Generation Opportunity http://generationopportunity.org Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:58:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Solutions for a Broken Education System http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/solutions-for-a-broken-education-system/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=solutions-for-a-broken-education-system http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/solutions-for-a-broken-education-system/#respond Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:50:31 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6795 Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend over the phone who had just graduated college. Having graduated college a year ago myself, I offered him some advice on what to expect in his job search and what the workforce would demand from him. At the end of our conversation, […]

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Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend over the phone who had just graduated college. Having graduated college a year ago myself, I offered him some advice on what to expect in his job search and what the workforce would demand from him.

At the end of our conversation, he came to realize that employment opportunities are scarce and that his college experience might not have adequately prepared him for full-time work.

Unfortunately for young Americans my age, this is a reality that many Millennials are experiencing: decent paying jobs in fields related to our college majors are hard to come by.

For those college graduates lucky enough to find employment last year, half did not find a job related to their college major. This has lead to lower wages as the number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs has increased over 70 percent in the past decade. Overall, half of all unemployed Americans are between 18 and 34 years old.

Not only are employment opportunities few and far between, but college graduates and businesses alike are also discovering that the current higher education system is not adequately preparing students for the work force.

According to a recent survey conducted by Bentley University, three-quarters of hiring employers say that Millennials are not prepared for the job market and lack the “work ethic” needed for successful employment. Another survey conducted by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College concluded that 60 percent of employers expressed concern over applicants lacking the “communication and interpersonal skills” necessary for employment.

So what can be done to reverse this troubling trend and help students get the skills needed for employment? Congress can start addressing this trend by passing the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act (HERO Act).

The HERO Act would allow individual states the ability to work with their local businesses and colleges to establish online programs and apprenticeship programs that prepare students for real-world jobs in a more affordable way than traditional four-year, brick-and-mortar institutions. In my own personal experience, internships at various organizations prepared me for my current job more than college classes did.

StatusQuo

In Virginia, apprenticeship programs are already helping place over 13,000 individuals directly into the local workforce, while the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry provides custom-designed classroom courses with on-the-job training in desired fields, connecting over 2,000 employers with potential employees. The U.S. Department of Education should empower other states with the freedom to replicate these policies that are helping so many young Americans find employment.

The status quo is definitely not working. With a shrinking economy, more Americans out of the workforce than any time in the last 35 years, and an 15.5 percent unemployment rate for my generation, now is the perfect time for higher education reform that can help prepare and equip my generation with the skills necessary for quality jobs.

After all, by 2025, my generation will make up 75 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. The future of our country depends on the success of my generation. Higher education reform is needed now more than ever.

 

Wesley Coopersmith
Legislative and Coalitions
Generation Opportunity

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Michigan Twitter Survey http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/michigan-twitter-survey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=michigan-twitter-survey http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/michigan-twitter-survey/#respond Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:42:02 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6792 The post Michigan Twitter Survey appeared first on Generation Opportunity.

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20140602 GenOpp Short Survey - Generic

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Ohio Twitter Survey http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/ohio-twitter-survey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ohio-twitter-survey http://generationopportunity.org/2014/06/02/ohio-twitter-survey/#respond Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:35:24 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6790 The post Ohio Twitter Survey appeared first on Generation Opportunity.

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20140602 GenOpp Short Survey - Ohio

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Ohio Survey 2014 – Oxford Wine Festival http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/29/ohio-survey-2014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ohio-survey-2014 http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/29/ohio-survey-2014/#respond Thu, 29 May 2014 14:39:14 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6778 The post Ohio Survey 2014 – Oxford Wine Festival appeared first on Generation Opportunity.

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20140602 GenOpp Short Survey - Indiana

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Taylor Swift, Trademarks, and Patent trolls http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/28/taylor-swift-trademarks-and-patent-trolls/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taylor-swift-trademarks-and-patent-trolls http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/28/taylor-swift-trademarks-and-patent-trolls/#respond Wed, 28 May 2014 16:52:22 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6767 Taylor Swift’s obsession with the number 13 is well-known. “I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first number one song had a 13-second intro. Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th […]

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Taylor Swift’s obsession with the number 13 is well-known. “I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first number one song had a 13-second intro. Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter. Basically whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.”

So when Taylor Swift began creating merchandise displaying the number 13 or the phrase “Lucky 13,” she thought nothing of it. Unfortunately for her, the California-based company “Lucky 13” decided to file suit against Taylor Swift claiming her merchandise “confuses the marketplace” and must be “shut down.”

Trademark infringement lawsuits like this are hard to take seriously. The idea that anyone can trademark the number 13 is ridiculous. Other ridiculous trademarks include the phrase, “That’s hot,” belonging to Paris Hilton, the phrase, “Yuuup!” belonging to rapper Trey Songz, or the term “app store” owned by Apple.

My personal favorite occurred earlier this year. A company, King.com Limited, owner of the iOS game Candy Crush, trademarked the word “candy,” giving King the permission to sue every company that used the word “candy” in a smartphone app, game, software, educational service, and even clothing apparel.

Trademark abuse has gotten out of hand, harming innovation and entrepreneurship. But patent infringement lawsuits are even worse.

PatentTrollQuoteSadly, in the past few years, patent infringement cases have doubled thanks to the increasing problem of broad and overly generalized patents. Often times, patent trolls hold onto these overly broad patents, and wait until individuals or businesses use or create something related. Then the patent troll either sues the so-called “infringer” or charges them an exorbitant price for a license to use their bogus patent.

Fifty-four percent of Americans in my generation want to start their own business or have already started one. However, patent trolls and overly broad trademarks directly threaten our ability to get ahead in life. Fifty-five percent of patent troll victims are small business owners who can’t afford to spend millions of dollars defending themselves in court. Thus, not only do patent trolls stop the inventions of young entrepreneurs, but they also stop all of us from enjoying the new products they would have created.

In light of this growing problem, last December, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Innovation Act, intended to help curb the abuse of general patents. Disappointingly, the do-nothing Senate, led by Harry Reid, took the Innovation Act off its agenda, essentially destroying any chance of passage in the near future.

Curbing abusive trademark and patent suits is a good first step in relieving the burdens on innovation and entrepreneurship our generation faces.

Click here to help Stop Patent Trolls.

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Bringing Down Government’s “Barriers to Success” http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/23/bringing-down-governments-barriers-to-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bringing-down-governments-barriers-to-success http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/23/bringing-down-governments-barriers-to-success/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 22:36:29 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6750 To participate in the real estate business in the District of Colombia, one must sit through 135 hours of training. Without this training, you cannot receive a license to sell real estate. If you think this is burdensome, anyone thinking about starting a nail salon/hair braiding service in D.C. has to go through 1,500 hours […]

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To participate in the real estate business in the District of Colombia, one must sit through 135 hours of training. Without this training, you cannot receive a license to sell real estate. If you think this is burdensome, anyone thinking about starting a nail salon/hair braiding service in D.C. has to go through 1,500 hours of training.

But just because you don’t live in D.C., doesn’t mean you’re free from government regulation. Of the 50 states and District of Columbia, only 11 allow individuals to braid hair free from government regulation.

Regulation on hair braiding is just one of the many barriers to success discussed by American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) President Arthur Brooks, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senator Mike Lee, and Senator Tim Scott at AEI’s “Solution for the Middle Class” event earlier this week.

Watch the entire panel discussion here.

In discussing these barriers to success, Representative Cantor stated: “If you look at young people today, the examples that are going on throughout our country, the kinds of upstarts in the economy like Uber or Food Trucks, the immediate reaction from government is, we want to stop it, we want to make it more difficult for those kinds of innovative operations to exist … They deserve from us to exert extra effort to tear down these barriers.”

In cities across the country, the food truck industry is booming as they are able to offer food-lovers more selections for lunch at more convenient locations and, often, cheaper prices than sit-down restaurants. But these restaurants don’t want competition. Uber is a newer and more innovative taxi service that allows customers to request, track the progress, and pay for their taxi service all through an app on their smartphone – but, consequently, cab drivers are losing business.

Similarly, brick-and-mortar restaurants in New York City are trying to use the government to regulate a home food service startup called EatWith, an online network of creative pseudo-chefs that cook and host unique dinners for individuals who enjoy home cooked meals over city restaurants.

Another transportation service startup, Lyft, is also under attack from local government. Under the influence of the taxi industry, the local government of D.C. is proposing rules to regulate Lyft and stop their employees from working over twenty hours a week. Lyft is a company similar to Uber, but distinguishes itself by equipping each of its cars with a pink mustache designed to make them more identifiable.

Young, innovative startup businesses like Uber, EatWith, Lyft, food trucks, and home cosmetics, make our lives better. They provide us services that large companies—many supported by government regulation—fail to provide.

Government crony activities that create barriers to success favor large, politically connected companies over young innovators. But that should not be the goal. Our generation shouldn’t have to get connected with politicians in order to be successful. As one of the most entrepreneurial, innovative, and tech-savvy generations, the merits of our ideas and products will stand on their own.

It’s time for politicians in Washington, D.C., to open their eyes to government overregulation and begin eliminating barriers to success for my generation.

Senator Mike Lee said it best: “Government intervention in the free market economy benefits large, wealthy, incumbents in the marketplace … We need to focus on an anti-cronyism agenda, one that gets the government out of the way.”

Click here to get involved and help us Free the Future.

 

Wesley Coopersmith
Legislative and Coalitions
Generation Opportunity

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Government’s War on Poverty: A failed experiment http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/22/governments-war-on-poverty-a-failed-experiment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=governments-war-on-poverty-a-failed-experiment http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/22/governments-war-on-poverty-a-failed-experiment/#respond Thu, 22 May 2014 18:00:34 +0000 http://generationopportunity.org/?p=6735 Half a century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national “War on Poverty.” Since then, federal government spending on welfare programs has risen from $12.27 billion in 1966 to over $690 billion by 2010, totaling more than $16 trillion over the past 50 years, according to the CATO Institute. Unfortunately, the federal government’s decision […]

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Half a century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national “War on Poverty.” Since then, federal government spending on welfare programs has risen from $12.27 billion in 1966 to over $690 billion by 2010, totaling more than $16 trillion over the past 50 years, according to the CATO Institute.

1WesChart

Unfortunately, the federal government’s decision to simply throw money at the problem is not working. Despite the dramatic increase in welfare spending, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line has actually gotten worse. In 2012, the official poverty rate was over 15 percent with over 46 million Americans living below the poverty line. But for young people, it’s worse as over 20 percent of 18 to 24 year olds live in poverty.

My generation is experiencing the highest sustained unemployment since World War II. We are saddled with student loan debt of $29,400 per borrower. A third of us have been forced to move back in with our parents because of a lack of job opportunity. We make up half of all minimum wage workers struggling to get by.

Instead of throwing money at the problem, government needs to try a new approach. Excessive government debt, spending, high taxes, and regulation has not reduced poverty or given my generation the economic opportunity we deserve. It’s time for the government to stop spending our future away. The government needs to step aside and let the most entrepreneurial, innovative, and tech-savvy generations of America create our own future prosperity.

Click here to help us Free the Future.

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Poll: 47% of Unemployed Have ‘Completely Given Up’ Looking for a Job http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/poll-47-of-unemployed-have-completely-given-up-looking-for-a-job/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poll-47-of-unemployed-have-completely-given-up-looking-for-a-job http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/poll-47-of-unemployed-have-completely-given-up-looking-for-a-job/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 18:19:24 +0000 https://freethefuture.org/?p=2665 By Mark Hemingway A new poll suggests that finding employment, particularly for the long-term unemployed, continues to be a struggle for Americans. The poll, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals, asked questions of 1,500 unemployed adult Americans last month. “This survey shows that millions of Americans are at risk of falling […]

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By Mark Hemingway

A new poll suggests that finding employment, particularly for the long-term unemployed, continues to be a struggle for Americans. The poll, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals, asked questions of 1,500 unemployed adult Americans last month.

“This survey shows that millions of Americans are at risk of falling into the trap of prolonged unemployment, and it should give policymakers a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in a release. “We can take heart that in these difficult times the American spirit of confident hopefulness endures, but we can’t accept this status quo—not for our country, not for our unemployed neighbors.”

Read More at the Weekly Standard

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Congressman: ‘We’ve Proved That Communism Works’ http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/congressman-weve-proved-that-communism-works/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=congressman-weve-proved-that-communism-works http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/congressman-weve-proved-that-communism-works/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:17 +0000 https://freethefuture.org/?p=2660 Florida Congressman Joe Garcia put his foot in his mouth this week “claiming that low crime rates in border cities with lots of federal immigration workers is proof that ‘Communism works.’” Read the details here at the Daily Caller. I think it goes without saying, but Communism doesn’t work. Apparently some of our Representatives in […]

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Florida Congressman Joe Garcia put his foot in his mouth this week “claiming that low crime rates in border cities with lots of federal immigration workers is proof that ‘Communism works.’”

Read the details here at the Daily Caller.

I think it goes without saying, but Communism doesn’t work. Apparently some of our Representatives in Washington missed the days when they covered Stalin and Mao in school.

Sign our Petition to Stop Big Government and let Washington, D.C., know that giving more power to the government is a bad idea!

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How to Lower Healthcare Costs http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/how-to-lower-healthcare-costs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-lower-healthcare-costs http://generationopportunity.org/2014/05/21/how-to-lower-healthcare-costs/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 13:42:55 +0000 https://freethefuture.org/?p=2650 Over the last several years, Americans have seen their healthcare premiums spike due to Obamacare. This has hit young people especially hard as our costs have doubled in many states making health insurance less affordable despite the subsidies. But, there is a new study that proposes a revolutionary new way to cut costs: more competition. Okay, […]

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Over the last several years, Americans have seen their healthcare premiums spike due to Obamacare. This has hit young people especially hard as our costs have doubled in many states making health insurance less affordable despite the subsidies.

But, there is a new study that proposes a revolutionary new way to cut costs: more competition. Okay, that is not all that revolutionary. In fact, many have been suggesting that increased competition within the health insurance market could lower costs for some time, i.e., allowing health insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines or eliminating Obamacare’s regulations so that insurance companies can provide health insurance that people actually want to buy (the cancelled health insurance plans).

Via National Bureau of Economic Research

Via National Bureau of Economic Research

How does more competition lower prices? Whenever you have more businesses trying to get you and me to buy something, these businesses must compete with one another to provide us the good or service for the lowest possible price at the highest possible quality. This forces businesses to continually focus on cutting their own costs in order to maximize their profits, making health insurance cheaper for everyone.

It is refreshing to note that even one of the Obamacare architects acknowledges that more competition would help lower costs. If only they had heeded this advice before creating Obamacare, we all might be better off.

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