This article was originally published at the Students For Liberty blog. 

There is no question the US economy is still floundering after “The Greatest Recession.” The current economic

downturn combined with astronomical levels of debt and various looming fiscal crises doesn’t leave room for much optimism on behalf of millennials. Many young people are calling for reforms that only repeat our past mistakes and stink of economic ignorance. Here are five reforms that millennials should fight for:

1.  The Privatization of Social Security and Medicare

Despite the old being, on average, wealthier than the youngpoverty disproportionately harming younger Americans, and the Payroll tax being one of the most regressive on the books, old age entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare, continue to be championed as bastions of egalitarianism and social justice. In addition to perpetuating generational inequality, Social Security and Medicare are out of control and are unsustainable programs that threaten to bankrupt the United States and leave today’s young Americans debt-ridden.

A more efficient alternative to government run pension programs is private investment. Allowing people to plan and save for their own retirement would eliminate the problem of burdensome government debt, abolish the regressive tax-benefit system, and end the unfounded expectation that these programs will be there when today’s generation grow old. Millennials ought to fight against generational warfare for the benefit of the long term economy, as well as their own future.    

2. The Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a train wreck of bad economics combined with egalitarian sentiments. It’s what happens when people confuse corporatism for free markets and believe more government intervention will fix the problem, when the government is actually the one causing it in the first place. The problem of costly healthcare has its roots in government intervention.

The complications since the passage of the ACA are widespread, with millions losing their current healthcare coveragenumerous job losses, and massive cuts to work hours. In addition, the Affordable Care Act is a raw deal for young people because it is causing their rates to skyrocket. Theunintended effects of the ACA will only worsen the healthcare situation by raising the price and lowering the quality, as well as hamper the economy with pricey regulations and red tape.

3.  The Abolition of the Federal Reserve

For 100 years, the Federal Reserve System has been destroying the dollarenriching the already wealthy and politically connected at the expense of everyone else, and causing economic recessions and depressions. Through its perpetual monetary expansion and unending inflation, the Fed has been screwing the American public for a century. For the past forty years, median wages have stagnated. It is no coincidence that the time real wages started to slow down was not long after President Nixon eliminated the last remnant of the gold standard, allowing the Fed to inflate the money supply as much as it wanted.

To put an end to the business cycle, achieve a stable currency, reduce unjust economic inequality, and allow real wages to increase, millennials should argue against America’s centralized monetary authorities and end the Fed.

4.   The Lowering of the Minimum Wage

A basic rule of economics is that price floors create surpluses. Consumers, being presented with higher prices, will tend to buy less of that product, so when you set a price floor for a good or service above the equilibrium price, the quantity demanded will be less than it otherwise would have been. In the case of wage floors, the consumer is the employer and the good or service is the worker. Minimum wages artificially raise the price of the worker above the equilibrium, which means the employer will demand less. This surplus of workers translates to higher unemployment.

There is a colossal amount of academic research dedicated to tracking the effects of minimum wage on unemployment and one of the best studies regarding its unintended consequences is foundhere. Not only does the minimum wage increase unemployment, it disproportionately hurts younger people. Since young people tend to have less education and less work experience than their older counterparts, they are often the first to be laid off or not hired because they cost too much. Workers’ whose skills can’t justify whatever the minimum wage happens to be will never be hired because it creates a loss for the employer, and who has less skills than inexperienced youngsters?

Millennials should be fighting for as low a minimum wage as politically feasible with the hopes of one day eliminating the law all together. A free, unhampered labor market made up of voluntary contracts between employers and employees would help the economy as well as low-skilled workers.

5.  The Termination of the Student Loan Program

Over the past few decades, the cost of college tuition has risen at unseen rates. More and more people are going to college, yes, but that alone doesn’t explain the astronomical tuition inflation. The rise in prices can be explained by looking at the Federal government’s student loan policy. By offering almost any student a loan, the government has artificially increased the demand for college. Colleges know this and take advantage of the misguided government policy by endlessly raising their tuition prices because they know the government will continue to offer loans so students can attend these colleges.

In addition to making college more costly, this policy has burdened students with unbelievable amounts of debt, which they will be hard-pressed to pay back. Worst of all the student loan program is not helping graduation rates with roughly half of people who enter college failing to finish. Millennials ought to fight against this foolish government policy that is saddling students with absurd levels of debt and inflating tuition prices to never before seen, unsustainable levels.