A spirited critique of American politicians’ treatment of younger generations, and a plan of action for youth empowerment.
According to Moon (The Beltway Beast, 2014), a 65-year-old former financial industry executive and father of three, his generation’s stewardship of American democracy has been a moral disgrace. Its greatest victim, he says, is the “MI generation,” which includes millennials and the “iGeneration,” defined as “those born after 1998.” The current crop of American political leaders, he says, has given MIs a dangerous environmental policy, a widening chasm of economic inequality, and a toxic culture of rigid partisanship. The author particularly focuses on the damage caused by student-loan debt and an incoherent health care system. In both cases, he asserts, industries are permitted to engender unchecked hyperinflation. The United States government makes billions in profit annually from student loans, he says, which threatens to financially cripple an entire younger generation. And the health care system, he writes, seems designed to deliver the most onerous costs and the most limited choice. He does offer good news, though, noting that the MI generation is loaded with talent and diversity, that it has a penchant for entrepreneurial and technological innovation, and that it will soon become a dominant voting bloc. Moon recommends a political-action plan that focuses on winning vulnerable congressional seats and offers a set of criteria for selecting suitable candidates. Despite admitting his “guilt, frustration, and anger” at the current state of things at the outset of this book, the author supplies a surprisingly sober analysis—one that’s consistently reasonable and pragmatic. He also avoids obvious partisan allegiances, dispensing plenty of criticism for both major parties and decrying an electoral system that makes it extraordinarily hard for a candidate outside the two-party system to prosper. That said, this is a very brief study that covers an expansive stretch of political terrain, and as a result, some of the arguments, particularly in the sections on health care and student debt, are more exacting than others; a section on foreign policy is sensible but covers familiar ground. Overall, though, this is an intelligent call for practical reform.
An inspiring, provocative encouragement to younger generations to exercise political clout.