Dear Class of 2012:
Congratulations on your accomplishment. Your hard work and persistence has been rewarded with your diploma. You have done your parents, your community and yourselves proud. Now, you enter the workforce in very uncertain times. The job market for young college graduates has virtually never been worse. Economic conditions and government regulations are putting employers in a very difficult situation, and your prospects of being hired are somewhat bleak.
Now, statistics show that you have graduated college with an average of $23,000 in student loan debt, and 72% of you voted for President Obama. This puts you in a unique position. The same wide eyed optimism that accompanied you to college or university is very likely to have also led to your ballot having been cast for our current leader. It is also very likely that optimism has morphed into something very different. Your eyes are still open, but are now looking at reality.
You enter into the job market at the same time as a very contentious presidential campaign with an opportunity that not everyone has. Between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, you will hear about gay marriage, the national debt, war on women and more catchphrases, slogans and hash tags than you can possibly handle. They will spend billions to try and earn your vote, and you don’t have to listen to a single word of it!
That’s right. All you have to do is follow your father’s advice. Go out and get a job! That’s it. Four years ago you were at the very beginning of your college career and had grand visions about this summer. This is when you had visualized making the first step on the path to taking the investment banking world by storm, becoming teacher of the year or even being elected president in 2048. This is where the rubber meets the road. All of the money, slogans and promises won’t make a bit of difference.
In 2008, Obama promised to create jobs. If you walk into an interview and walk out with a job offer, then go out and cast your ballot for Barack Obama. After all, he has made it perfectly clear that he has been creating jobs. With the proof being firmly implanted in the pudding, you can take your little spoon and enjoy the creamy deliciousness knowing that your decision has been well founded.
On the other hand, if you are forced to move back in with your parents or accept a job paying far less than you anticipated, then cast your ballot for Romney. His statements about the taxes, health care mandate and government regulation crushing the job market were clearly accurate. It turns out that “Hope and Change” were nothing more than words on shoddily made forty dollar t-shirts!
While the rest of us get to try and wade through propaganda and manipulated statistics to try and make a decision, you have the luxury of using the unique empirical data at your disposal to make the most informed decision possible. You can base your choice on your own experience, and it can’t get any easier than that. Now, go out and get a job…as for a haircut, that’s your call.