Obama wins over youth with his policies

This past presidential election, America’s youth made their mark in electing a new face for our country in Barack Obama. Young people across the globe became increasingly intrigued in the election journey that traced all the way back to the Iowa caucus in January where Obama had a decisive win. The large following Obama has gained among the college-age population is rooted in his positive outlook and policies aimed at the common young person.

R.F. Culbertson, professor of entrepreneurship and venture creation at Carnegie Mellon, commented on what lies behind Obama’s support base.

“The one element that Obama had over his competition that will manifest when he’s in office is his charisma,” Culbertson said. “In order to guide an economy from recession or depression, both consumer sentiment and consumer confidence need to improve. Barack Obama could be just the dose of belief that the consumer needs in order to improve both sentiment and confidence.”

Obama’s charisma has been commented on frequently in the media as a characteristic that shows off his vision for hope and change.

Culbertson said that the American dream of rising up the social and economic ranks of society has long been lost. Many attribute its disintegration to the conservative regime that has been in office for the last eight years, which most are reluctant to repeat. With the exorbitant costs of the war in Iraq and American credit crisis producing a negative global effect, Americans are doing the opposite of rising; they are descending economically.

“There are a lot more voters at the bottom of the pyramid,” Culbertson said. “Barack Obama simply targeted his customers and was able to capture virtually all of the market segmentation.”

In a economic climate of instability that is having a detrimental effect on nearly every industry at this point, Culbertson thinks students will stay engaged to see what the man they passionately voted for will do to solve the country’s problems.

Obama has a number of policies planned that will have a direct effect on youth.

Obama is proposing to double federal funding for paramount science agencies such as the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. In doing this, he wants to “support young researchers at the beginning of their careers and back high-risk, high-reward research,” according to Obama hopes that these increases will enhance the overall educational environment, a change that will be particularly felt at research institutions like Carnegie Mellon.

Additionally, Obama’s education plans are targeted toward college students.

For public college students, Obama plans to offer a tax credit worth $4000 redeemable after rendering 100 community service hours. This has the potential to cover nearly half the cost of most public institutions, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Also, Obama is working toward making community college free for all American citizens, in addition toincreasing student loan budgets.

Amos Levy, a Carnegie Mellon alum and current program outreach coordinator for the Center for the Arts in Society, expressed his hope that Obama keeps up with the hopeful vision he has shown to today’s youth.

“For the next four years, our job is going to be holding Obama accountable for the idealism that he fired up during his campaign,” Levy said.