The Kids These Days Are…In Surprisingly High Spirits

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Republican pollster and language guru Frank Luntz has a new poll out. The bottom line is that young people are pretty damn liberal, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. But considering the relentless parade of stories about how terrible life is for the kids these days, these three questions might very well surprise some people:

  • Optimistic about their “personal future”: 88 percent
  • Expect to be better off financially than their parents: 75 percent
  • Believe America’s best days are ahead of it: 61 percent

That doesn’t sound like a generation in the throes of existential angst and financial Armageddon. The last few decades—and the most recent one in particular—have been pretty lousy for a lot of people. But millennials haven’t done any worse than anyone else, and in some respects they’ve actually done a little better. Sometimes I wonder if we oldsters are projecting more of our own mopiness on them than they actually feel.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate