The plight of debt-burdened and underemployed millennials—those born between 1979 and 1994—is troubling, but Heritage Foundation distinguished fellow Kim Holmes points out that there is still time to change course and increase opportunities for this generation.
In his new book, Rebound: Getting America Back to Great, Holmes explains that there is still hope for a brighter future if America returns to the “principles, values, and practices that once made it the most successful nation on earth.”
Holmes’s book offers concrete advice on how to do this. To restore Social Security, the program has to “become a smaller and more focused ‘real insurance’ system” that “would enable working families to place more of their earnings into personal savings for retirement.”
Taxes cannot keep growing. Lower taxes create incentives for working overtime, saving, and investing, since people can keep more of what they earn from these activities. Holmes reminds us that after John F. Kennedy’s tax cuts went into effect in 1964, unemployment fell to 3.8 percent. After Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981, median incomes rose 5 percent. Time after time, when taxes were cut, the economy grew. The same thing could happen today, invigorating the economy and creating jobs for the unemployed and underemployed of every generation.
Most importantly, Holmes insists that American culture must be rejuvenated. “Government is not a substitute for a vibrant civil society. It cannot replace the family, church, civic institutions, charities, and associations that historically have been the conveyor of values crucial to upward mobility.” Millennials, the unemployed, the elderly, immigrants, and the poor would all benefit from a revival of the institutions that have played unique and integral roles in American civil society, and they are the ones best suited to do the reviving.
Rebound can serve as both an inspiration and a roadmap to today’s young adults on how to get America back to great.
Order your copy today of Rebound: Getting America Back to Great by Kim R. Holmes.