Center for American Progress

The Progressive Generation: How Young Americans View Economic Issues and Why It Matters
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The Progressive Generation: How Young Americans View Economic Issues and Why It Matters

Every presidential election season, it seems like we hear rumblings about why the youth vote matters. And this year, politicians’ main focus may be on the economy. A May 2008 survey and report that I co-authored for the Center for American Progress shows that voters under 30—often known as the Millennial generation—have decidedly progressive views on the economy, possibly more so than any previous generation, especially compared to the more conservative views of Generation X.

Every presidential election season, it seems like we hear rumblings about why the youth vote matters. And this year, politicians’ main focus may be on the economy. A May 2008 survey and report that I co-authored for the Center for American Progress shows that voters under 30—often known as the Millennial generation—have decidedly progressive views on the economy, possibly more so than any previous generation, especially compared to the more conservative views of Generation X.

According to CAP’s report, a majority of 18 to 29 year-olds (the ages the report used to define the Millennial generation) believe that in order to ensure strong and sustainable economic growth, we need increased public investments in health care, education, services, and other areas. Millennials also tend to think that government can and should play a positive role in the economy, and they don’t necessarily believe that free markets always have the answers.

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