Not exactly the change we want.

What we'll have left

In an excellent article, titled ‘Change’ For Our Children, Robert Samuelson makes a compelling argument that none of the leading presidential candidates have sincerely addressed the looming fiscal crisis for young Americans through proposing policies to prevent or even alleviate it-such as reforming entitlement programs and raising the retirement age.  To put Samuelson’s point more bluntly, most of our nation’s politicians are in the pocket of the AARP.  And why not?  After all, politicians tend to behave like billiard balls, set in motion by the various special interest cue sticks.  James Madison knew we can’t expect the cue sticks to be anything but self-interested, even if they do love their grandchildren.

The problem, then, is that there is no power in the ‘young’ cue sticks.  According to a 2006 study by the Pew Research Center, titled ‘Who Votes, Who Doesn’t and Why’, just 22 percent of Americans age 22-29 are ‘Regular’ voters.  Americans age 50-64 and 65 and older are nearly twice as likely to be ‘Regular’ voters, at 42 and 41 percent, respectively.  No wonder, then, that politicians do AARP’s bidding.  Given America’s aging population, unless young Americans think they can refute Madison’s Federalist no. 10 and get their parents and grandparents to vote to help them, they are headed for down a road to poverty.  And along that road will walk both Republicans and Democrats.  An American Association for Young Persons (AAYP), anyone?


5 Responses to “Not exactly the change we want.”

  1. 1 Julie
    January 9, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    What a great article. AAYP, absolutely!! We need to do something to get the word out to the young voters and to make them realize their votes do in fact make a difference. You guys do a great job, keep it up!!

  2. 2 Karen N
    January 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Would be a great idea, but the AARP has too much money (our money) to be able to take them on.

  3. 3 WB
    January 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    No one, young or old, is going to get worked up about this until it’s too late because politicians are more interested in telling the people everything is fine than they are the truth. Most of them will be long gone by the time the mess they’ve created comes home to roost and young people would much rather cheer for someone they think understands them than they would vote for someone who wants to save them from an abstract.

  4. January 9, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Saw your post and wanted to share with you a nonpartisan, non-profit started in 2005 – the Association of Young Americans. As a non-partisan, non-profit we do not advocate for particular candidates or policy solutions. Rather, we work to help young Americans become better informed and more engaged in national policy issues, like Deficits and the national debt. Karen N is correct in terms of monetary resources of the aarp, but we think that a better informed young electorate, that has opportunities to engage in honest, nonpartisan issue discussion, will be more active in their own interests and become a greater force in the national political landscape.

    Please check out our website – associationofyoungamericans.org, and certainly let us know any feedback you have.

    Luke Repici,
    President and co-founder,

  5. February 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    hey guys there is an AAYP.

    check us out and join us at http://www.theaayp.org


    feel free to email me personally at mattm@theaayp.org, we are looking for caring leaders just like you.



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