ON-Lion Letter

Tens of millions of Americans are between the ages of 18 and 30.  These Americans, known as millennials, are, or soon will be, entering the workforce.  For them, achieving success will be more difficult than it was for young people in the past.

This is not because they are less intelligent, they have worked less hard, or they are any less deserving of the American dream.  It is because Washington made decisions that render their lives more difficult than those of their parents or grandparents.  Their younger siblings and their children will be even worse off, all because Washington has refused to fix the problem.

Encounter Books' Disinherited:  How Washington Is Betraying America's Young, by Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer, describes the personal stories of several members of this disinherited generation.  Their experiences are not unique.  It is impossible to hear these stories and not understand that holding back a nation's young is the antithesis of fairness and no way to make economic or social progress.

Former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and director of its e21 project.  Meyer is a policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute.

The stories Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer tell in Disinherited are an indictment of America's treatment of its young.  A nation that prides itself on its future has mortgaged it.  A nation that historically took pride in its youth culture has become a nation that steals from its young.  People who should have fulfilling, productive lives are sidelined, unemployed, or underemployed.

Meanwhile, America expects millennials and others of the disinherited generation to pay higher taxes for government programs that benefit middle-aged and older Americans, many of whom have better jobs and more assets.

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

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as is the Manhattan Institute.

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