As a millennial who supported Bernie, I feel the need to comment on Frank Dowd’s column, “Why don’t millennials like capitalism?” (July 16 Viewpoint).
My response is to ask another question: When will these old conservatives die?
Of course I’m kidding. Bernie and I don’t wish for anyone to die. That’s why we want health care to be a right for all Americans.
The premise of Dowd’s question – and underlying argument – is essentially that millennials, 18-35 year-olds, have utter disdain for capitalism because of a sluggish economy they indirectly created. According to Dowd, we millennials influenced President Obama to divest from “free market values” and emphasize socialism. Which he says didn’t work.
“The Obama agenda also attacked the notion of personal responsibility, killed on the altar of universal ‘rights’ and the politics of victimhood,” Dowd writes.
This is why the Right wins elections and the Left wins arguments. No issue is without nuance. Dowd argues that giving poor parents and college kids incentives will kill their ambition.
He says: “The Left preached that everyone has a “right” to free child care, free health care, a free college education and a roof over their head. And that the State will provide no matter what, so there’s no need to save, no need to work hard or pay your mortgage or student loans.”
Perhaps we millennials are simply tired of corporate welfare. According to Forbes, $63 billion in incentives are given to just the Fortune 500 companies each year. Yet big capitalism gets all the breaks and we millennials are on the hook for it.
I said “big capitalism” because I’m a small business owner. And I pay 20 percent in taxes each year and receive no incentives.
Then along comes Bernie Sanders who preaches Democratic-Socialism, saying we need to spend less on defense and more on infrastructure and providing care for vulnerable Americans.
And Dowd wonders why that struck a chord. He strikes back:
“Then [millennials go] off to a higher educational system that produces an oversupply of the white-collar soft-science and humanities majors, many of whom have no marketable skills. Not able to put their expensive educations to use, they became unemployed or underemployed.”
I won’t argue that America needs more STEM degrees. But “white collar soft sciences and humanities” degrees are in high demand. Dowd is throwing red meat to his fellow conservatives who don’t like the progressivism learned by college graduates. And he uses a debunked ploy.
But facts will prove him wrong.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate of college graduates at 2.5 percent. The only problem with college graduates not taking risks on their ambitions is the overload of debt.
Again, enter Bernie. He suggests making college free for poorer Americans and linking the college loan interest rate with the loans to big banks: 0.75 percent.
I’ll end with a question to Mr. Dowd.
What’s really holding back our economy? Sluggish millennials, or old conservatives with bad ideas?
Caleb Coleman owns Dallas, Texas-based Uptrend Productions, which produces television and web commercials. He graduated from the University of North Texas. Email: caleb@