If You Don’t Vote, Your Parents will Steal Your Money
Many if not all of our listeners are millennials, people who are between the ages of 18 and 35. Broc and I both fall on the far end of this age gap being in our late 20s. Our generation is interesting for a number of reasons. I remember growing up as the internet started to break into our lives. I remember not having cell phones and then suddenly needing them. For the first time I could speak quite easily with someone on the other side of the globe. Play games with them, chat and share ideas. This started out as something amazing and then became something crucial. We now use social media, cell phones and the internet for almost everything. This type of comment is nothing new. I read articles all the time about how different our time is. I think that every period has this kind of amazement. I am sure that young people in Germany in the 1600s where amazed and proud that their generation would be the first that could read coherently.
There is something different about this generation that is truly unique. We are the most educated, the most technologically savvy as well as the most tolerant. A child in Haiti today spends more years in school now, then children in Italy did in the 1960’s. The most impoverished child in Botswana knows how to use a smart phone and get news from around the world. Importantly for the first time in human history liberalism is winning. The youth are tolerant of other races, religions and sexualities. This makes this generation an incredible resource for the world today. With these skills the world is heading towards greater peace and sustainability. Millennials in America rate climate change as a much higher threat to their security, then a possible war with China. This is decidedly at odds with their parents. This generation also has the ability to share these ideas around the world quickly and effectively. I thus imagine a world led by a vast interconnected network of intelligent, carrying and tolerant people who will bring the world an unprecedented level of development and peace.
Unfortunately this generation is being oppressed and is being wasted. YOU are being wasted. There was a time when the game was rigged in favour of the youth. The 1940s and before saw it very easy to hire and fire people, so firms where able to bring on new talent and remove old quite easily. As the baby boomer generation, our parents, grew up and realised that they could easily be removed from their positions they began to vote for politicians that would help them keep their jobs. This job security is by no means a bad thing, but it has gone too far. Firms in places like France and Germany are reluctant to hire new workers on a permanent basis as they are very difficult to get rid of if they prove ineffectual. South Africa’s black economic empowerment policy has created a situation that forces firms to keep their hiring to minimum due to the racial quotes they have to full. This situation grossly favour the old while the youth are stuck with casual work and exorbitant student debt.
While it’s bad right now it’s only going to get worse. As the older generation ages our generation will have to foot the bill for their care. For the first time in history the old will not be made to support the young but the other way round. Your taxes will pay for their care and they will be living a long time. So who do we blame? How do we fix this? Well unfortunately we are to blame. The turnout is considered high if 15% of the youth come out to vote. Democracies listen to the people who vote, not to all the people. The youth are disenchanted with politics and with good reason, we were promised a bright future and that future has yet to come. We were promised that if we worked hard we would get to be anything we wanted. We were promised that after university we could get any job we wanted. As we emerged into the bright light of this brave new world we found that these promises were anything but. The solution to this is not to stop fighting but to stand up and vote. We cannot take to the streets as our grandparents did. They won us the right to vote but now it is time for us to use that right. Get together and vote for the people who will make it easier for you to get a job and start a business. Vote for those people who will end climate change. Vote for those who will make it easier for you to start a business and pay less tax on that business. Having coffee with friends and complaining that politicians are corrupt does nothing. No politician can hear you if you don’t shout, and the ballot is your loudest voice. Be quick and vote soon before you find yourself caring for a world that cannot care for itself.