The “Millennials” are coming: Be afraid, …be very afraid

Millennials 999 A new national poll of Americans ages 18 to 29 (aka “Millennials”) was completed by The Reason Foundation and the Rupe Foundation, and Nick Gillespie wrote about in the pages of Time. And after reading through all 100+ pages of it, all I can say is:

…we’re doomed.

Because paradoxically, even though this generation is the most educated in our country’s history, far too many of ’em apparently haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.

The answers from the 2,400 representative 18-to-29-year-olds in the survey range from liberal, to moderate, to fiscally conservative, and back again. But more than anything, the very disparity and/or dichotomy of their answers seems to signal a critical disconnect in their thinking, as some answers simply don’t jive with others in any logical or coherent way. For instance, check out the quote below:

“…Forty-two percent say they prefer socialism as a means of organizing society, but only 16% can define the term properly as government ownership of the means of production.

In fact, when asked whether they want an economy managed by the free market or by the government, 64% want the former and just 32% want the latter…”

16% actually know what “socialism” is? Sixteen?? That’s pathetic, by any standard. Especially when you compare that result to the 30% of Americans in toto who can accurately define “socialism”, and then to the 57% of folks who can who also self-identify as “Tea Party”. Plus, merely the re-wording of the question (“whether they want an economy managed by the free market or by the government“) generates a 12% variance. These people are either currently in school, or just got out fairly recently, and THIS is our result? They didn’t realize that it’s the same question? Or maybe, “free market” got a 12% higher response than “capitalism” because they don’t actually know what “capitalism” is? Based on our “socialism” example previously, that certainly seems possible. Can you begin to see why I’m sorta depressed here?

Sad face

Of course, it’s not much of a mystery why over 40% of this generation purports to “prefer socialism”, yet barely a THIRD of that number can accurately define what it is. Since grade school, I’m betting they’ve heard “socialism” described repeatedly as “good” or as a synonym for “fairness”, and simply internalized it accordingly. Who needs the actual definition, when you’ve absorbed its meaning contextually? Which is yet another sign of just how completely our education system has failed our children. There’s more, of course. When the survey asked about government size relative to tax rates, 54% of Millennials favored a “larger Government with More Services“, yet 66% simultaneously acknowledged that Government is “inefficient and wasteful“. Huh??? Somehow, a sizable chunk of the “Government is too wasteful and inefficient” crowd inexplicably also wants …MORE of it? Really? Like I said originally: we’re doomed.

Full length of young men and women holding cellphone

We’ve known this was coming, of course. A couple years back, we highlighted the following findings:

“…In particular, schools in America do an incredibly poor job of teaching our students subjects such as history, economics and geography that are necessary for understanding the things that are taking place in our world today. 

For example, according to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find Iraq on a map of the world.  According to that same survey, 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can’t even find the state of New York on a map

If our students cannot even find Iraq and New York on a map, what hope is there that they will be able to think critically about the important world events of our day?…”

That last sentence is now eerily prophetic, wouldn’t you agree? We’ll leave you with a clip which we’ve linked years ago, from late night comedian Craig Ferguson. It’s still funny, and it’s funny because it’s true. And it’s getting truer (yet scarier) every day.

16 responses to “The “Millennials” are coming: Be afraid, …be very afraid

  1. I’m not afraid because they are young and stupid. I am afraid after
    reading their online responses to articles with which they disagree. They think they are smart because they know how to accuse people of being bigots. To many folks it boils down to disagree with me = bigot and not-bigot = good.

    • godsbooklover

      I am deeply troubled by such knee-jerk angry and defensive responses, which don’t even bother to engage directly with the article at hand. Of course, this is the level of debate they’re witnessing at all levels of our government, so why should I be surprised?

  2. livinrightinpgh

    40+ years of our educational system being overrun and guided by the ideology of the Left HAD to take its toll. These kids are going to college where the average professor is decidedly of a Socialist mindset. I’m actually kind of surprised that some of the percentages indicating LACK of knowledge weren’t HIGHER.

  3. I am sad for my generation. I will admit I am guilty of some of the same things. As stated, our schools do a horrible job of teaching history and government.

    In my high school, Government was an elective. I didn’t learn the differences in types of governments from school; I learned from cows….
    That’s not the original site but it works.

    I feel like I am about the same as most of my generation, which is bad but I am trying to learn, which is good. lol.

    Even at my work (the youngest person being 27; the oldest 40) no one seems to know what is going on in the world. I feel like this may be a statement on society as a whole (and government). An ignorant people is a compliant people. We tell you it is right, so it is. We live in an age where people who write textbooks think they can change history, and the scary part is: they can. Teach the next generation that the government is all-knowing and only wants what is best for them. And that is what they will grow up believing, and then what they will pass on….

    • godsbooklover

      I agree with you that this is a frightening trend, DD. I don’t think it’s limited to your generation, however, The news seems to be so relentlessly bad that we despair of making a difference. Apathy becomes a defense mechanism to prevent despair. But as a Christian, I know that the enemy of my soul is delighted when I choose to ignore current events. I am proud of you for recognizing the deficiencies in yourself and your peers. The challenge is how to become a force for positive change. I will be praying toward that end! Thanks for your comments and all the links, too! God bless you.

  4. Ah oh. And you probably aren’t a drinker either, JTR. We screwed.

  5. This is worse than that dummy on the street routine. Now that I know what we’ll do for laughs, who can understand what we’re laughing at?

  6. The chance of them learning what socialism is and what capitalism is before they takeover the country?

    If they don’t learn very soon, it’s all over.

  7. How about do the same survey for all age groups and see where that goes instead of piling on blame simply based on what year your born.

    • First of all, it’s “you’re”, not “your”.

      Secondly, how exactly is anyone “piling on blame”? I simply shared some percentages from a survey done by two foundations, and offered a bit of analysis.

      The results are the results; the data is the data. How is data “blame”?

      Every generation has had percentages of their populations which were relatively clueless.
      It’s simply that “Millennials” appear to have MORE of ’em.

      And as a father of two teenagers, that concerns me. Greatly.

  8. I don’t quite understand why people equate college degrees with education. I see it, too, where pretty smart people with high degrees and strong opinions have no actual familiarity with our Constitution, for instance, or any working knowledge of modern history, or any real feel for human nature. Millenials are not “the most educated in our history.” They have the most degrees, usually in rather narrow and vocational fields like business, marketing, psychology, or computer science. That is not education. It’s just job training. They are probably, from what I’ve seen, the least educated generation, as the article points out.

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