Our kids are angry!

Your most difficult task these days is to convince someone age 18-20 that not all politicians are liars, thieves, opportunists, and are exactly alike right down to their silk suits.

Sit down with half dozen non-relatives in that age group, and you are in for an eye-opening conversation you cannot win. If nothing else, you will be shouted down no matter your solid arguments or well phrased statements. Think not? Try it with strangers, go to your local community college and sit down in the middle of the cafeteria among the “kids” and see what happens.

In my experience in just such a situation, once the ice was broken and others felt comfortable expressing their honest views, their was one single constant: The younger generation of voters do not trust either political party. Furthermore, the large majority do not believe there is a particle of difference between the two major parties. While they may want to fire the lot of them from the Congress, the group I spoke with had no idea how and with whom they would replace current elected officials. They only know they don’t like any of them. Frankly, their knowledge of the representative republic form of government was minimal.

So, is it because the educational system is so liberal leaning, or is it something else altogether? Good luck finding the real answer to that question. There are too many complications entering the debate for any real resolution.

Young people look at the situation and see political parties compromising principle, trading votes, and, worst of all, officials becoming millionaires while supposedly in Washington, DC, “serving” the people. The kids don’t like it one bit. They see older adults raping the future, particularly the opportunities to achieve the American dream.

According to the National Poverty Center, “children represent a disproportionate share of the poor in the United States; they are 24 percent of the total population, but 36 percent of the poor population. In 2010, 16.4 million children, or 22.0 percent, were poor.” Many believe that statistic is a major reason our children are disenchanted with the leadership of this nation. The percentage of American folks in poverty has risen dramatically in the first 12 years of this decade. Further, the poor continue to elect Democrats in their communities who promise improved conditions, but it never occurs. Republicans, on the other hand, attempting to solve the same problems in the ghetto, face investors who will not put their money at such precarious risk.

But, that cannot be the only reasons.

Additionally, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, “in the 2000s, U.S. manufacturing suffered its worst performance in American history in terms of jobs. Not only did America lose 5.7 million manufacturing jobs, but the decline as a share of total manufacturing jobs (33 percent) exceeded the rate of loss in the Great Depression.” That means there are fewer jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled people. Couple that with the current poor economic climate and an administration unwilling to promote American small businesses, and the future takes on a bleak gray color.

Apparently, our educational system is unable to produce high school graduates who have been exposed to or learn industrial skills. The focus in the past 30 years has been on “academic” or “pre-college” learning. Furthermore, graduating seniors are less likely to be able to care for themselves outside of their parent’s home. In the 50’s, for example, seventh and eighth grade boys received six weeks of home economics in both years, changing places with the girls who went to “shop” classes. Is that an important distinction between then and now? I really think so.

Too, industrial classes have not kept pace for high school students. How many schools teach computer assisted design, CAD-Cam machinery operation? Furthermore, my experience has been that fully 75% of all high school graduates cannot fill out a simple job application. In the last year I served as a manufacturing executive, fully 70% of all prospective young employees had a 60 to 70% hearing loss in one or both ears. Why? Lack of knowledge about the dangers of loud sound, particularly in small, enclosed spaces like automobiles, and, lack of home discipline about such things.

It is not just poverty, lack of manufacturing, or, listening to loud music, that has caused our youth to become soured about government in our country. It is many things, not the least of which is the inability of our leaders to reasonably find solutions with a burgeoning selfishly bureaucratic government that saps more and more cash from its citizens.