Young Americans have had a pretty tough time getting a start in life since the economy tanked in 2009. And according to a new poll, the bad economy and government’s inability to do anything to assuage the pain has led a majority of younger Americans to question the value of big government.
A poll recently conducted by the Young America’s Foundation found 61 percent of college-age students believe the government has no business being a part of their day-to-day lives.
The poll also indicates:
- 50 percent of young Americans think government is hurting economic recovery.
- 42 percent in the demographic see the Federal government as an obstacle to achieving the American dream.
- 58 percent believe elected officials should focus on decreasing taxes.
- 38 percent believe government should cut back on regulation.
- 76 percent would like to see decreases Federal spending.
- 51 Percent believe the overall size of government should be decreased.
A majority of young Americans (66 percent) hold entrepreneurship in high regard, and 44 percent believe that the market ought to be freed from government meddling.
Many of the majority opinions recorded in the poll run contrary to the collectivist beliefs held by President Barack Obama, who took office in a sweeping victory thanks to younger Americans in 2008 and with more marginal support last year.
Last Sunday, the President delivered a “citizenship”-themed commencement speech at Ohio State University, suggesting that the Founders’ vision of the United States was of a country where inalienable rights for the individual come with the price tag of “responsibilities — to ourselves, to one another and to future generations.”
“There is a word for this. It’s citizenship. And we don’t always talk about this idea much these days — citizenship — let alone celebrate it,” Obama told the graduates. “Sometimes, we see it as a virtue from another time, a distant past, one that’s slipping from a society that celebrates individual ambition above all else; a society awash in instant technology that empowers us to leverage our skills and talents like never before, but just as easily allows us to retreat from the world. And the result is that we sometimes forget the larger bonds we share as one American family.”
Later in the speech Obama lamented, “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
Considering the aforementioned poll results alongside reports that members of the American workforce between 25 and 34 face unemployment rates of about 26 percent, it seems those voices “that incessantly warn of government” don’t have too tough a job winning hearts and minds.