America’s response to COVID-19 has proven to be more harmful to young people than the virus itself. Many young adults are opting out of pursuing post-secondary education and experiencing prolonged bouts of unemployment thanks to changes brought about by the pandemic. As a result, there will be long-term economic and health consequences.
Undergraduate enrollments for spring 2021 across the country have decreased by nearly 6 percent compared to spring 2020. Registration in overall post-secondary education (including trade or vocational school) is down 4.2 percent. The number of traditional college-age students (18- to 20-year-olds) enrolling in undergraduate programs has shrunk by a little over 7 percent.
American society still relies heavily on credentialism for career advancement, and the fact of the matter is many opportunities simply don’t exist for people without college degrees. Young people who delay their vocational training or collegiate education will likely begin their careers later in life. By deferring their education, they delay opportunities to establish themselves professionally as they continue to spend money on rapidly increasing living expenses.
Youth unemployment also remains high. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an additional 8.7 percent of 20- to 29-year olds with bachelor’s degrees were unemployed compared to the previous year. The unemployment rate for recent high school graduates without college degrees was nearly 20 percent. Notably, much of the COVID-19 related unemployment stems from states with the most pro-lockdown governments.
The data is in, and it tells us that government-mandated lockdowns end more lives than they save. Not only is there ample evidence illustrating how the lockdowns were ineffective at saving lives and slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the massive social and economic upheaval caused by the lockdowns also caused a litany of other societal issues. Over the past year, substance abuse–related deaths have reached a historic high, youth suicides have increased, and fewer Americans have been screened for cancer, thus increasing the likelihood of a terminal diagnosis at a later date. For this, young people’s education and careers are being sacrificed.
Income and education also affect one’s life expectancy. It is projected that the disruption these policies have caused will take years off the lifespans of this generation of young adults. Our peers are getting dumber and dying as a result of bad policy. Younger generations and older ones alike must oppose the political malpractice of perpetuating this pandemic.
Source: The American Spectator