Milllennials – What do they really know?

Michael Raffety

July 11, 2016

Candy wrappers from Greenback Lane. That’s what I titled a folder of poems from an earlier era in my life when I wrote poetry. Don’t worry, I won’t burden the readers with poetry. I follow the policy established by editors who preceded me: No poetry whatsoever.

Newspaper editors aren’t running a literary magazine and don’t want to be put in the position of picking and choosing poems and actually being stuck with publishing doggerel and limericks.

So, I’ll just call this column assorted scraps of news items. Like this one – Millennials are now tied with baby boomers for the largest percentage of eligible voters, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. They are tied at 31 percent each, but only 46 percent of millennials voted in 2012, but 69 percent of boomers did in 2012.

Millennials are also called the baby boom echo, born to baby boom parents between the 1980s and 1990s. Baby boomers, of course, were the post war generation born between 1946 and 1964. That includes President Barack Obama, born in1961.

My take on this next generation is that they will vote in higher percentages once they start having families, pay off their student debt, pay taxes to local, state and federal governments. The older they become the higher the percentage will be voters. There are 69.7 million boomers and 69.7 million voting age millennials.

I read the obit pages in the Mountain Democrat. Baby boomers are regularly appearing in that section.

.. . .

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leaving today

I want to be a part of it:” Mike’s rafters, Mike’s rafters.

 That’s my parody of the Fred Ebb and John Kander song made famous by Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra. Yes, I’m talking about my screech owls again. How can I not? The last day of June I looked out my kitchen nook window to the rafters under the deck off an upstairs bedroom and saw five owls. Three of them were huddled together in one rafter with a fourth one rafters away and the fifth too far to the right to include in one photo. Ooh! They were so cute!

My next project is to get one of those barn owl boxes, maybe two. Barn owls are supposed to be real efficient at clearing out gophers and moles. I’ve got moles up the kazoo.

. . .

Ever see those U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges? Well, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni just issued a report that only 23 of the 76 listed in the news magazine’s 2016 rankings of “the best” require history majors to take at least one U.S. history course. I always assumed everybody, even business majors had to take two semesters of U.S. history. But history majors not taking any U.S. history?

The heart of the matter was expressed succinctly to the Wall Street Journal by Bill North, chairman of the history department at Carleton College in Minnesota: ”We are committed to the idea that all histories are important and valuable in the cultivation of a robust civic consciousness.”

And that’s why a lot of college grads today don’t know who we fought in the Revolutionary War, how the Constitution was made and what’s in it, what was the Civil Rights Movement and how does the free enterprise system work.

As Mr. T of the 1980s TV show, the A Team, would say, “I pity the fool.”

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