The Generation Gap: Is this a problem?

From the American Conservative website I found a link to this article by Robert Samuelson on “The Real Generation Gap.”  After noting some comparatively superficial differences between the “Millenials” (those under 29) and their elders such as tattoos and social networking habits, Samuelson mentions some more serious differences:

  • Only 2% of young people are veterans, compared to 13 to 24% in older generations
  • Only half of those under 29 oppose gay marriage and only 5% oppose interracial marriage; again, the numbers in older generations are significantly higher
  • Nonetheless, all age groups place nearly the same value on owning a home, having a successful marriage, and believing in God
  • Unemployment has hit the young the hardest:  only 41% of those 18 to 29 have a full time job right now, and 37% are unemployed entirely
  • Young people voted 2:1 for Obama, but polls show their interest in him is already waning

So while I agree to an extent with Samuelson that generational differences only matter so much, these are interesting figures.  Though not opposing gay and interracial marriage may be interpreted a variety of ways (some more and some decidedly less preferable), on the whole this looks fairly promising:  Ours is a generation of people who haven’t fought in illegal wars of aggression, don’t wish to control the lives of others, and generally have responsible, traditional personal values.  If groups like YAL can take advantage of what appears to be growing disaffection with Obama and transform that into disaffection for the statism he practices, this generation could turn out rather well.

Of course, that’s not an easy project, and these statistics could probably be interprested in a much less encouraging manner.  But they don’t have to be, and YAL is well poised to make the positive view a reality.

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