This week I will celebrate my 24th birthday and it strikes me as I approach a quarter century on this planet that right now it really sucks to be a young person in our country.
Our current administration has managed to ruin whatever good will the rest of the world might have felt for us in a time when international cooperation is more important than ever and will increasingly affect how we live our lives. Thanks to their efforts in the name of the "War on Terror" we now have more people than ever who want to attack our country and its citizens, creating the need for fighting forces made up of our friends, siblings, and classmates. What social net programs we have are being eroded bit by bit so that by the time we need them they'll have been defunded out of existence.
For those of us women who are just entering our prime child-bearing years there are more frequent and more strident attacks on our ability to determine when, if, and how many children we will have. There's an entire movement directed solely at controlling our reproductive systems and the health care we receive and it's gaining momentum faster than ever before in our lifetimes.
Job opportunities are also becoming increasingly scarce as outsourcing sends work to other countries and the jobs that remain are either in service sector positions that don't pay a living wage or demand high levels of education that we can't afford to get thanks to the skyrocketing costs of a college education at any level.
The worst of it all is the fact that we are a generation of fabulous, dedicated, involved people. We do community service and offer our time to all sorts of organizations. We create great art, music, and film, and express ourselves through an amazing array of creative outlets. We are politically active and opinionated and willing to work for causes we believe in. Despite all of this the future for us does not look as rosy as it did for those who came before us.
The notion of progress says that each generation should be better off than the one before but we may be the exception to that rule.