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The real issue facing today’s youth:?jobs

Where we stand

May 20, 2012
The Mining Journal

President Barack Obama has been working overtime to convince his base of supporters, young people, they should vote for him in November. He has been making the rounds of college campuses talking about student loan rates and, most recently, hitting the campus hot-button issue of gay marriage.

It seems to be paying off. One recent public opinion poll indicated Obama's popularity rating among the 18-29 crowd is at 62 percent.

But what about the most critical issue facing young Americans - jobs? How is Obama doing there? The president probably would prefer college students and recent graduates not think about it.

Unemployment among those ages 20-24 in April stood at 13.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is nearly twice as high as the jobless rate for those 25 and over.

In the 18-19 category - the age at which millions of young men and women are getting out of high school and looking for jobs instead of campuses - the unemployment rate in April was a whopping 24.5 percent.

Obama's strategy of focusing on his culture war and social issues clearly is meant to distract young voters from questioning his terrible performance on the economy. He has injected trillions of dollars in taxpayers' money into "stimulus" and "bailout" programs that have done little to nudge unemployment rates down.

Again, the problem is worst for the very age group the president hopes will rescue him in November. For many of them, the primary reason student loan rates matter is that they will have to remain in school because the job market has nothing to offer them.

Obama will remain popular among young voters only as long as he can distract them from the real issue: a lack of jobs.



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