What does the Left have against the young?

Despite all the ‘Science!,’ schools remain closed or are opening sl-o-o-o-wly because of massive resistance from teachers’ unions. A ‘lost year’ isn’t a particularly big deal to adults from a developmental standpoint, but it’s already causing substantial harm to our grade-school kids, academically, athletically, and socially.

A massive, jobs-killing minimum wage increase has been shoehorned into the COVID-19 relief bill, as if it has anything to do with remediating the harm from (now shown to be ineffective) pandemic shut-downs.

And, the icing on the cake – an offer for an unpaid internship is drawing backlash, reminding us that the Left has been working for many years to kill this form of opportunity.

High minimum wages and mandates that interns be paid keep the young and inexperienced from developing skills and building resumes. Those in the greatest need of job experience and learning not only have fewer positions available to them from these mandates, they are the first to be displaced by those with more skills, more experience, and more work history.

For it is a fact, as sure as gravity, that elevating the price of labor above market equilibrium will reduce the number of available jobs. Insisting a job pay above market also incentivizes those who are better qualified to take that job, disproportionately displacing those at the bottom of the skills ladder.

In other words, the kids just entering the work force.

On the education side, we’re already witnessing generational harm from the stunted socialization that the clearly misnamed “social media” has caused. Rather than interacting in person, where kids learn to get along with each other, where feedback is instant, and where the behavioral norms of a polite society are developed, the remote ‘interactions’ via technology mute all those mechanisms. Helicopter parenting and structured play have also contributed to the harm, by reducing the freedom that every previous generation enjoyed and learned from. Taking away their last form of socialization – in-person schooling – is depriving our young of critical experiences at a critical time in their lives.

We are told that the Left cares about children. “For the children!” is a common bleat. Why, then, all this anti-child policy?

Look no further than the union bosses. Higher minimum wages ripple upward, elevating union wages. Higher minimum wages reduce employers’ ability to work around unions’ demands. Intern pay mandates mean that many jobs won’t exist, but also mean that some of what those interns’d do will instead be done by regular employees. And, of course, the teachers’ unions are loving the easing of work load that work-from-home offers their members.

These destructive policies are weakening our young, and they’re bound to have a deleterious effect on our culture and our economy in the long run. Were I a cynic, I’d consider that this might be intentional – that those who aspire to lordship and mastery of our nation want a dependent and pliant populace, and are taking steps to ensure it. Even such cynicism, however, runs afoul of Hanlon’s Razor, which tells us not to attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity or incompetence. Or, in this case, the simpleton’s inability to recognize or understand consequences.

No matter the reason, I feel for and fear for today’s young people. They are being denied that which they need to advance to adulthood, productivity, and strength of spirit. Denied, by the very people who claim to be their champions.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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