Tag Archives: economy

Millennials and Their Political Views

Dawn J. Bennett, founder and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services, recently interviewed Chris Koopman on her radio show Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. Koopman is a Senior Research Fellow with Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he specializes in regulation competition and innovation. He is also a contributor at the Hill and was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for law and policy.

In his interview with Dawn J. Bennett, Koopman discusses millennials and their view of politics. According to Koopman, what’s really important about millennials as a political force is the generation now matches baby boomers as the largest demographic in the electorate. Therefore, how millennials think, feel and vote really matters and should be taken seriously.

“I think that’s why in this past election there were a lot of questions about how do millennials feel about the future of capitalism and how do they feel about the future of free market,” said Koopman. “And more often than not, millennials are being pegged as embracing socialism but I think it’s more about distrust and just growing frustration with the current system more so than capitalism per se.”

Koopman said that as a generation, millennials are told they live in a capitalist system. While that’s mostly true, many fundamental pieces of the system don’t represent a free market system.

“Millennials are getting the raw end of that deal,” he said. “They don’t like it and therefore when people ask them how they feel about capitalism they respond that they don’t like it.”

Earlier in the year, a survey was released in which one-third of millennials identified supporting socialism, while less than half said they supported capitalism.

“I think this sort of reinforced this idea millennials don’t understand the world that we live in and we’re sort of chasing dreams as opposed to living in any sort of reality about our current situation,” said Koopman. “But I think that kind of misses the mark when you put it into the context that millennials live in.”

He continued, “You know, we look at the current system, and what have we known? Nothing but Wall Street bailouts, corporate greed, political scandals, tax codes riddled with loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected. And for the bulk of millennials this is all we’ve ever known. So when people ask us how we feel about it of course we’re going to come out with a resounding negative response.”

Koopman has written that surveys show millennials are heavily in favor of the term “free market,” over “government-managed economy.” He believes these findings show that millennials are much more free market than they’re given credit for. To put it into context, he referenced occupational licensing. The millennial generation, more than any other prior generation, had to beg for permission to practice their chosen profession. One in three of millennials has to get an occupational license, compared to five percent just one or two generations ago. This is the type of thing that has become embedded in the system and attributed to capitalism, he explained.

“So it’s not that we’re misinformed. It’s not that we’re lazy or unable to think for ourselves. It’s that we’re frustrated,” Koopman said. “You compare us to other generations at this same age and we’re poorer, we’re more in debt and more out of work.”

He continued, “And I think you go back to the 2016 election… and look at some of the numbers that are coming up and see that 10 percent of millennials that voted, voted third party. You have this desire in an entire generation to find a different approach, a different way, because they’re just flat-out tired and frustrated with the current system as it stands.”

The Connection between Social and Economic Volatility

Many acts of violence have occurred (and continue to occur) across the country, and financial expert Dawn J. Bennett believes they can be tied to the economic volatility America is facing. Shortly after Independence Day, police officers fatally shot two unarmed black men. On one occasion, a man was shot and killed during a traffic stop, and his partner filmed the aftermath of the incident, as her four-year-old daughter sat in the back seat. As a result of these killings, protests erupted across the country. At what began as a peaceful protest in Dallas, a military veteran killed five police officers and injured seven more, making it the deadliest single incident for police since 9/11.

Dawn J. Bennett, founder and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services, says this social unrest is connected to the economic volatility the nation is facing. The current situation can be summed up by this quote from Reverend Al Sharpton: “When people wake up in the morning trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their bills or how they’re going to put food on the table for their family, it leads to an anxiety that then leads to bad judgment and bad choices.” According to Bennett, income inequality, wage stagnation, and economic insecurity all play a role in forming the current explosive landscape.

In terms of the economy, “even the Federal Reserve has recently admitted that the stock market is effectively in bubble territory, saying that forward price to earnings ratios for equities have increased to a level well above their median of the past three decades. Of course, the Fed is doing nothing about that fact, and likely won’t until the bubble bursts,” says Bennett.

Bennett points out that the nation is already facing a recession by a variety of measures. Some of these measures include:

  • The corporate bond market, labor markets, and inventory accumulation are all recessionary.
  • Corporations are more leveraged now than they were in 2007.
  • Earnings have declined to 2011/2012 levels, while the stock market continues to hang around record-highs.
  • Gold rose from $1060 in January to over $1360.
  • Silver increased from $13.90 to $20.

“Zero or negative interest rates, combined with huge amounts of cash being pumped into the markets, led us into an extreme fantasy land, causing a speculative frenzy,” says Bennett “However, the central bank tide that has raised all the boats of our markets feels not only like it’s about to recede, but even completely dry up and leave the boats sitting on sand.”

She continued, “The mismatch of economic cheerleading from the Fed and the White House with the reality of poor job security and prospects, underfunded pensions, and mandated health care that’s simply not working can only contribute to social unrest.”

Dawn J. Bennett Writes Article Highlighting the War on Cash

Dawn J. Bennett, CEO of and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and host of Financial Myth Busting, recently wrote an article titled, “Yellen’s ‘Solid Ground’ and the War on Cash”. In her article, Bennett explains that while Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve says our economy is on “solid ground”, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Bennett:

  • S. factory orders have been on the decline on a year-over-year basis for 16 consecutive months, which hasn’t occurred in 60 years without a recession.
  • First quarter corporate earnings are projected to be down 8.5% over first quarter 2015, the fourth quarter in a row of year-over-year declines.
  • S&P earnings are down 18.5% from their 2014 high.
  • Corporate debt defaults have risen to the highest level since 2009.
  • S. oil rig count is at a 41-year low.
  • Job cut announcements from U.S. firms were up 32% for the first quarter 2016 over first quarter 2015.
  • Consumers have accumulated more new credit card debit during the fourth quarter 2015 than during the entire years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • America has $19 trillion in federal debt, which has increased $100 million each hour since President Obama’s inauguration.

“It is in this environment that we find ourselves, additionally, in the midst of an all-out war on cash,” says Bennett. “Interest rates are negative in Japan and several European countries, and we seem to be trending toward that possibility in the United States. Central banks keep printing more and more money, but that money isn’t tied to any real value. The assumption is that these negative rates will force banks to lend their reserves, and that lending will boost aggregate demand and help struggling economies, but it just isn’t happening. No one’s buying into it. Meddling with interest rates creates an increasing disconnect between supply and demand over time, and the wider that disconnect gets, the more risk there is when things eventually and inevitably realign to reality.”

Bennett notes that governments and financial institutions are continuing to discourage cash. Governments worldwide are putting restrictions on the use of cash, Bennett says, which is supposedly to make life harder for criminals and terrorists. She continued, “Central banks set inflation targets, and inflation is another way that our savings is taken from us. As Alan Greenspan said in 1966, ‘In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation.'”

To learn more about Dawn J. Bennett’s views on the war on cash, read the full article here.