Scott Walker: Public Sector Unions and Big Government Destroy Jobs for Young People

Since the Obama administration took office, youth unemployment (now around 17.4 percent) has gone up faster and stayed higher than any other major demographic.

Thanks unions! Especially public sector unions!

Public sector unions live on government spending. Government spending sucks money out of the private sector and into the heavily unionized public sector–killing private sector jobs. The few jobs that actually come from the public sector rarely go to young people because of union seniority protections. Any jobs left in the private sector tend to go to recently unemployed older workers who are becoming more willing to work for less and take starter jobs.

Governor Scott Walker echoed this message in his speech to over a hundred young people at Young America’s Foundation‘s West Coast Leadership Conference at the Reagan Ranch. After his speech, he sat down with me for an interview to explain how his budget reforms in Wisconsin are helping young people.



Governor Walker’s reforms changed the job climate in Wisconsin and opened up more opportunity for young people. By cutting government spending, empowering the private sector, and limiting union power, he is enabling more young people to find work.

This is the strategy we need to see from our federal government. Young people face some extreme challenges thanks to Big Government and Big Labor. In the interview, Governor Walker brought up tuition costs and teachers’ unions. Combine this education problem with unemployment and government debt, and the future looks dim for young people.

Young America’s Foundation’s recently created the Youth Misery Index, which adds together youth unemployment plus average graduating college debt (in thousands) plus national debt per capita (in thousands). The Youth Misery Index has gone up 25 percent in four years, and 17 percent since the union-friendly Obama administration took office.

The era of big government has been disastrous for young people, and leaders like Governor Walker must continue to shrink the power of government and public sector unions. It’s been working great in Wisconsin, Washington should take note.

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