Student to student |

Student to student

by Hayden Ward, Park Record intern

Becoming an adult, an individual, responsible citizen with legal rights and the responsibility to care for one’s self, is a momentous experience. One can vote, be drafted, smoke cigarettes, obtain a credit card, buy porn, participate in infomercials, and be jailed.

It is the first big step from childhood; the only things one can’t really do at 18 are drink and drive a rental car. But, in reality, some of these things are of far greater importance than others. As I write this, I am starting my first day as a legal adult, and it is not cigarettes, porn, or infomercials that is on my mind.

I have grown to inherit my place in the adult world, but now that I’ve arrived, as I look around, it is not the carefree paradise of my childhood dreams. We are in the midst of perhaps the most important presidential election we have ever experienced. Political squabble and conflict from left and right have left us waiting for stability at the gas pump, as the party politic keeps in a state of constant limbo between renewable energy, domestic drilling, and foreign energy dependence.

All this while under pressure to be conscious of our worsening environmental situation, on which notable progress has been slow. Our current administration has squandered our trade surpluses and kept us in a foreign conflict that the next in office will have to resolve. Our foreign policy, well, isn’t, and we are in the midst of the most damaging economic recession since October 29, 1929.

Finally, after struggling through weeks of instability in the stock market, the United States House of Representatives passed a $700 billion economic emergency patch kit — essentially freeing the credit markets by purchasing the massive debt incurred by opportunistic investment bankers who made the mistake of being too free in their mortgage loan standards.

The federal government plans on stabilizing the economy with the approval of this patch kit, and as markets rise again, selling the debt and coming out on top. While the freeing of markets may help bring the economy back to center, the problem is still that in the meantime, while the recovery occurs, small businesses will continue to struggle with the joint challenges of higher cost of goods and reduced consumer spending.

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"Oh, what a world," I say to myself as I become an adult today. The transition that will follow the upcoming election hits me all the harder now that I have the ability to affect it. My first vote will count toward electing a ticket able to create change, to pull us out of the hole we have been brought into over the last eight years. The next President must approach the economic crisis with maturity and the realization that, statistically, tax cuts and spending initiatives for middle class families can carry the people out of this recession.

My vote is true power, and in today’s world, it is critical. The youth of this country, not as boys and girls, but as men and women, are more informed and involved than ever before. And it is these men and women that will carry this election all the way to the White House steps. We will signify the end of an era, and with our vote, we will start our future.