We've Got Issues : The Get-Real, No B.S., Guilt-Free Guide to What Really Matters

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9781891620799: We've Got Issues : The Get-Real, No B.S., Guilt-Free Guide to What Really Matters

A smart, no-B.S. guide to politics and politicians for an apolitical generation.. They're Gen Xers, twenty and thirtysomethings, recent college graduates on their own for the first time, newlyweds, or brand-new parents. And whether they're slackers or strivers, many are clueless about politics, politicians, and the issues that truly matter to their generation. Maybe they just don't care. Or maybe no one is speaking to their issues. Meredith Bagby knows what that's like and has put together a survival manual to show them the ropes to the 2000 Election. Bagby, herself only twenty-six, reaches young readers by speaking their language. She's perfectly atuned to her generation and to the frustration, confusion, and apathy they feel toward Washington. Do politicians care about Generation X? Does Gen-X care about politics? In We've Got Issues Bagby tackles the political issues that should truly matter to young voters. She asks the important questions: How is the government spending your tax money? Whatever happened to welfare? What did you get from your public education? Is your neighborhood safe? Should you worry about retirement? And most importantly, who are you going to VOTE for? While rock-solid on the facts and stats (budget issues, crime rates, social security reform, etc.), Bagby presents readers with a no-nonsense account of the issues that matter to young people today and that will affect their not-so-distant futures. They're Gen Xers, twenty and thirtysomethings, recent college graduates on their own for the first time, newlyweds, or brand-new parents. And whether they're slackers or strivers, many are clueless about politics, politicians, and the issues that truly matter to their generation. Maybe they just don't care. Or maybe no one is speaking to their issues. Meredith Bagby knows what that's like and has put together a survival manual to show them the ropes to the 2000 Election. Bagby, herself only twenty-six, reaches young readers by speaking their language. She's perfectly atuned to her generation and to the frustration, confusion, and apathy they feel toward Washington. Do politicians care about Generation X? Does Gen-X care about politics? In We've Got Issues Bagby tackles the political issues that should truly matter to young voters. She asks the important questions: How is the government spending your tax money? Whatever happened to welfare? What did you get from your public education? Is your neighborhood safe? Should you worry about retirement? And most importantly, who are you going to VOTE for? While rock-solid on the facts and stats (budget issues, crime rates, social security reform, etc.), Bagby presents readers with a no-nonsense account of the issues that matter to young people today and that will affect their not-so-distant futures. * Politics for the readers who made a top seller of Get a Financial Life * A witty, lively read, full of anecdotes, interviews, photos, and catchy profiles of unusual Gen-Xers .

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Review:

If you were born between 1965 and 1976--i.e. if you are a label-bearing member of the cohort dubbed Generation X--Meredith Bagby wants you to wake up and smell the grande, no-fun, skinny latte. Among her findings: what this generation knows about social security is, basically, that it won't be there when it comes their time to claim it; though they live in an economy that rewards education with dollars, one of the main things those who get that education learn is that they'll be paying for it for what seems like forever (or at least until their IPO boat comes in); and those who do not go to college lag far behind their confreres in similarly developed nations.

We've Got Issues is designed as a wake-up call. It is also a primer on the pressing political and social issues of the United States and a reaction to a disturbing fact: young people don't vote. This isn't actually unique to Generation X, but the rap is that today's twenty- and thirtysomethings are better versed in the relative merits of cell-phone plans than in how a bill becomes a law. As Bagby puts it, "The 'Bill' we love is Gates, not Clinton." Of course, that "we" doesn't include those she calls "McJobbers" (pace Douglas Coupland): "The overly pierced, drooling checkout counter operators who freak out when your cereal box won't scan." They don't vote either, by the way.

Bagby is by turns importuning, chastising, flip, and sarcastic. She upbraids politicians, the media, and the apathetic nonvoter. Her patter is stuffed with facts, exhortations, and pointed questions; this is politics-to-go, pitched at a generation typed as seeking instant gratification with style. Who has time to read the paper, let alone the Statistical Abstract of the United States? Bagby has done the work and distilled it. Put down your PalmPilot and your PlayStation, just for a second, she pleads, "get real" and get involved. The next election is but moments away. --J. Riches

About the Author:

Meredith Bagby first stepped into them national limelight in 1995 when, as a Harvard undergraduate, she wrote and self-published The First Annual Report of the United States of America. She published three subsequent annual reports, served as a radio and TV commentator for Gen-X issues, and worked as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley. Bagby has spoken numerous times before Congress and the Senate, representing young America's concerns in the national economy. She is currently a law student at Columbia University and is also the author of Rational Exuberance: The Influence of Generation X on the New American Economy.

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