Esquire: The war against youth

Sunday, July 1, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Esquire explores some of the hardships faced by young Americans in a must-read story titled "The war against youth." The story builds a parallel between the policies aimed at Baby Boomers and those aimed at the Millennials, comparing them with two economic models: an unaffordable Greek-style socialism for the old and a virulent capitalism for the young.  

The story is also rich with data: We find out that in 1984 a person 65 and older was 10 times wealthier than someone younger than 35. In 2008, older Americans were almost 47 times wealthier than the youth. For every dollar the U.S. government spends on a child, $2.40 spent on an elder person. Since the recession, one in four young Americans has moved back in with their parents after living separately and one in three has postponed marrying.

It all builds up to this year's elections: "Youth should be the only issue of the 2012 election, because all the subsidiary issues — inequality, the rising class system in America, the specter of decline, mass unemployment, the growing debt — are all fundamentally about the war against young Americans."

This story is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

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