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The Young, the Restless and the Hopeful RE: Union Organizing

By Thomas J. Mackell, Jr., Ed. D.
Association of Benefit Administrators

The surge of generational change that is moving at a dizzying tempo in this country is altering the cultural and political landscape with a speed and intensity rarely seen in America before.

The millennial generation, born in 1981 or after, is the generation of change. They have witnessed the world that they are inheriting and they do not like it, so they are very anxious for positive tectonic shifts in the landscape.

Their views on a broad range of policy issues are so different from older Americans that they are likely to reshape the political dialogue enormously.

Their views on the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, immigration, education, gun control, and organized religion, to name a few, will revolutionize policy decisions. They dance to a different drummer and it is shaping up to be a beautiful dance.

They are thirsty for change and the result will be a more liberal and progressive worldview. This will impact every institution in society and the white-bread, old-boys’ club of Republican-establishment and its groupies and hangers-on will be lost in a wasteland of lost political campaigns unless they straighten out and fly right and that is asking a lot from this group of very narrow-minded folks.

The stupidity of the commentary that emanated from the mouths of the gang of eight Republican primary candidates during the debates leading up to the election of 2012 put a lot of the young people over the top. They were incredulous when they heard the absurdity of positions set forward by this group of mindless figureheads as well as their total dis-connection to real facts. Their fabrications were wasted on the young.

I have spoken to many-dozens of young folks around the country and they shake their heads not wanting to believe the idiocy that was pervasive and evidenced during that primary season.

They realized that their future was potentially in the hands of some pretty vacuous people and recognized that it was time for substantive change.

The November election saw the emergence of Latino-Americans, African- Americans, Asian-Americans, the young and the restless and progressive, smart women that resulted in burying the notion that a Mitt Romney could fool us by bullying and fabricating what he really is on his way to the White House.

Parents, pay particular attention. Your world will change because of your children’s concern for a better future. Don’t get in their way, but applaud them for their principles, energy and tenaciousness to remake the world into a better place.

Their road will be long and hard but I have tremendous faith in the ability of this generation to move mountains!

Thomas J. Mackell, Jr. is the author of “When the Good Pensions Go Away: Why America Needs a New Deal for Pension and Healthcare Reform.” Dr. Mackell is the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He also serves an advisor and consultant in the employee benefits field in the private and public sectors with broad experience in the maritime, transportation, and steel industries and in health care, public safety, and financial services. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Benefits and Pension Services, Inc., and is president of the Association of Benefit Administrators and editor of its newsletter, Insights.

Dr. Mackell is a member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Dialogue and a director of the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies. He was a White House appointee to the ERISA Advisory Council to the Secretary of Labor in 1997 through 1999.

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