Hill: Millennials just want an economy that works for us again
If Trump can pull it off, millennials -- and the parents of millennials still living at home -- will support him in record numbers
Editor’s Note: Harlan Hill is a startup founder and political consultant. The opinions in this article belong to the author
Mr. Trump, just give us a shot at the American Dream!
I am 26 years old, so I came of age during the rise of President Obama. I supported Obama, voted for Obama and I fell victim to his economic malaise. In the shadow of the last eight years, millions of millennials like me just want Trump to give us a shot at the American Dream. We want the same opportunities our parents and grandparents had.
In the way of that dream are macroeconomic headwinds like automation and globalism that Trump can’t control, but there are also several policies changes that he can control. You see, many American millennials have delayed major life milestones simply because we can’t afford them.
For instance, we’ve put off buying our first house, getting married and having children. If he pays attention to us in his first 100 days, President Trump can unleash the enormous economic potential of my generation.
He should start by making it easier for millennials to borrow money for a mortgage. After the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Federal Government cracked down on big bank lending. Today, the paperwork and bureaucratic red tape scares off millions of potential home buyers. In fact, according to a White House report, millenials are “less likely to be homeowners than young adults from previous generations”.
This sets a ceiling on the property values of current homeowners and keeps millennials locked in an endless cycle of renting. Reduce the regulatory burden government imposes on banks and they will lend again.
Next, address the student loan crisis and higher education costs simultaneously. Bernie Sanders’ promise of free college tuition sounds great on paper, but it doesn’t address the ballooning costs of higher education.
If anything, Bernie’s plan would give license to even higher costs. Instead get government out of the business of guaranteeing all student loan debt and back into the business of education grants. The reasoning is simple: before the government got involved, any college tuition increases matched inflation. But according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, since 1978, college tuition has exploded over 1,120%.
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Only after you contain costs for current and future students, give graduates paths to debt forgiveness. Mr Trump has the opportunity to offer millenials a moment of mercy that they won’t forget – and it will pay dividends by affording us the financial stability to start forming family units.
A final word of advice: don’t get bogged down in the distraction of social issues. Millennials don’t care who wants to get married. Millennials don’t want government telling women what to do with their bodies. Millennials just want an economy that works for us again. If Trump can pull it off, millennials – and the parents of millennials still living at home – will support Trump in record numbers come 2020.