3 Problems Only Conservatives Can Solve That Millennials Will Love

With 22 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds self-identifying as Republicans, and with Democrats winning young people by unprecedented margins in the Virginia gubernatorial election, the GOP should be concerned about its unpopularity among millennials. Furthermore, despite the successes of capitalism and the mass suffering caused by socialism and communism, millennials seem to narrowly prefer socialism to capitalism.

In response to these developments, many defenders of freedom tend to focus their energy on debunking progressive policies. Most conservatives know that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ healthcare plan would cost $32 trillion dollars, and that a higher minimum wage hurts small businesses and low-income workers. However, a movement cannot only be defined in opposition to another. These progressive policies may be foolhardy, but they address problems millennials want to see solved.

The conservative agenda should be one about equality of opportunity and knocking down government-imposed barriers to success.

Beyond simply extolling the importance of free markets, competition and limited government in a macro sense, defenders of liberty ought to apply these principles to specific issues of interest to millennials. Rather than preach the gospel of the free market, conservatives should take to heart the American Dream: the idea that every child in America can succeed if they work hard enough. As such, the conservative agenda should be one about equality of opportunity and knocking down government-imposed barriers to success.

1. Occupational licensing

For example, conservatives should take a page from Arizona governor Doug Ducey’s playbook and champion occupational licensing reform. The percentage of jobs that require government-issued licenses has exploded, from five percent in the 1950s to 30 percent today. Supposedly, these laws exist to protect public health and consumers, but that argument falls apart considering the fact that it takes less time to earn an EMT license than to become a licensed manicurist, among other jobs unrelated to public health. Additionally, a recent study suggests there’s no difference between the quality of product from a state that requires a license and a state that does not require a license.

The real purpose of occupational licensing requirements is to enrich license holders at the expense of the general public. License holders experience an increase in their incomes, while the economy loses $203 billion dollars in GDP annually. Those losses are most sorely felt at the bottom of the income distribution. Thanks to the hundreds of hours of schooling, fees often in excess of $1,000 and sometimes even a college degree required to get a license to perform a job such as manicurist, barber or florist, low income people --- especially young ones --- are excluded from the opportunity to enter the middle class. As the perfect example of government regulation that hurts the least fortunate, occupational licensing is an issue conservatives trying to convince young progressives about the virtues of limited government would be wise to address.

2. Incarceration

Secondly, conservatives should take on the prison system. On its face, the fact that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world should frighten any freedom-lover. While a combination of factors are to blame for this shocking statistic, from overcriminalization to the War on Drugs, one overlooked element is the abnormally high recidivism rate in the United States --- 76.6 percent of criminals are arrested within five years of leaving prison.

The cycle of re-incarceration is a drain on the economy. If an individual joined a gang at an early age, they may not know any marketable skills, and if they don’t learn any in prison, they’ll turn back to crime to support themselves because they won’t be able to find beneficial employment. Additionally, high recidivism rates are a burden on the taxpayer. We spend 80 billion dollars a year on incarceration. An inescapable cycle of re-incarceration is not consistent with a land of opportunity. When someone is released from prison, they have paid their debt to society, and as such, they should be able to experience the same freedom other citizens have. The “discipline and the Bible,” tough-on-crime approach to incarcerated persons should be replaced with more rehabilitation and job training.

3. Higher education

Lastly, conservatives need to address the political issue most directly affecting millennials: higher education. When Sanders promises “free college,” Republicans scoff, but often fail to respond with their own models on how to reduce college tuition prices. Yet a conservative model already exists: Purdue University under Mitch Daniels. Since taking charge at Purdue, the former Republican governor gutted administrative spending, a major driver of higher education’s ballooning cost, while offering more pathways to graduate early and expanding into the technical education market. By reducing costs, Daniels has been able to freeze tuition increases, while seeing applications soar and diversity within STEM fields flourish. Those are outcomes left-leaning students would like to see in higher education, yet they were achieved using conservative principles.

To turn the tide with young people, Republicans must provide tangible solutions to millennials’ concerns that are at the same time consistent with the values of free-market capitalism and limited government while promoting the American Dream.

MORE FROM YOUNG VOICES

Alex Muresianu is a freshman at Tufts University studying economics, and a Young Voices Advocate. He is also a contributor for Lone Conservative and writes on his own blog, Alex’s Thoughts.

Eric Weinstein, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital and host of "The Portal" podcast, is not a conservative, but he says conservative and center-right-affiliated media are the only ones who will still allow oppositional voices.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Eric told Glenn that the center-left media, which "controls the official version of events for the country," once welcomed him, but that all changed about eight years ago when they started avoiding any kind of criticism by branding those who disagree with them as "alt-right, far-right, neo-Nazi, etc.," even if they are coming from the left side of the aisle. But their efforts to discredit critical opinions don't stop there. According to Eric, there is a strategy being employed to destroy our national culture and make sure Americans with opposing views do not come together.

"We're trifling with the disillusionment of our national culture. And our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us," Eric said. "I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we're there now."

In the clip below, Eric explains why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast.

Don't miss the full interview with Eric Weinstein here.

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Glenn Beck: Why MLK's pledge of NONVIOLENCE is the key to saving America

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Listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pledge of nonviolence and really let it sink in: "Remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory."

On the radio program, Glenn Beck shared King's "ten commandments" of nonviolence and the meaning behind the powerful words you may never have noticed before.

"People will say nonviolent resistance is a method of cowards. It is not. It takes more courage to stand there when people are threatening you," Glenn said. "You're not necessarily the one who is going to win. You may lose. But you are standing up with courage for the ideas that you espouse. And the minute you engage in the kind of activity that the other side is engaging in, you discredit the movement. You discredit everything we believe in."

Take MLK's words to heart, America. We must stand with courage, nonviolently, with love for all, and strive for peace and rule of law, not "winning."

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Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

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Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

Watch the video below to hear more from Dan:

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