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The Lost Generation

By       Message Thom Hartmann     Permalink
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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

From flickr.com/photos/91508524@N00/2288756814/: Generations: Millennials Moving Home
Generations: Millennials Moving Home
(Image by Mike 'Dakinewavamon' Kline)
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Libertarian economic policies are fueling the United States' lost generation.

In the last century, there have been two generations that have seen first-hand the devastating effects of libertarian economics.

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The first was the generation that came to age in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Living through the presidencies of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, that generation saw massive tax cuts, deregulation and privatization, which helped the wealthy elite prosper, but screwed over everyone else.

The second generation to suffer through libertarian economic policies is the one that came to age under the Bush administration, an administration that doubled-down on Reaganomics and libertarian economics so that the wealthy elite could prosper even more.

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That generation is the millennial generation, and thanks to our nation's addictions to 34 years of failed Reaganomics, and to devastating libertarian extremist economic policies, it's also the United States' lost generation.

The millennial generation has seen up-close and personal how libertarian economics and unregulated capitalism have brought our nation's economy to its knees.

Take the student loan debt crisis for example.

Right now, the United States' outstanding student loan debt stands at more than $1.18 trillion. More than 40 million Americans hold student loan debt, a number "greater than the entire population of Canada, Poland, North Korea, Australia and more than 200 other countries."

The average debt for a 25-year-old American has risen a staggering 91 percent during the past decade, and most of that is student loan debt.

Student loan debt exceeds both credit card and auto loan debt in the US, and the average college debt per person is over $23,000.

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That debt is also hurting the overall economy.

Last year, the New York Federal Reserve showed that there's been an actual drag on our economy, just because of the growing levels of student loan debt.

Americans with piles of student loan debt have less money to spend on anything from consumer products to homes.

First-time home buyers are, or at least used to be, "the bedrock of the housing market."

But, since millions of college graduates are drowning in debt, they can't afford to buy a home, which is killing the United States' housing recovery.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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