A lead story today by ABC News is that the majority of millennial voters are now favoring a GOP-led Congress. That dooms any chance of Democrats to hold the Senate, much less gain strength in the House of Representatives.
Millennials backed Obama the first and second terms because the economy was in the dumps and under the past trend, there was no hope for them. The only person offering “hope” was Barack Obama. The focus then was upon the debt and deficit, and upon the shortfall of resources to enable opportunity development. Millennials were starved for both opportunity and upward mobility, so what has changed?
Barack Obama’s policies stopped the bleeding. The GOP’s pressure for frugality stopped excessive spending. Barack Obama’s foreign policy adjustments to ratchet back on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reduced foreign policy-driven defense spending. Those actions have enabled job creation and economic growth from which millennials see the benefit.
What they don’t see is the opportunity with upward mobility sufficient to ensure a return on investment in tuition and quality employment opportunities. They see traditional actions to provide support, but realize their shortcomings.
As a backdrop, they know that entire generations have lost opportunity in the economic recessionary gap that has endured for a decade. There are vast numbers of people who have lost the opportunity to optimize return on their abilities. They have been benched and are not coming back into the game of life.
Something extraordinary is needed to engineer economic performance that is more than the legacy capitalist paradigm.
From attending conferences hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, it is apparent that millennials are increasing in numbers of participants. In part, the draw comes from messages that argue the merit of free enterprise and entrepreneurism that are surely worthy.
The trouble with capitalism as we know it comes is apparent in these facts:
- The energy paradigm fueling the global economy is fossil fuel and that will not sustain economies, and spoils the environment to the extent of threatening humanity.
- Planet Earth cannot sustain an ever-expanding population and may already be at the tipping point.
- Sustainable economies must provide for an acceptable quality of life for all with sufficient reward for high-value contributors.
- Governments must be about creating an optimum environment for sustainable economic performance such that self-determination and self-development are rewarded and deficient performance without cause is discouraged.
- Governments are about the business of optimizing return on national resources.
The great opportunity that lies ahead for all Americans will come from political and private sector partnerships that address these needs and requirements: (Here is a list)
- Renewable energy paradigm and all of the work required to developing and implementing it.
- Refocused government enterprise that more precisely addresses its primary purpose to create an optimal environment for economic performance
- Redesign of communities, products and services that is driven by the combination of a new energy strategy and sustainable economic paradigm
- Commitment by the present and emerging generations to improving the quality of government enterprise design and performance
- Commitment by the present and emerging generations to selecting and electing higher quality representatives in government at every level from local to state, and federal.
The current political blip in the road that is indicated by Election 2014 can be an eye-opener and a catalyst for change and improvement. It may also be just another big bump that can knock the tires off of a limp economy.
There is no evidence that Republicans or Democrats are prepared to address the order of thoughtful and innovative change and improvement that is needed to satisfy millennial’s needs for robust opportunity.
The bright spot about economic growth also in the news today is just another smooth spot on the bumpy road.
“U.S. Economy Up 3.5% in 3rd Quarter, Capping Best 6 Months in Over a Decade
By Victoria Stilwell October 30, 2014
The economy in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in the third quarter, capping its strongest six months in more than a decade, as gains in government spending and a shrinking trade deficit made up for a slowdown in household purchases.
Gross domestic product grew at a 3.5 percent annualized rate in the three months ended September after a 4.6 percent gain in the second quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. It marked the strongest back-to-back readings since the last six months of 2003. The median forecast of 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance.
“Majority Of Millennials Turn On Obama, Favor a GOP-Led Congress
Oct 29, 2014, 4:51 PM ET
By BENJAMIN SIEGEL
Many Democrats who are fighting to win re-election next week were swept into office with President Obama in 2008, with the help of millennial voters.
Now, more than half of likely 18-29 year-old voters want a Republican-led Congress, according to a new poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics.
It’s a marked shift for the youngest and largest generation of voters, who have supported Democrats reliably since 2004.
The group now appears more in line with the rest of the country.
Millennials who said they will “definitely be voting” favor a Republican-led Congress 51-47 percent, according to the poll. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released earlier this week found that roughly half of Americans plan to vote for Republicans this election, 50-44 percent.”
1. Renewable energy paradigm and all of the work required to develop and implement it.
Americans have a tremendous advantage from a starting position in which the population of the nation is still favorable in relationship with available resources. By managing population size and demographics and keeping it in bounds with sustainable economic capacity, the nation will be in position to care for its own needs in an optimal government environment while gaining the knowledge, skill and experience to address the same set of needs in the global market. That means, America must become superior performers at economic sustainability as a prerequisite to addressing the global needs and opportunities.
Millennials need to address the requirement for American sustainability, and the subsequent global opportunities. Already, other nations are addressing the greater requirements while millennials are flagging.
“A gendered energy divide
The energy divide is also gendered with women in most developing countries experiencing energy poverty differently and more severely than men. Women are often associated with household activities and are to a large extent responsible for household and community energy provision in many developing countries. Thus without access to modern energy services, women and girls spend most of their day performing basic subsistence tasks, including time-consuming and physically draining tasks of collecting biomass fuels, which constrains them from accessing decent wage employment, educational opportunities and livelihood enhancing options, as well as limits their options for social and political interaction outside the household (Danielsen, 2012).”
2. Refocused government enterprise that more precisely addresses its primary purpose to create an optimal environment for economic performance
For this list item, there is a post from The Heritage Foundation that argues in defense of the old capitalist paradigm. It is based on the notion of growing the economic pie such that more people can have more and larger slices. That fails to address the fact that the Earth’s resource will not support an ever expanding economic pie.
The challenge to millennials is to look at what the traditionalists are saying and to change the model from ever-expanding opportunity to responsibly managed quality of life.
The picture here is the old argument, and not the new one.
Today, on the Left and on the Right, everyone talks about rebuilding, saving, restoring, defending, or rescuing an American Dream that is slipping, fading, eroding, or vanishing.
The loudest voices, all coming from the Left, fulminate against the top 1 percent of earners and blame an unfair system that allows the rich to line their pockets, leaves the poor in the lurch, and generates spectacular income disparities. To protect the American Dream, these critics call for greater government involvement to make things more equal and ensure that everyone gets their “fair share.”This gets both the problem and its solution all wrong. Free-market economics is not about dividing up a dwindling pie, but expanding the pie to serve everyone. Those who succeed do not do so at the expense of others.
Those who focus on income inequality have embraced a very different American Dream from the one that is familiar to most Americans. They still use the traditional language of opportunity, but their new dream has very little in common with the real American Dream.”
3. Redesign of communities, products and services that is driven by the combination of a new energy strategy and sustainable economic paradigm
“The persisting contradictions between a better life created and supported by technology for the wealthy few, and increasing environmental degradation and persistent poverty for the vast majority calls for a deeper exploration and understanding of the nature of technology and its relationship to society, especially to a sustainable society.”
Sustainable economic development isn’t just about Americans maximizing economic gain. That is much too restrictive and unacceptable as responsible members of a global society.
Americans’ current way of life is too wasteful and inefficient. Scarce resources are being squandered and policies and regulations are too irresponsible such that air and water is unbreathable and un-potable. The notion of driving the largest cars on the biggest freeways is just plain obsolete. The challenge is to design efficient housing and transportation solutions for a desirable quality of living in productive communities that retain respect for individualism and unique contributions from diverse participants. That is a nontrivial challenge which demands superior contributions for a host of professional disciplines. That is the challenge and opportunity for millennials.
4. Commitment by the present and emerging generations to improving the quality of government enterprise design and performance
In America, the economy and our lives are the product of a government and private enterprise partnership.
“ ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR)
There are different perceptions of the concept among the private sector, governments and civil society organizations. Depending on the perspective, CSR may cover:
a) a company running its business responsibly in relation to internal stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers);
b) the role of business in relationship to the state, locally and nationally, as well as to inter-state institutions or standards; and
c) business performance as a responsible member of the society in which it operates and the global community.”
5. Commitment by the present and emerging generations to selecting and electing higher quality representatives in government at every level from local, to state, and federal.
Presented here are two views. The first is from the preamble to the Republican Party platform. The second is a comparable view from the Democratic Party platform.
The 2012 Republican Platform is a statement of who we are and what we believe as a Party and our vision for a stronger and freer America.
The pursuit of opportunity has defined America from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity. The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity.
Today, that American Dream is at risk. Our nation faces unprecedented uncertainty with great fiscal and economic challenges, and under the current Administration has suffered through the longest and most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Many Americans have experienced the burden of lost jobs, lost homes, and lost hopes. Our middle class has felt that burden most acutely. Meanwhile, the federal government has expanded its size and scope, its borrowing and spending, its debt and deficit. Federalism is threatened and liberty retreats.
For the world, this has been four years of lost American leadership, leadership that depends upon economic vitality and peace through strength.
Put simply: The times call for trustworthy leadership and honest talk about the challenges we face. Our nation and our people cannot afford the status quo. We must begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes, and regulates. Jefferson’s vision of a “wise and frugal government” must be restored.”
Democrat Party Platform
“MOVING AMERICA FORWARD
REBUILDING MIDDLE CLASS SECURITY
Putting Americans Back to Work
The Middle Class Bargain
Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
Economy Built to Last
AMERICA WORKS WHEN EVERYONE PLAYS BY THE SAME RULES
Wall Street Reform
21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform
Strengthening the American Community
Protecting Rights and Freedoms
Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life
STRONGER IN THE WORLD, SAFER AND MORE SECURE AT HOME
Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda
Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan
Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons
Countering Emerging Threats
Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
Promoting Global Prosperity and Development
Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World
Advancing Universal Values”