February 15th, 2014 // 10:00 am @ Oliver DeMille
The stories are coming out all over the nation.
For example, Ashley Dionne is a 26-year-old woman with 2 college degrees. The cost of her monthly insurance premium has risen from $75 previously to $319 under Obamacare.
“Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all. This law has raped my future. It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.”
But the issues go much deeper than just Obamacare. Dionne said,
“All of the kids that I went to school with, and friends from other colleges, are experiencing the same thing — they don’t have work in their field, they are taking whatever they can get, and we’re really competing with kids who just have GEDs and high school diplomas for really low-paying jobs.”
Obamacare has made it even worse for many. Dionne continued:
“I feel like our future has been stolen, in that we don’t have a choice in this. They’re saying, ‘You have to buy this whether you want it or not. And whether you can afford it or not.’ …I’m someone who has always worked hard, and I’m being told, ‘You have to get on Medicaid.’ I don’t want to get on Medicaid. I want to work, and I feel that were it not for Obamacare I could get 40 hours, and I could support myself.”
So many companies geared up to lay off workers and/or reduce employee hours that the Administration unilaterally postponed Obamacare requirements for businesses for a year.
Even with this change, Gallup noted that 41 percent of medium and small businesses have frozen hiring and growth.
This includes fast-food joints (like Wendy’s, Subway, Papa Johns, Del Taco, and many more), family restaurants (like Applebee’s, Denny’s and others), medical suppliers, local governments, and public colleges. There are many other industries that have stopped hiring and growing, and many have announced thousands of layoffs.
Many businesses are also planning to lay off even more employees next year when Obamacare does kick in for companies. In fact, right now, as businesses gear up for Obamacare, we’ve reached the point where 65 percent of all jobs in the United States are part time.
This is a disaster, and it will get worse until something significantly changes.
As for the other point, 50 percent of college grads for the past several years are unemployed or underemployed.
“A college degree once all but guaranteed a well-paying job and higher earnings than high school graduates,” wrote Alana Semuels for the Los Angeles Times. “But fewer of these good jobs are now available because of both long-term economic changes and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.”
“In the 1980s and 1990s, the demand for college graduates started booming, especially in the lead-up to the tech boom,” said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia who has studied this trend. Wages grew and a college education paid off.
“But when the tech bubble burst, the economy was left with an oversupply of college graduates. Some went into industries related to housing or finance, and then the recession wiped out those jobs. No industry has emerged to employ all the people who got college degrees in that time,” he said.
“As more college graduates have flooded the market, employers are able to offer lower wages. The earnings of college grads have fallen about 13% in the last decade,” according to Drexel University economist Paul Harrington.
“Saim Montakim has a bachelor’s degree in accounting but drives a New York City taxicab. It’s strenuous work, but he can make $200 on a good day. On a bad day, he barely can pay the rent for the taxi and the cost of gas.” And half of college grads are working in jobs that don’t require a degree at all.
Those who learn to think creatively and innovatively, tend to do better than others, and in fact grads with liberal arts degrees are doing better than others in this challenging economy.
So a great education is still a top goal for some young people. In fact, innovative entrepreneurs are doing best of all.
But for most young people, the old promise of “do good in school and get a great career” simply isn’t working.
“The stakes are enormously high,” wrote Lynn Stuart Parramore on AlterNet. “The young people graduating today will feel the effects of the bad job market for decades to come. [A] Demos study found that if we simply continue to add jobs at the 2012 average rate, it would be 2022 before the country recovers to full employment and restores decent opportunities for those Americans who are just starting out. In the meantime, a whole generation of bright and capable young people is getting left behind.”
“‘I’m starting to feel numb,’ said Karen S., who is trying to find a job while ringing up groceries at a Whole Foods in Manhattan. The 24-year-old from Queens graduated in 2012 with a degree in broadcasting. ‘I did well in my classes, and I looked forward to putting my knowledge and skills to use. Instead I ask, ‘Would you like a bag today?’’ Like Karen, many recent graduates are forced to take McJobs.”
And all of this was a major problem before Obamacare. With the new health care law, it’s getting even more difficult for many young people.
Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.
Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.