Trickle-down austerity disproportionately hurts young workers

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In today’s rallies and marches, you’ll notice a majority of those taking part in the action are young people. That’s because they know the economic policies they’re pushing back against are harming them the most. According to a new study by the International Labour Organization, trickle-down austerity measures, like the ones being pushed in Europe and by Republicans here in the United States, disproportionately hit young workers the hardest.

In austerity Ireland – a third of young workers are unemployed. And in austerity Spain – more than half of all workers under age 25 are unemployed. And here in the United States – where Republicans have forced the President’s hand on budget cuts – including cuts to Pell grant programs – half of the nation’s recent college graduates are out of work or underemployed.

If young people can’t find work out of college – then a whole generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, and engineers could be lost.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
Dec. 29, 2009 10:59 am


The austerity is not out of necessity, it is by design. If you remember a few year ago the military were complaining loudly that they weren't able to fill all of their quotas for new recruits to supply all the new wars they were running. And then, voilà, a financial crash was organized and the military were soon reporting how happy they suddenly were with their recruitment, so much so that their corporate mercenary armies were able to be built up in size so that they matched the deployment of government uniformed soldiers.

jmacneil's picture
Mar. 6, 2012 7:24 pm

I'm not familiar with Europe, but what austerity measures are being enacted here. What part of the government is being cut or even proposed being cut? With a proposed 1 Trillion Dollar cut in year one, Rep. Ron Paul is the only political I'm aware of that actually wants to cut. And how exactly is cutting spending bad? Obviously, cutting food stamps or welfare for the small amount of children and elderly that are truly needy would not be my first priority. There is corporate welfare, the military, farm subsidies, foreign aid, welfare for those who are able to work, Medicare Part D, etc.

TheFirstLeftist's picture
Mar. 23, 2012 2:33 pm

No, there have not been any austerity measures announced for the US. They know that would not go over well. I'm not even sure why they thought it would go over well in Europe either. They could have called it a "frugality program" designed to help people live cheaper and then people would have been asking to join in. But let's not over-estimate the intellect of IMF leaders. ;-)

captbebops's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

No austerity measures in the US? Tell that to places like Wisconsin and Indiana. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Federal and state workers who've been given their pink slips. Tell that to all of the public education teachers that are praying for that job at Taco Bell. If not for the recent austerity measures in the US the economy would at least have chance to improve. Instead, the jobs added to the private sector have not been enough to have a very positive effect on the economy not to mention the tax revenue that would have been generated along the way.

The government should be taking prosperity measures if they really want to get the US economy back on it's feet. That in turn would help get some of those foreign countries back on their feet as well. Those people who are out of work in Ireland and Spain should be marching against US policies if they want to make things better in their own country.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

GOP Tax Myth & Junk Economics

If there's one thing all Republican politicians are really good at, it's straight-up lying through their teeth about how their tax cuts for the rich are actually tax cuts for the middle-class.

Reagan did it, George W. Bush did it, and now that he's officially unveiled his own so-called tax reform plan, Donald Trump is doing it, too.

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