The Cycle | October 05, 2012
>>> well, in that jobs report today was also a bit of good news for young people out of work. last month the youth unemployment rate dropped nearly an entire percentage point. that takes it down to 11.8%. compare it to the national average of 7.8%. the trend may head in the right direction, but our next guest's work is far from done. young people are ready, willing and able to give back to the country. they need the opportunity to do it.
>> i just always assumed work really hard, get an undergraduate degree, go to grad school if you need to and it will open up more doors. it didn't turn into that.
>> the problems of our society are so big and so complex right now. it can be overwhelming.
>> as a country we have things that need doing, and we have young people who can do those things. why not match the two with a sense of service that made this country great sf.
>> that is a clip from "up to us" a 20-minute documentary chronicles two young americans . one working for ameri corps and one looking for a job. you can watch it on huffingtonpostourtime.org right on you or cam caomcast. it's a rough situation and particularly bad for young people . we got good news today and we have polling that shows attitudes are fairly optimistic about the future. i guess at the risk of sounding like a grandfather trying to relate to the kids here, among young people what is the mood right now about the economy?
>> it's not -- i would say it's cautiously optimistic in the sense that it is slowly recovering. yet, the other crisis besides unemployment is actually student debt. we've been listening to people all across the country, and they're saying was college a worthwhile investment for me? am i going to get hi head above water in debt? the cruel irony of the debt is people took it out to get jobs in the first place by being told that if you go to college and you take out debt and you, obviously, pay your dues you might get a job. this documentary in particular focuses on young people who are idealistic and want to enlist their service to the to help build the economy, but they've been turned down time and time again. a million applications to americorps in the last two years have been rejected.
>> that's incredible.
>> let me ask, why are they being rejected? explain that a little bit.
>> well, it comes down to money. under the kennedy serve america act there was funding for 250,000 americorps jobs. now only roughly 87,000 of those positions have been funded, far below where they anticipated they would be, and because of that, there's a huge demand and not enough jobs and money allocated. now, the problem with that, s.e., is that we can either pay for these people up front and invest in their success, or we can pay for them on the back end when they end up on food stamps or needing social welfare programs or incarcerated because we haven't given them the skiltskilt skills, the leadership, and the opportunity to succeed.
>> we sketch out a different world for young people . let -- yet many believe they can change the world . why is it that millennials or echo boomers feel they can change the world ? what are you finding?
>> we've grown up in a time where we have entrepreneurship by necessity. when there's not enough jobs to go around. you can't depend on the government. yes, we definitely need critical investment. americo is a bipartisan no-brainer. it's criminal we haven't expanded it more aggressively. when we have grown up in a time and day when you have seen twitter and facebook and groupon and uber and i could go down the list of the incredible startups, that gives young people hope that we have the ingenuity to succeed and grow the economy and then, secondly, what's unique about our generation given we have grown up in a time of financial collapse is that we also recognize that you can't just be in it for profit and profit alone. we've started b corps which work on social impact and take on nonprofit business models . i think we're going to employ that same sense of social entrepreneurship in the way that we ultimately deal with moving the economy forward and solving the jobs crisis.
>> matt, you follow two young people , both of whom are deeply committed to service. are there any policy prescriptions that you have in the film. do you advocate for a particular program of expanding service?
>> absolutely. we advocate aggressively for a website called one million new jobs.org. and what that does is not only fully appropriate all the money toward the kennedy serve america act, but he can pants service to have an even more bold and ambitious appropriation so that the millions of unemployed people can obviously get trained and solve community problems like the ageing baby boomer population that needs nursing, classrooms that need to be filled for teaching, disaster relief and so on. and i might add most importantly to that same situation is the fact that by pushing for something bold, if the candidates embrace it, they're going to help mobilize the youth vote and we need vision right now in getting young people fired up.
>> matt sega l, you are in some elite company. that seat you have occupied for the last seg get very rarely goes to a noncyclist. you, molly ringwald , melissa harris perry.
>> mik rowe.
>>> jon stewart weighs in on the president's performance.
>> mr. president, everyone has parts of their jobs that they don't like as much, but they still have to do those things if they want to keep those jobs. and if you don't want to do it for yourself, think of your supporters. look what your performance did last night to one of them.
>> i don't know what he was doing out there. i don't know how he let romney get away with the crap he threw out. what was he doing tonight? he went in there disarmed. where was obama tonight?
>> are you happy? mr. president, you broke chris matthews . hahahaha!