23 Oct Presidential politics and the next generation
Relevance — The debates about Social Security and Medicare are nearly irrelevant to Gen X voters; more Xers believe they’ll see a UFO than receive social security. What’s relevant for them?
– Paying back student loans
– Funding retirement accounts that they (not an employer) control
– Small business and entrepreneurship. By the time they’re 32, most Gen Xers have thought about or started their own business. 90 percent of all new jobs in the US are created by entrepreneurs and small businesses.
– Offshore outsourcing of white-collar jobs, especially high-tech jobs. 56 percent of all computer programmers are Gen Xers.
Is Bush or Kerry doing a better job of appealing to Gen X? Goose egg. Gen X identifies as economically conservative and socially progressive. Neither candidate straddles that line.
Endnote: I find it amazing that when President Kennedy was elected — the first Irish Catholic president — he worked intensely to ensure that his faith was kept out of politics. Only 40 years later, we have a president who can’t help but mention God. Barry Goldwater, a Republican whom even Democrats loved, said that the Republican party would be in big trouble when it became a religious party. Are we there yet? God(dess) help us.
Rebecca Ryan is founder and partner of Next Generation Consulting. She drinks coffee from a mug that says, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Next Generation Consulting is a thinkubator committed to building Next Generation Companies and Communities. Her columns address the work and life trends of today’s young, tech-savvy talent as well as the tools, tricks and tips for those daring hot companies they work with. Please e-mail topics, suggestions and feedback to Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org.