Education system, government keeping our young people down
By SETH GROSSMAN, Political Columnist
(Reprinted from June 9, 2010 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/index….ople-down.html)
For years, my now 30-year-old single daughter gave me this description of today’s dating scene. She feels she and her friends are smart, pretty, independent, career girls ? the real-life version of “Sex in the City.” But she claims way too many of the guys are ?slackers” with no career, and no goals, discipline, skills or ambition to find one. Their parents still support them even as they approach their 40s. And most of the few guys who are achievers have so many young, attractive women chasing them, they get what they want without commitment, marriage or kids.
Is my daughter on to something?
On June 2, The Press of Atlantic City ran a story that began, “For many Millennials, growing up comes later? The transition to adulthood is a long and winding road that can stretch into the early ?30s say some of the country’s most prominent researchers.? One Harvard professor said, ?Times have changed and it?s a lot more difficult to establish an independent household.”
The Wall Street Journal just reported 15 percent unemployment for 20- to 24-year-olds, two-thirds of students having an average of $23,200 of debt when they graduate, and 41 percent of baby-boomer parents providing some financial support to an adult child.
Does America’s future belong to the children of unmarried, uneducated Americans on government assistance and illegal immigrants who need an American-born child for their green card? Who else can afford the expense or hassle of raising children in America today? Why didn’t our parents and grandparents have this problem?
Margate resident Leo Schoffer recently published a book, ?A Dream-A Journey-A Community,? which points to some answers. The book, written to raise funds for Jewish day schools, describes how dozens of Atlantic City’s leading Jewish-owned businesses were created. But this is an American, not a Jewish story. I know similar stories about dozens of other successful Atlantic City businesses set up by people with Irish, Italian, German, English, and Polish names and by the children and grandchildren of black slaves.
Harry Schultz earned $3 a week at a Philadelphia candy factory and did other odd jobs before he could afford to open what soon became his elite men?s shop. In 1927, young Ben Polakoff rented a truck and started his wholesale food supply business. He got the money and knowledge of which products would sell by making sandwiches at a Philadelphia deli at 4th and Bainbridge for six years.
Today’s Chelsea Hotel began as Teplitzky’s in 1966. But Hyman Teplitzky started by selling vegetables from a pushcart, worked up to running a butcher shop, and only later had enough money to buy an old rooming house, where he made extra money selling meals to guests.
Some of Atlantic City’s most successful businesses of the 1960s opened during the Great Depression. Taber?s Toyland in 1930, Lew Tendler’s “Mammy’s Restaurant” on the Boardwalk in 1931, Wolf Potler’s Capitol Furniture and Storage in 1932, Needle Craft Shop in 1934, Harry Marco’s children’s store in Pleasantville in 1940. Others successfully started when millions of returning veterans overwhelmed the job market after each world war.
So why aren’t young Americans today seizing opportunities and building their own fortunes? Is it because today’s young Americans are the first who have been taught by our public schools since childhood that freedom, ambition, and competition are bad? Is it because we spend a fortune to prepare and bus them all over the state for sports that most will never play as adults, but won’t spend a nickel to help them get summer jobs on the Boardwalk?
Are colleges training our kids to support politically correct agendas that force them to accept less freedom, less opportunity, more government rules over what they can and cannot do, and taxes, rather than teach them to live on their own and demand the freedom to pursue their dreams?
Do these new government taxes, regulations, and permits keep us safe and prevent injustice? Or do politicians use them to stay in power and keep young competition away from the big, established businesses that give them campaign cash?
Do all those zoning laws really protect our neighborhoods? Or do they just make housing too expensive for young people to live on their own?
Too many laws today guarantee big profits to only one small group of young people who risk everything, including their lives and freedom, to start their own businesses without permits or tax forms ? those who rob, steal and sell drugs and/or sex.
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears live on WVLT-92.1FM, heard throughout South Jersey 8-9 a.m. every Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Athena Diner, 1515 New Road, Northfield.