Obama's Youth Problem

by | Aug 3, 2011

Newsmax.com reports that more than half of all voters do not trust President Barack Obama to lead America back to economic prosperity. And the young who turned out in such great numbers for Obama in 2008 have even less confidence in him than those in any other age groups, according to a poll conducted by […]

Newsmax.com reports that more than half of all voters do not trust President Barack Obama to lead America back to economic prosperity. And the young who turned out in such great numbers for Obama in 2008 have even less confidence in him than those in any other age groups, according to a poll conducted by IBOPE Zogby. Only one in six of those under age 24 say they trust Obama.

That could spell disaster for the president next year when he faces voters again, pollster John Zogby told Newsmax. “I don’t see the younger group flipping and voting Republican,” he said. “But I can see them not voting in great numbers. The president cannot win reelection unless he can turn out the support of younger voters.”

The question is, why do so many young people support socialism in the first place? Can it be true that most of them simply don’t want to work?

Not likely. What’s more likely is that they don’t know they’re supporting socialism. They don’t have any grasp or concept of where wealth comes from. They don’t understand that in order for there to be prosperity, which each generation of Americans has come to expect, there have to be wealth creators. Barack Obama was cheered by young people in 2008 because, in part, he promised to punish those very wealth creators upon whom the young people are depending for jobs.

If you asked those same young people, “Why won’t you vote for Obama this time?” the answer clearly won’t be, “Because socialism failed. It’s wrong, and it doesn’t work.” If they thought this, they would at least consider voting for the Republican, especially if the Republicans end up nominating a Tea Party candidate who’s a plausible alternative. No, they’re not mad at Obama for his socialism. They’re angry at Obama for failing (in their minds) to be socialist enough.

These young people had to get their ideas somewhere. Their parents may or may not be explicitly socialist. But one thing’s for sure. Somewhere along the way, they must have gotten the idea that wealth doesn’t come from anywhere in particular. They must have absorbed the idea that prosperity and wealth, of which there has been a fair amount in their lifetimes, just happens. The purpose of government (according to these young Obama supporters) is to make sure that wealth is distributed in a “fair” way, which has always been Obama’s emphasis. What about wealth creation, including innovation, productivity and job creation? Why, those are just givens. Those just happen. “Why are you asking those questions? Of course there will always be prosperity. This is America. Obama just makes it fair.”

Just how fair is rising unemployment, unsustainable government debt, and the collapse of American credit and currency? True, these things will destroy everybody in the end. Is that what fairness is, to these young people and their idiot elders who trained them? Equality amidst destruction?

Somebody should tell these young people that their prosperity is in danger, and it’s because of Big Government, high taxing, redistributing politicians like Obama. Many Republicans, including George W. Bush, were the same way. But that’s no indictment of capitalism. That’s an indictment that Obama took us even further down the wrong path than we were already going. Obama hasn’t disappointed them by failing to be socialist enough; he has disappointed them by giving them what they asked for. They just don’t like the results.

Obama has not yet caved to the Tea Party minority in Congress, but he hasn’t shown a willingness or ability to successfully negotiate with them, either. This has led people, including young people, to question his competence to be President. It may indeed, as pollster Zogby suggests, hurt him in his quest for reelection. But what is it that these young people would want in Obama’s place? How would they answer this question: “If Obama were doing what you wanted, instead of disappointing you, what concrete actions would he exhibit?” I absolutely guarantee you would hear things like, “Making sure those corporate executives don’t get such high salaries; making rich people pay more in taxes; making America both a fairer and more prosperous place.”

The problem? If you allow half the population to pay no taxes at all, while having access to always-growing government programs for health care and other subsidies, then there’s going to be a decrease in motivation among those paying all the bills to keep doing so. Liberals and socialists (of all ages) make the mistake of taking prosperity for granted. They take it for granted that wealth will always increase, no matter what — and that the government can therefore keep spending more and more every year on social insurance and other programs. They see the rich, the wealthy, and the strong as invulnerable. They see the well-off and productive as having no feelings, no wants and no motives — as almost inhuman. In this they err, and they err gravely.

Socialism and Communism never took off in countries like Soviet Russia, Cuba, and North Korea. These countries remained stagnant and poor so long as they remained socialist. Why is this? Because public ownership of the means of production guarantees stagnation and poverty — forever.

Obama’s “spread the wealth” liberalism is based on precisely the same premise as socialism and Communism. He might not be able to seize ownership of all private property, but he acts as if all private property morally belongs to the government, and that the government may take whatever it wants at any time. As we saw during the passage of ObamaCare, Congressional vote is almost a formality for imposing his will on the people whether they like it, or not.

Incredibly, Obama appears to believe, as do these ignorant young people, that threatening, intimidating and stealing from the private, productive sector is the way to create jobs and grow the economy. When that didn’t happen — when in fact just the opposite happened — Obama ends up looking foolish. He’s no longer “cool.”

But do any of these young people know why? Do they merely think Obama is incompetent and foolish? Or do they grasp that it’s his whole ideology that brought him down — and the rest of us, including possibly their futures, along with it?

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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