Feature

America has angry young people, too

It may be hard to imagine “an Egyptian-style revolution in a rich democracy,” but watch out: The American dream is unavailable to my generation, and our frustration is growing, said Matthew C. Klein in The New York Times.

Matthew C. Klein
The New York Times

The young people of the Arab world aren’t alone in their despair and anger, said Matthew Klein. As a 24-year-old American, I can tell you that even though we live in an affluent democracy, my generation is “losing its faith in its future.”

The unemployment rate among those 24 and under is 21 percent, not far below Egypt’s. Many of those without a job are like a friend of mine, a brilliant guy who studied Chinese and international relations at a top-tier college, but wound up in unpaid internships and making minimum wage as a lifeguard; unable to pay his rent, he moved back in with his parents.

Even if the economy improves and we do find good jobs someday, young people know that we’ll be responsible for paying off the huge budget deficits run up by our parents, who’ll be off collecting their entitlement benefits while programs for young people are cut. It may be hard to imagine “an Egyptian-style revolution in a rich democracy,” but watch out: The American dream is unavailable to my generation, and our frustration is growing.

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