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Young Americans Would Keep Social Security Money Under Their Pillows

Young Americans believe their money is safer under their pillows than with the federal government, a national survey shows.

Generation Opportunity ( surveyed young adults ages 18-29 from across the political spectrum. When asked the specific question, “in your opinion, is your Social Security money safer with the federal government or under your pillow?” 66% of young voters said they believed the latter.

 “Young people are looking at a situation where the economic challenges and limited opportunities they face today potentially extend to the end of their careers, where there is zero assurance Social Security will be there for them,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and a former Labor Department chief of staff in the George W. Bush administration. “Despite all of this, young adults remain optimistic about their skills and their ability to contribute to the country–they are simply looking for competent leadership that respects their interests and places a higher value on unleashing America’s economic engine to create more jobs and economic opportunity.”

In the same poll, 69% said that Washington does not reflect their interests and 69% indicated that the federal government should make tough decisions by making sacrifices right now rather than asking more of Americans struggling in an anemic economy.

Generation Opportunity is a grass-roots organization dedicated to organizing and mobilizing young adults through a strategy based on social media and ground operations. The organization, publicly launched in June 2011, has amassed over one million fans through its “Being American” page on Facebook.

Young Americans on the Future of Social Security, Washington and the Economy:

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company inc. /WomanTrend.  The poll was conducted April 16-22, 2011, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.  Here are highlights of results for all young Americans ages 18-29:

Millennials: Social Security

  • 66% believe their Social Security money is safer under their pillows than in the U.S. Treasury.

Millennials: Federal Spending

  • 18- to 29-year-olds are deeply concerned about U.S. financial debt (66%) and deficit (71%).
  • Three quarters (76%) of respondents would like to see federal spending reduced.
  • 69% said the federal government should make sacrifices right now.

Millennials: Washington Isn’t Getting It Done

  • Only 31% of those 18-29 approve of President Obama’s handling of youth unemployment.
  • 56% believe the wrong leadership is in Washington, and 61% will vote on a candidate’s record, not charisma.
  • 57% said they will learn more about the policy positions of presidential candidates in the 2012 election than they did in 2008.
  • 69% say political leaders do not reflect the interests of young Americans.

 Millennials: America and Opportunity

  • 54% believe America is on the wrong track; only 24% believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction.
  • 54% agree they have “more opportunity” than their parents, and 27% actually think their children will have less.
  • 77% of respondents (18-29) are delaying major life changes because of economic restraints.44% delay buying a home;
  • 28% delay saving for retirement;
  • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
  • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
  • 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
  • 23% delay starting a family;
  • 18% delay getting married.

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