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The Suffering of America's Young: A Book Review of Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America's Young by Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer

By Lauren Diaz
Senior Marketing Major from Colorado Springs, Colorado
Updated August 17, 2015

Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America’s Young by Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer is a sickeningly realistic explanation of the disastrous effects that  current regulations, policies, and entitlement programs have on the younger generations. To support the arguments, Furchtgott-Roth uses insight gained while serving as the Chief Economist of the United States Department of Labor from 2003 to 2005 and chief of staff of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002 Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer take the reader through the issues of Medicare and Social Security, the problems that most young people face with college debt, and finally the difficulties in the labor market that licensing requirements present. With due acknowledgement to the difficulty and unlikelihood of these issues actually being dealt with appropriately, the authors end with a very faint glimmer of hope as they explain specific solutions needed to reverse the paths of these challenges.

The book serves as a sobering reminder that giving up freedoms for regulations or entitlement programs has very damaging consequences. I think any recent graduate, young parent, or young professional can attest to the challenges this book emphasizes. However, most readers are not completely acquainted with the politics and rules which have unintentionally caused the problems. Young people will have to deal with debt problems at both the personal and national level and confront an over-regulated labor market. Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer do an excellent job of explaining policies, legal terms, and political issues in a way that the average person can understand. They really bridge the gap between politics and workers.
 For example, one issue Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer point out is that the Affordable Care Act really only shifts the burden of paying for medical care to those with fewer medical issues (the younger generations). Secondly, they explain the issues facing college graduates considering the amount of debt that the average college graduate has. These two variables alone are enough to make any college student nervous to enter the job market, not even considering other forces that work against the average college grad.

Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer show how economic freedom really is necessary to avoid many of the issues that young people are facing today. The strings of bureaucracy are stifling the young and could easily spell disaster for generations to come. I would highly recommend reading this book if you are at all concerned with the current issues facing young people and want to get involved in the conversation.