Young adults need to plan for an uncertain future

Teenagers and young adults, we love you, but we are letting you down.

Are you safe in your schools? Do you have health care on which you can count? Can you afford an education, a family and a home? Is there a retirement plan that will work for you? As interest payments on the ever-increasing federal debt grow, will the society in which you live be able to make investments that benefit everyone? You may not want to think about those things right now, but you know the answer. These are public policy decisions. And those decision-makers are elected and re-elected by voters. It is obvious where the ultimate responsibility lies. So you see we love you, but we are not looking out for you beyond your immediate needs.

Why is this? We older adults have all sorts of reasons that sound good. If honest, most of us would say that we just don’t want to bother with it. Often we don’t even vote. We neither teach nor demonstrate civic responsibility. If we do vote, we allow political parties and special interest groups (SIG) to form our opinions with misleading ads and rhetoric.

Key economic and cultural policy decisions are not about what the American people want but what we will put up with. Most politicians do what they think that they need to do to earn political party support, SIG support, and campaign contributions.

What can you do? First, talk with your family. Second: Don’t turn away from party affiliation. Become leaders in your preferred party and promote independent thinking. Long-term success requires enduring and hard-working organizations. NRA member? OK, but let them know that there are limits to your support. Remember, policymakers know that energy and passion about issues disappear as time passes and other breaking news hits the headlines. This predictable pattern is why things don’t get done, and no one gets called on the carpet.

Have you noticed that, around the world, neo-liberal autocratic movements focus on discrediting public institutions and the press? Don’t buy into it. Parties change platforms, and political leaders fade away. Trust our institutions and make time to read the mainstream media. While not without fault, (What human enterprise is?) they are the cornerstones and watchdogs of our democracy. They are here for the long haul.

Remember that we love you, but it is unlikely that we will lead the change that you need. It is up to you. You can expect that we will have your back.

[flipp]

More in Opinion

Are sheriffs above the law?

Washington voters have spoken on I-1639. Sheriffs need to set the stage to follow their oath of office - and enforce the law.

Parking issues should be addressed now rather than later

So let’s have a little update on Tukwila Village. Construction on the… Continue reading

Two commissioner positions available this year

For The Reporter The Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District (TPMPD) is a… Continue reading

Especially in an election year, our elected should do better

At first glance, the reinstitution of the Hazelnut, Issue 1 — looks,… Continue reading

When tomorrow becomes today: King County cities must tackle affordable housing

Microsoft has started the regional dialogue, but will cities rise to the challenge?

Representation matters

By Flip Herndon Tukwila Superintendent During the month of February we may… Continue reading

Why public libraries matter more than ever in the Information Age

Occasionally, someone unfamiliar with King County Library System will say to me… Continue reading

Tukwila Pool welcomes new water aerobics classes

By Laci Jamison The Tukwila Pool is excited to announce that we… Continue reading

With city budgets, come tough choices

In a previous column, I briefly touched on how our new public… Continue reading

Our votes of city officials matter

We live in a world of optics (the very best spin on… Continue reading

My New Year’s resolution

Flip Herndon Interim Superintendent I am excited to start my first full… Continue reading

Construction can now move forward without delay

There was a time when the Public Safety Plan and new justice… Continue reading