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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Guest Author:  Alyssa Ahlgren
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Date:  May 12, 2019
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Topic category:  Culture

My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us
This article was written in a coffee shop by a young lady with an important message for her fellow Millennials.

Iím sitting in a small coffee shop trying to think of what to write about.† I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to ďfixĒ the so-called injustices of capitalism.† This prompted me to reflect on those "injustices" and my generation's perspective on the meaning of "prosperity."

Iím sitting in a small coffee shop trying to think of what to write about.† I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to ďfixĒ the so-called injustices of capitalism.

I put my phone down and continue to look around.† I see people talking freely, working on their MacBooks, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me.† We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and weíve become completely blind to it.

Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose.† These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we donít give them a second thought.† We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average.† Thirty.† One.† Times.† Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards.† Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.

Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow.† Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, ďAn entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.Ē

Never saw American prosperity.† Let that sink in.† When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing Iíve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth.† Now, Iím not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortezís words to outright dishonesty.† I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true.† Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided.† My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity.† I know this first hand, I went to college, letís just say I didnít have the popular opinion, but I digress.

Let me lay down some universal truths really quick.† The United States of America has lifted more people out of abject poverty, spread more freedom and democracy, and has created more innovation in technology and medicine than any other nation in human history.† Not only that but our citizenry continually breaks world records with charitable donations, the rags to riches story is not only possible in America but not uncommon, we have the strongest purchasing power on earth, and we encompass 25% of the worldís GDP.† The list goes on.

However, these universal truths donít matter.† We are told that income inequality is an existential crisis (even though this is not an indicator of prosperity, some of the poorest countries in the world have low-income inequality), we are told that we are oppressed by capitalism (even though itís brought about more freedom and wealth to the most people than any other system in world history), we are told that the only way we will acquire the benefits of true prosperity is through socialism and centralization of federal power (even though history has proven time and again this only brings tyranny and suffering).

Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity?† We have people who are dying to get into our country.† People around the world destitute and truly impoverished.† Yet, we have a young generation convinced theyíve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism.† Why?† The answer is this, my generation has ONLY seen prosperity.† We have no contrast.† We didnít live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism.† We donít know what itís like not to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We donít have a lack of prosperity problem.† We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and itís spreading like a plague.

With the current political climate giving rise to the misguided idea of a socialist utopia, will we see the light?† Or will we have to lose it all to realize that what we have now is true prosperity?† Destroying the free market will undo what millions of people have died to achieve.

My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country.† We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us.† The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution.† The choice doesnít seem too hard, does it?

Alyssa Ahlgren

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