A Letter to Millennials

TO ALL MILLENNIALS (THOSE BORN AFTER 1985):

You are in an age where life has transformed so radically, you may easily be unaware of just how great America really is and has been. When I was a kid, I wondered what it would have been like before TV, and then cable TV came around and I was hooked. I can remember a time when I could only receive 4 channels – mostly poor quality – now I couldn’t imagine having less than 120 channels! I remember when microwave ovens started entering the American households. Now they are a staple of EVERY household and you’re not likely to find anyone without it. How about a time before the internet?? I was actually one of the first people connected to other computers and ran my own BBS (A computer that your computer could call – yes, on the phone – and share files with). And that was when I was in my teens! Now you can’t find a computer that doesn’t have access to every other computer around the world using high-speed optic and satellite connections.

My point is that technology has advanced so much in the past 30 years that, no matter your age, you can reminisce about a time when this or that didn’t exist. But there is one aspect of our past that millennials in particular have missed out on and never experienced. Are you aware of just how great America used to be?? Donald Trump (who I do not endorse) speaks of “Making America Great Again”, but without the experience of it, that probably doesn’t even mean anything to you. Do you realize just how “great” America used to be??Let me give you some examples.

Do you know that there was a time when jobs fought for people, instead of the other way around? If you decided on Monday that you wanted to find a job, you’d spend the week traveling to different businesses and submitting an application on paper, in person. The next week you would almost certainly have multiple job interviews scheduled. Seriously, if you applied at 10 jobs, you could almost guarantee you’d have 9 job interviews. When you went to these interviews, the interviewer would tell you about their company and how they can advance your career and what benefits they could give you in life and at home. They tried to “sell” you the on job and you would end the week weighing your options. The following week you would call the job of your choice and accept the position. Oftentimes, while traveling and applying, they would talk to you on-the-spot and hire you right then and there! There were actually incentives for accepting jobs back then!! I got a $500 sign-on bonus when I took my first job! And the average worker had been on the job for several years! I heard the other day of a 99-year-old secretary in Culver, IN schools who has been on the job for EIGHTY YEARS!!!

Nowadays, you will hunt for open positions in the field of your choice or even just something you may be capable of doing. You will apply online to over a hundred jobs over a week’s time and might be lucky to land ONE interview. When you go to that interview, you are one of a hundred candidates and the interviewer wants to know why they should select you over the other candidates. And after you got the job, your boss will definitely have the idea that you must do awesome work or he will just get rid of you. I mean, why not? There are plenty of other people out there he can hire. It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when there were usually more jobs than people. People used to be a commodity, now jobs are. Yes, the US population is much larger, but the number of jobs now is much lower – jobs should have increased over the years. But imagine what it would have been like for you to look for a job back in those days.

But it wasn’t just employment that was different back then. The cost of things was much different too. If you saved $1,000 you could choose to buy a TV, a computer, a 5yr health plan, or even a car! The price difference between those things are greatly varied nowadays. I mean, a computer and a TV may cost about the same, but a car would cost many times more. That’s because of advances in technology and the law of supply & demand. I hear many millennials complain that the cost of goods have gone up, but wages haven’t – and they think the problem is low wages. This is because you are unaware of what it used to be like and WHY it used to be that way. If I have one message for millennials, it is that you are severely misguided if you believe we need to raise the minimum wage or that you don’t make enough money. Wages and the minimum wage have gone up just as expected and needed, that’s not the problem. Let me explain:

Remember my example of the differences between the cost of TVs, computers, cars, healthcare, etc? That really is the key to understanding what has changed since I was your age. If you were to buy a computer in 1995, you would probably pay about $5,000 for a top-of-the-line, while the average computer cost about $2,000. Today’s top-of-the-line computer would run about $1200, but most average around $600 for a decent computer. Likewise, a car might cost you $1000 (brand new), or up to $2000 if you wanted an awesome machine back then. And you may find this hard to believe, but I had top-quality insurance and paid $36/month for it when I was your age, millennials! You’d be hard pressed to find insurance for less than $300/ month today. By contrast, interestingly, plastic surgery that cost $5000 back then would only cost about $500 today. Like those jobs I described earlier, doctors and hospitals fought hard for your business and treated you like royalty. Nowadays, you don’t often choose your health providers and wait times and patient treatment is at a low. (Before I hear from my nurse friends, let me clarify – I mean healthcare businesses, not the people providing care).

If you look closely at those differences, you may already see the point I am trying to make. TV’s and computers are made by multiple companies and competition is fierce. As a result, the price is actually much LESS than it was 30 years ago. Each company works hard to raise the technology bar and make their product the best, most affordable. But what about cars? You certainly don’t see a Saturn listed in a Black Friday Special! Cars cost much more today than they did in the 90’s. Technology has increased tremendously in cars too and there’s plenty of competition, but regulations and safety requirements and liabilities force companies to compensate with higher prices.

A similar thing happens when you look into the healthcare differences now. Doctors’ knowledge and skills have improved over the years, but they must charge higher prices in order to get a decent payment from insurance companies. Insurance, subsequently, is now governed and regulated by the government with tremendous restrictions, requirements, and liabilities. Competition does not even exist in healthcare at all . . . except for “optional healthcare” – remember I noted the contrast with plastic surgery earlier?

To sum it up, in case all my subtle hints didn’t quite get through, the problem is two-fold. Competition is disappearing and government is reappearing. Competition is essential in our society. It is the backbone of what America was made upon! It keeps costs down, while simultaneously increasing our knowledge, skills, and technology making us the greatest country on the planet. In my younger days, I didn’t get “participation awards”, I got promotions and rewards for being the best of the best!!!  I made others better that way and they made me better along the way. Companies would merge because one was failing and needed saving –  nowadays, companies merge to make them both rich. The fewer companies, the less competition, and the higher prices could go.

Government is also essential, but MUST be kept separate from businesses and religion. I cannot stress enough how strongly I feel about this. It’s a vicious cycle that will bring our country to ruins if we don’t stop it fast. The government regulates and restricts companies so that they must raise prices and, ultimately, eliminate jobs. As a result of all the job loss, the government steps in and provides assistance and care for those people. In order to pay for this assistance, the government must walk a tight-balance between taxing the people and putting more restrictions on businesses. Then we’re back to companies failing, firing, and raising prices. It will never stop. Government then decided to get involved in healthcare – to assist people and ensure they can afford needed care. Again, to pay for this they must raise taxes and/or restrict healthcare businesses and workers. You see it everyday now, insurance companies failing, or merging, thus reducing competition, causing the need to raise prices and pass the cost onto the government. Worst of all, doctors and hospitals now essentially work for insurance companies – not for you! Again, it won’t stop.

We must get the government’s hands out of the people’s pockets – whether their adding to or taking from those pockets. Government was meant to govern the country, the laws, and the nation’s safety. It was NEVER meant to govern our businesses, our healthcare, or us!! We have all heard the constitution’s declaration that there must be a “separation of church and state” – and we all understand that’s because each has their own purpose and should not control the other. So, essentially, the church is the same as the government, just in charge of a different aspect of your life, right? We tithe to help fund the church, pay our pastor, and help others, as we should. So imagine if your pastor suddenly controlled what books you read, what shows you watch, or what you do in your personal life. I mean literally showed up in your home to rifle through your bookshelf and DVR. What if the church decided what healthcare you can and can’t have or whether you are even allowed to live in the state or county you live in now. I know they make suggestions for your personal life and say what you should do, but I’m talking about forcing your choices. Would you accept that??

Obviously you wouldn’t, right? So why are we so complacent in allowing OUR government to intervene in our lives? Don’t get me wrong, just like a physical drug addiction, we would have to be “weaned” off the government. Can you imagine the mayhem if we just suddenly stopped all government assistance?? But that “weaning” wouldn’t be difficult over even a 5 year period – maybe less! Like I said before, I do NOT endorse Donald Trump, but his vision for America is EXACTLY what this country needs right now. When he says he wants to “Make America Great Again”, he’s talking about those days I described earlier. Bring back the competition and you’ll bring back the jobs and reasonable prices. Once jobs have returned, only a small percentage will truly need government assistance. Less assistance means more income for the country and less debt.

Then, and only then, can we get back to where we are properly utilizing the three branches of government. Our Legislative Branch will make the laws, not endlessly debate over where our money will go or argue over what corporation will be involved. Our Judicial Branch will interpret our laws and ensure they are being applied properly, not tied up deciding petty arguments for monetary gain. And our Executive Branch will enforce the laws created by Congress, not create laws of their own or decide what laws do or do not get enforced. The states should be in control of so many things that are now regulated and controlled by our federal government. That’s why you see states “bucking the system” and doing what they want despite the government – for example the legalization of weed and sanctuary cities.

America is still the greatest country on the planet, we’ve just forgotten!! So if you’re still wondering who I will vote for President this cycle, here’s my thoughts: Hillary Clinton wants nothing more than to continue government interference and increase its control over our lives. Besides being the most corrupt person in our country – perhaps the world – I would never vote for this person. Seriously, put a gun to my head – it ain’t happening.  Doing so would only perpetuate and WORSEN our country, not to mention the President, as I explained earlier, is responsible for enforcing laws, not breaking or circumventing them. I’ve seen/heard from Jill Stein and Gary Johnson – neither have a single quality we need in a President.

That leaves Donald Trump. I won’t lie, I wish there were ANYONE else other than Trump left over. But as I said, his vision of being President and his ideas for “making America great again” are right on track for what this country needs. He truly is about the people and making us all prosperous again.

Still . . . . . I’m hoping someone else will drop out of the sky I guess.

I won’t get into all the nasty comments and name-calling each of the candidates are doing. But I will say this, as I’ve said before, watch the debates and decide who is best. The name-calling is a deceptive tactic and meant to make you draw a false conclusion. If you think Hillary is deathly ill or if you believe Trump is racist or bigoted, you’ve been brainwashed.

 
written by Patrick McCoy

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