Gen Y: An unlikely wish list

(LIN) — The holidays are right around the corner and if Capitol Hill is looking for any last-minute gift ideas for Generation Y, we have made our list and checked it twice. Below is a short list of gifts you probably won’t hear Generation Y ask for, but are definite must-haves.

D.C. Peace. Not to be confused with world peace, D.C. peace on Capitol Hill would definitely help set the tone for the holidays.  President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have been the faces of much of the tension lately during the “fiscal cliff” showdown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., have also had their childish fits and lack of couth this year. From the “fiscal cliff” to cabinet appointments, both sides of the table have not been playing nice – or even trying to get along for that matter – this year. We need Congress to stop being so whiny and to set an example of leadership and character, or we’re bound to be in a never-ending cycle for a while.

Less dollars, more sense. It’s true. Sometimes the best Christmas gift is cold, hard cash, even if it is stuffed in a cheesy Christmas card. But you can’t put a price tag on financial literacy. Providing avenues of resources to help us get to college is helpful, but blank checks are not. A major reason we start our professional careers so far behind is because the majority of us have no idea how to understand loan terms, and interest rates, borrow only what we need and budget for monthly payments. Some of us do, but lets face it.  If no one takes the time to explain beyond clicking through terms and agreements, we’re left with a cycle of financial illiteracy that will only continue to get worse.

More connectivity. We are the iGeneration. As a whole, we are more likely to get our news from Twitter and stay connected through texts and Facebook messages. Using these tools to be more accessible to our Congressional representatives and what’s being decided on Capitol Hill would keep us more engaged in politics.  Our leaders in Washington should meet us on our level. Advertisers know exactly how to reach us – shouldn’t those who represent us? We want to listen and be involved, but we don’t want to have to track you down to do so. Engage us. We’re listening.

Less utopian speak. Yes, we live in the greatest country on the planet and we are thankful for our freedoms and the ability to shape our own futures. But we need to stop being spoon-fed false hopes and dreams. It’s not just rude, it’s outright unfair. We’re young adults, but adults nonetheless, and we know that in life – unlike peewee sports – not everyone gets a trophy. Just because we’re Americans doesn’t mean we all deserve to own a home or go to college. We need our government to lay out the realties of those life paths in the most real terms possible and stop making it all sound so easy. If we can’t afford the “American Dream,” then allow us to work hard and realistically to attain it.

Gen Y is a weekly opinion piece covering issues that matter most to young, influential Americans through their late 30s. Jessica O. Swink, a 20-something, is the digital political producer for LIN Media and contributing editor to  onPolitix .


Copyright 2014 LIN TV News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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