YAF Study: Youth misery reaches all-time highs

J. Arthur Bloom Deputy Editor
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President Barack Obama isn’t the only one starting to look a bit like Jimmy Carter.

Taking a page from the peanut farmer’s handbook, Young America’s Foundation compiled a “Youth Misery Index,” which adds youth unemployment, average graduating student debt and per capita national debt. And the numbers aren’t pretty.

Average graduating student debt is now at an all-time high of $26,300, per-capita national debt is $46,900, and youth unemployment has outstripped that of the general population, at a staggeringly high 17.4 percent. That puts the Youth Misery Index at 90.6, up more than 25 percent in the last four years.

“The Youth Misery Index represents a three-pronged attack on young Americans’ financial security — educational debt from their past, unemployment in the present, and a future plagued by the burden of massive government debt,” said a press release from YAF.

“All three indicators of the Youth Misery Index have gone up, at least in part, thanks to government intervention and out-of-control spending. Few things are more earth-shattering to a young person than being stuck with no job and tens of thousands in college debt.”

Ron Meyer, the YAF program officer who helped devise the statistic, said in a statement, “as a recent college graduate myself, I’ve seen the harsh realities of the Youth Misery Index. Young people can and must be the catalyst to shock the establishment by advocating for the halt of big government. If we do nothing, we can kiss the American dream goodbye.”

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