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Congratulations, college graduates. You did it.
Four years ago, your generation handed Democrats the margin of victory they needed to win the White House.
In 2008, you couldn’t wait to get to the polls to vote for Barack Obama. Voting for The One affirmed your self-image as the technologically-savvy, environmentally-conscious, post-racial generation. You relished the chance to make history, and your generation voted for Obama in higher numbers than any other demographic group.
For the past four years, many of you have been able to insulate yourselves from the ramifications of that choice.
With your room-and-board, health care and transportation financed by mom and dad (or by federal loans and grants subsidized by taxpayers), there’s been little reason to worry about things such as rising gas prices, falling home values or a stagnant job market.
And thank God, because this has left you plenty of time to get outraged about really important issues, like paying for Sandra Fluke’s birth control.
So now you are graduating. But when the parties are over and the graduation gowns are put away, you are in for a rude awakening.
Welcome to the Obama economy.
Many of you who graduate this month will soon have to begin paying back all those student loans.
Americans collectively have over $1 trillion in student loan debt. And according to the Wall Street Journal, almost two-thirds of graduates will leave college with loans averaging about $25,000 each.
And yet, even with diploma in hand many of you will have trouble finding a job.
The national unemployment rate remains high at just over 8 percent, but the jobless rate for your generation (workers under the age of 25) is double the national average. Indeed, since Obama took office in January 2009, there are approximately 1.4 million more young Americans who are no longer even in the work force (i.e., they have given up looking).
Many of you who do find jobs will find yourselves dramatically underemployed — working only part-time or working as receptionists or waiters while interning on the side. Even those of you who find work commensurate with your degrees will earn less (after adjusting for inflation) than your counterparts of a decade ago.
Like young people in Spain or Greece, who live with their parents well into adulthood, you too will have the opportunity to remain dependent. Indeed, in the Obama economy 42 percent of American college grads under 30 now live with their parents — more than at any other time since 1950.
Hey, you may not have a job or an apartment, but at least Obamacare has made it possible for you to remain on your parents’ health insurance until the age of 26!
Of course, in the long term, you’ll be the ones paying for the massive increase to the federal debt caused by Obamacare and by the president’s refusal to take on entitlement reform.
But the Keynesian economists in the Obama administration don’t care. After all, in the long run, they’ll all be dead. But you won’t be — you’ll be slaving away and giving a greater and greater share of your paycheck to the government to pay for it all.
Maybe now you’ll see the 2008 Obama campaign for what it really was — what writer Stephen Marche aptly describes as “an indulgent fantasy in which the major conflicts in life simply don’t exist.”
Because as an 18-year-old college student, voting for Obama might have been the cool thing to do. But four years later, having the means to support yourself would be a heck of a lot cooler.