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ResumeBear: Politics and What College Graduates Should Care About

ResumeBear: Politics and What College Graduates Should Care About

2008 proved a landmark election year for the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, with 51% of qualified Americans within this age range showing up at the polls. Sixty-two percent of those with at least some college experience voiced their opinions on economic, social, and political issues, and four years later, it’s looking like they may very well show up in the same (relative) droves. Because so many topics big and small directly dictate their lives, it behooves new and seasoned voters alike to familiarize themselves with today’s most pressing debates. Start with the following and branch out from there for a broad view of everything currently at stake.

Jobs:

The New York Times refers to the current crop of college graduates as “The Limbo Generation” because they happen to enter into an economy pockmarked by high unemployment. Growing up, higher education was always touted as an essential gateway toward many (if not most) career paths, but reality proved otherwise when businesses just stopped hiring. A 2010 Center for Information & Research on Civil Learning & Engagement showed that voters between the ages of 18 and 29 considered improving the economy the most pressing political issue, with 59% reporting it as their primary concern. Considering how an estimated 64% of Occupy participants are under the age of 35, it doesn’t look like much has really changed since then.

Tuition and student loans:

College students continue demonstrating in the United States and Canada alike, angered largely over tuition hikes and favoring student loan reform. For obvious reasons, of course! President Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent in the 2012 election cycle, has already made some headway in making it easier for graduates to pay off the money they’ve taken out for their higher educations, but more legislation needs implementing to protect their interests. As it stands now, the laws restricting payments to paying out no more than 10% of disposable income will not go into effect until 2014. Which, for cash-strapped college kids struggling to scratch up jobs after receiving their degrees, isn’t nearly soon enough.

Birth control:

Health probably shouldn’t be much of a governmental issue beyond ensuring and encouraging, but policymakers have managed to turn this basic human right into a gladiatorial arena; women in particular must watch on as their bodies are politicized rather than humanized. Backlash against birth control pills particularly piques controversy, with detractors making news whenever they attempt to discourage or outright ban access to these potentially life-saving drugs. Even factoring out how they lower the risk of unwanted pregnancies — an expensive and time-consuming challenge for already broke and harried college students — doctors prescribe Ortho Tri-Cyclin, Yaz, and similar pharmaceuticals when preventing other diseases and conditions. Birth control also happens to be useful for relieving horrendous period-related pain (migraines and cramps in particular), preventing uterine and ovarian cancer, alleviating issues with fibroids and endometriosis, bolstering bone density, and lowering the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Only 34% of voters at all age levels consider birth control a major issue in 2012, with women the most likely demographic to prioritize it. This controversy impacts far, far more women than just the sexually active, and college ladies who value their long-term health and wellness should stand up and take notice to what the candidates have to say.

Abortion:

Seventy-seven percent of pregnancies in women who have completed “some college” are unplanned, making up 40% of the total of those between the ages of 20 and 29. In 2002, this meant $5 billion worth of medical costs. College women unable to shoulder the fiscal and temporal expenses can seek private, safe facilities in which to terminate their pregnancies and plan families — if they even want them at all, of course — around their own schedules and those between the ages of 20 and 24 are the most likely (29.6 out of every 1,000) to seek out the procedure. If the rest of the United States follows the example of Arizona, which restricts abortions past 20 weeks and considers women pregnant before they even conceive, this means compromising their bodily autonomy and constructing their lives around the will of the government rather than personal choice.

Healthcare:

After the economy, healthcare ranks as the second most major political issue for voters between ages 18 and 29, with 24% listing it as their primary concern. Understandable! Even completely purging the socialized medicine vs. private healthcare debate, every single individual on the planet deserves affordable access to the resources necessary to keep alive and as kicking as possible. Idaho requires all full-time college students to carry a health insurance policy, tacking even more costs onto their already burdened bank accounts — to the tune of $2,124 at Boise State, or an increase of 20.9%. On a national level, many are allowed to stay on their parents’ plans up to age 26, but this is an option not available to all. Scammers so often take advantage of college kids’ vulnerability, and intensive research is necessary to prevent the loss of even more money.

LGBTQ equality:

According to a 2002 Gallup poll, roughly a quarter of the American population identifies as homosexual, so it’s probably just a little bit logical to assume that a goodly portion of these individuals have or will attend an institute of higher learning at some point. Most campuses these days play host to LGBTQIA organizations (at minimum) providing resources and support to students who feel confused or marginalized by their sexualities and gender identities and expressions, and every year Campus Pride ranks the best colleges and universities for meeting their needs. Supporting equality means nurturing a safer atmosphere for LGBTQIA classmates, for whom suicide and bullying stand as a much more heightened risk than their cisgendered or heterosexual peers.

War:

So far, Operation Iraqi Freedom has resulted in nearly 4,500 American military casualties since its inception. In Afghanistan, the number sits at just under 1,938 at the time of writing. Because the average age of active duty combatants hovers around 28, this means quite a bit of overlap with college students who take advantage of the GI Bill after returning. In fact, many enlistees sign up with their preferred branch with the hopes of eventually affording college or vocational school. Regardless of one’s perceptions regarding American involvement in international conflicts, the troops fully deserve a fair chance at the higher education opportunities they need to accomplish their goals. Keeping them alive and safe is, quite obviously, the most essential component.

Internet restrictions:

Even though SOPA/PIPA never landed, it certainly forced the Internet generation to take notice of how politicians impact their digital doings. Now CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, elicits outcries from citizens and businesses concerned that its allowing open access to website data without a court order means the potential for egregious privacy violations. Considering three out of 10 “best jobs of 2012” involve working directly with computers (and, of course, so very, very many more), more and more graduates will likely land directly in these legislations’ crosshairs. Even then, understanding the ins and outs of online privacy and its relationship to civil rights is a valuable knowledge set to possess, especially as society grows more and more reliant on digital media for pretty much everything ever.

Gas prices:

With gas prices constantly swelling, the additional costs are of course disconcerting to commuting collegiate. And with hybrid and electric cars still forging their own niche economically and environmentally, many can’t afford to invest in the greener option. On a geopolitical scale, prudent consumers should know exactly what sorts of policies dictate how their oil and gas travel from underground to their vehicles, because consumers deserve to know the grim realities of ecological abuse and shocking human rights violations behind their purchases — information more than just college students could sorely use.

Housing:

Currently, American renters pay roughly $804 a month, as compared to homeowners shelling out an average of around $185,200 per unit. With the housing crisis a constant theme in the news these days, issues relating to this hallmark of independence in and after college are of the utmost importance to enrollees. They have to live somewhere, and while 85% of recent graduates move back in with mom and/or dad after receiving their degrees, once again such a scenario is not open to all. Like healthcare, all persons hold the right to safe, affordable housing, and college kids with little to no disposable income in particular must pay close attention to how much money they’re spending every month.

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27 comments

  1. I think savvy college graduates are realizing more and more that increased government involvement and control of these issues is not only unecessary and constitutionally questionable, but counter-productive. The student loan industry, for example, which used to be a wide open combination of public, private and non-profit funding, is now essentially gone, with the federal government the only game in town because of recently laws eliminating most non-government funding. Many students, including my daughter, found that private funding completely dried up two and a half years ago.

  2. Cynthia Ashton

    Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get …. spit it out if it doesn’t taste good but stop barking and whining about it. You don’t have to “agree” with every word. Create your own blog article instead of riding on the coat tails of someone else’s article.

  3. I think the important thing here is to recognize our system is broken and it needs to get fixed. Both sides are to blame and the current administration has not helped, in my opinion. Maybe it’s time we get people in office that have felt the pain not people who never have or will feel it. Stop the eliteism of all the people who work for the federal government and make everyone live by what laws are on the books, including health care.

  4. Excellent article! I see lots of graduating students struggling to find a job. One thing that smart students do, besides earning good grades, is to connect with the colleges’Career Services immediately.

  5. Whoever abacnok is. I’m not sure the Resume Bear blog is the place for you to spout your Tea Party propaganda in such a long Manifesto. Ya Hear?

  6. What democratic propagandist wrote this article? I agree that these are VERY important issues, but not ones that Resume Bear should be taking sides on. Abortion? Birth control? LGBT equality? Really?

    Stick to talking about jobs and leave politics to the pundits. If you must talk politics, do it in such as way as not to appear to be taking sides.

  7. Great issue-set, and some terrific commentary. I hope it’s read closely by 18-29YOs … and everybody else.

  8. UK and Europe is not much better. Watch this space. We left 3 years ago for the Middle East and next the Far East. Desperate times mean for alternative thinking. Best of luck to us all.

  9. These points are all important to consider. Thanks for such a complete list. This should be a very interesting election year.

  10. I think saving for retirement may not be something they want to think about, but it surely is better to save as soon as possible.

  11. You make some very salient points – I wouldn’t like to be leaving college now!

  12. I am always amazed by those who think “vote for our guys” and they will run the country the right way. The current guys are running the country into the ground.

    The only problem is that unless the people who are elected into power truly represent the people then this same complaint will be made again and again.

    Get out and vote! It is the only way to stop the whining and get a government that does represent the people.

  13. Bullying and Narcotics are two serious cases we shouldn’t forget.

  14. That seems like a good list to me.

  15. Bob, you covered so much. I can’t think of anything you may have “forgot.” You did a great job with this one. ;)

  16. Thanks for the information, Bob. Anyone ready to grab a clipboard and hangout at some college campuses (or is that campi?)?

  17. It has definitely been a year of uncertainty for our recent graduates and youngsters. Hopefully, my kids have learned from my mistakes and will forego college loans.

  18. Its frustrating knowing there is enough for everything. Too much talk, not enough do.

  19. As you stated in your opening, “2008 proved a landmark election year for the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, with 51% of qualified Americans within this age range showing up at the polls.” while many of them may not have even done any due diligence into the facts of the parties. I think many people have just gone with what the different party members decided to use to their advantage and did not bother to check if it was factual.
    DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, AND INDEPENDENTS ALIKE SHOULD READ THIS!!!

    This tells the story, why Bush was so bad at the end of his term.

    Some people aren’t aware of all of this. Don’t just skim over this, please read it slowly and let it sink in. If in doubt, check it out.
    The day the democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009, it was actually January 3rd 2007 the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress.

    The Democrat Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

    For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is “Bush’s Fault,” think about this:
    January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress. At the time:
    The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
    The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
    The unemployment rate was 4.6%

    George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB GROWTH
    Remember the day…

    January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee. The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
    BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

    Unemployment… To this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!

    Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy.

    And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? – OBAMA
    And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? – OBAMA and the Democrat Congress
    So when someone tries to blame Bush..

    REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007…. THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!”
    Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled
    Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party.

    Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 &2011.
    In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

    For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budgets.

    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009.

    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending,
    And that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

    If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.
    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

    There is no way this will be widely publicized unless each of us sends it on!
    And do not forget to vote. We do not need this crowd anywhere near the government.

    HOW TRUE THIS IS!!! WE NEED TO CLEAN THE HOUSE AND
    SENATE!!!!! AND DO NOT FORGET THE WHITE HOUSE.

    • Thank you! I’ve been arguing with lot’s of liberals who blame Bush for everything (and still are???) but the President’s power is limited (checks & Balances)by the Legislative and Judicial branches. Neither of which has been doing a very good job of putting Obama in check. He’s making Executive Orders that are totally outside of his authority and Un-Constitutional!!
      AMEN to this:
      WE NEED TO CLEAN THE HOUSE AND
      SENATE!!!!! AND DO NOT FORGET THE WHITE HOUSE.

  20. I hope for many of us, better times to come!
    Same story in the Netherlands. High costs of fuel,houses not been sold,unemployment and a very weak government/politicians they can’t make any important decisions.

  21. I think these are points we should all be considering. And those of us who are nearer the mid-century mark should be listening pretty closely to the stands the candidates are taking on SS ‘reform’.

  22. I agree that many of these points are MUST consider for college grads looking for employment.

    It is up to us as PARENTS to reiterate and reinforce many of these points. Kids and young adults often need some direction from an older generation.

  23. Not that it’s a bowl of cherries, but I’m so glad I don’t have to enter the job market today

  24. Good stuff! How about gaming

  25. Grace Alexander of Brilliance On Demand

    Have a rockin’ Thursday

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