It's a curious thing... the impact of economics on societal progress. For instance, understanding macro models allows the masses to understand economic growth, and how to facilitate or stymie it. Likewise, microeconomics provides the populace with insight into how people make seemingly rational choices at the individual level. In studying the theories behind such profound economic claims we can leave our generation, and future generations, in a better state than the "Baby Boomers" have left us (economically).
Please don't misunderstand, adults and seniors have made sacrifices I wish upon no one. Our grandparents sacrificed their lives, without hesitation, in WWII to prevent the expansion of Nazi Germany. Similarly, after only several years of rest, that same senior generation again answered the call to serve - this time to prevent the spread of communism in Korea.
As the Cold War intensified, we saw our parents, uncles, and aunts fearlessly answer the call to yet again defend democracy - now against North Vietnam. Yes, some young adults dodged the draft, and that is shameful given the overwhelming number of men who answered the call to arms.
Transition to the past few decades, and what we see is the reappearance of the great American spirit, one focused on the liberties that make this country incomparable. Knowing that such freedoms have led Americans to the highest average worldwide living standard, our parents once again picked up their rifles, strapped on their sacks, and departed to Iraq. They did this not once, but twice... and then some.
My generation, the "millennials," cohesively worked alongside adults of a different era to eliminate major terror organizations, oust Saddam Hussein, cripple the Iraqi military, and eliminate Osama Bin Laden. My point, America's founding principles unite us, regardless of age. But somehow, we often forget this.
It's unfortunate that only disastrous moments, or in some cases war, are the main force behind cooperation, be it old vs. young, left vs. right, white vs. black, or male vs. female. Thus, much like business cycles, Americans engage in only momentary cooperation before once again disagreeing. As a 21-year-old undergraduate student, this greatly concerns me. Clearly Americans have wonderful intentions, however the garbage political parties spew to their constituents continues to be a separating force; so much so, in fact, that our debt is approaching $18 trillion. This is not something I can forgive adults for. Yes, because of them we're not living under Putin's destructive government (currently on display for the world to see). But at the same time I wonder, "when will responsibility override selfishness?"
It'd be easy to blame politicians for this mess, but it's actually the "Baby Boomers," and now us, that continuously elect these idiots to Congress, the White House, and beyond. The result? $18 trillion in debt (God knows what it'll be by the time I have a family). Plain and simple, this path we're on is unsustainable. Our parents, grandparents, and relatives tackled every problem of their respective eras with unparalleled quickness and success. They fought a contingent of wars to ensure the rights beholden to all Americans. Our parents fought for civil rights, gender equality, and capitalism. There is very little prior generations can be blamed for, less our current partisan government and problematic debt.
My point, it appears as though every generation faces a monumental challenge, and throughout history Americans have addressed such missteps with incomparable action. In my opinion, the monumental task of the "Millennial" generation will pertain to not only the state of America's economy, but also, in turn, the health of the global economy. If we wish to build upon the progress of our parents, we must tackle the issue they could not. Such action will require unprecedented bipartisanship and cooperation (an eerie thought this day in age, I know). However, the penalty for partisan bickering and greed is far higher.
There are many young adults who share my viewpoint. We may not see eye-to-eye on all, if any, issues, but we understand the repercussions of failure. The potential of millennials need not be wasted in a similar fashion as that of adults in politics. We must put our best foot forward, replace the imbeciles who occupy Congress, and not demand change, but instead make it so. We have the intelligence to do so; I see it expressed daily. We simply need to acknowledge, much like an alcoholic, that we have a problem, and then take action to fix it. Otherwise, we may be speaking Mandarin 25 years from now, and from what I understand it's not easy to learn. So, above all else, let's cooperate so we don't need to learn every Chinese character in the alphabet. I like English and don't have the attention span to learn Mandarin. If this isn't motivation for cooperation, I don't know what is.