.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, is director of Economics21 and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She has served in the White House as chief of staff of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, as deputy executive secretary of the Domestic Policy Council under President George H. W. Bush, and as an economist on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.

Jared Meyer is a policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. His research interests include microeconomic theory and the economic effects of, governmental regulations. He is a graduate of St. John's University in New York City where he received a B.S. in finance and a minor in the philosophy of law.

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