Unburdening the Facebook Generation

LOS ANGELES – Once again, young people have gotten the short end of the political stick. The outcome of the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum is but another reminder of a yawning generational divide that cuts across political affiliation, income levels, and race.

Almost 75% of UK voters aged 18-24 voted to “Remain” in the European Union, only to have “Leave” imposed on them by older voters. And this is just one of several ways in which millennials’ economic future, and that of their children, is being determined by others.

I am in my late fifties, and I worry that our generation in the advanced world will be remembered – to our shame and chagrin – as the one that lost the economic plot.

In the run-up to the 2008 global financial crisis, we feasted on leverage, feeling increasingly entitled to use credit to live beyond our means and to assume too much speculative financial risk. We stopped investing in genuine engines of growth, letting our infrastructure decay, our education system lag, and our worker training and retooling programs erode.