1) You are a special little flower: We live in an “everybody’s a winner,” don’t use red ink, don’t offend anyone, participation trophies for everyone era where we build up self-esteem as much as possible. Then the college student who just went $100,000 a year in the hole to get a women’s studies degree from a prestigious university finds that she’s not even a stand-out at the $10 an hour job she only got because her father knew someone. This leaves her angry and baffled as to why she doesn’t even merit a raise, much less a promotion. When you have that experience, it’s easy to retreat into bitterness or video games where “greatness awaits” in a simulation where you get to restart over and over until you win. Contrary to what young Americans are taught in school, “experience trumps brilliance,” hard work beats talent, and most people value you for what you bring to the table right now, not how wonderful your teacher said you were for “trying hard.”
2) Social Security and Medicare will be there for you: Young Americans are expected to pay into Medicare and Social Security, but the programs aren’t going to be there in their present forms when they get old enough to use them. In other words, we’re defrauding young Americans. We’re telling them to pay today so they’ll be taken care of when they get old, but we have no intention of ever allowing them to collect. Unless there are massive changes made to our entitlement programs, most young Americans should expect to work until they die. Let me repeat that: if you’re 25 years old, you will not get to retire at 65 like your parents because you will have to work until you drop dead. When there’s a 100 trillion dollar difference between what we already owe and the money we’re collecting to pay it, that’s not even a legitimately arguable proposition. If young Americans would like to receive more than sack cloth and an occasional bowl of gruel from the government once they get long in the tooth, they should be demanding entitlement reform.
3) Faith isn’t relevant anymore: Hollywood almost universally makes Christians look bad in TV shows and movies, liberalism has become reflexively hostile to Christianity, and militant atheists work overtime to attack people of faith. Yet and still, this nation has been a success in large part because of Christianity. If not for this nation’s Protestant work ethic, fundamental Christian decency and biblically inspired dedication to human rights, we would have never been so successful. That doesn’t mean all Christians are good and all atheists are bad because that’s certainly not true, but Christianity offers up a moral order to the universe that atheism is incapable of going, by its very nature. Although I have known some wonderful people in my life who didn’t believe in God, on the whole I’ve found that Christians (and observant Jews for that matter) are happier, more stable and are generally just better human beings than the people who don’t believe. Contrary to what Hollywood would tell you, Christianity doesn’t keep people from “doing all the fun stuff” in life, it just steers them away from sins that are “fun for a season,” but that will do a lot of damage over the long-term. Few things will turn out to be more integral to your happiness and success as a human being over the long haul than your faith.
4) The government is your friend: As a general rule the more contact you have with a government, the more miserable you will be long term. Some politicians, government workers and well-connected corporations that land big contracts are exceptions to that rule, but you’re probably not in any of those groups. For you, the more the government gets involved in your life, the worse off you’ll be. Those college loans? The government expects them to be paid. That welfare and food stamps? It’s not much money, it comes with a lot of strings attached and you’ll have to degrade yourself by leeching off of your fellow citizens to get it. Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” He wasn’t wrong about that.
5) Morality doesn’t matter: It’s ironic that Christianity is regularly attacked, it’s considered bad form to talk about morals, and we worry more about offending people than doing the right thing; yet we’re shocked at how degenerate our society has become. You want a society with no moral code, where no one is ever made to feel bad about doing disgusting things? Well, then you should expect school shootings, welfare fraud, a deterioration of marriage, women having five children out of wedlock with four different men, perverted politicians, etc., etc., etc. When you say morality isn’t welcome, you don’t get to pick and choose which dearly held precepts are trampled into the dirt in the public square. If you want your kids growing up in a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, buy into the idea that morals don’t matter and you’ll be doing your part to make it a reality.
6) Politicians are investing in your future: There really was a time in American history when the people and the government were living with one foot in the present and one foot in the future. As a practical matter, that just doesn’t happen anymore. Our political differences are so stark, our government is so big, our debt is so out of control and the quality of men the American people have sent to D.C. is so low that everything is about “the now.” It’s about what gets them through the next news cycle, the next scandal or the next election. There’s not a single Democrat in D.C. who cares about what happens to you if you’re not his relative or campaign contributor and sadly, most of the Republicans aren’t any better. The only people in politics that are genuinely fighting tooth and nail to protect future generations of Americans are the decidedly unhip Tea Party and its allies in Congress. They’ve been relentlessly smeared for that because people who are frittering away the future loathe nothing more than people who expose how small and selfish they’ve become.
7) The world owes you a living: There was a time in America when, “The world doesn’t owe you a living,” was probably the mother’s favorite phrase to repeat to her child after, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” However, we’ve moved past that and now everyone seems to believe that if he gets a college degree, he’s owed a cushy, fulfilling job and all the cool stuff his parents had after a lifetime of work. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong answer, kiddo. For most people, all a college degree entitles you to is THE CHANCE to find a job where you’ll be allowed to start proving yourself for low pay. If you’re expecting more than that and daddy isn’t going to give you a VP slot at his company, then don’t be surprised if the world adjusts your expectations the hard way.