Opinion: Students Need to be More Involved in Government

Opinion: Students Need to be More Involved in Government

Sam Muniz, Staff Writer

Politics, war, and economy. These important subjects are directly influenced and affected by government. Naturally, citizens care how that government is run. But do young people understand how they are affected by laws and leaders in their nation? I believe teenagers need to recognize the influence of government because they are the future of America, can collectively influence the world, and affect economy.

Often times young people are told by adults “you are the future,” and many take this as I need to grow up and be a responsible adult. As a child, being a responsible adult seems to be: get a job, start a family, etc. But a great responsibility adults in America must take on is civic duty.

Statistics show teenagers today are apathetic about government issues. It is important adolescents learn about issues that will affect them in the years to come. When asked about government issues, many students responded with jokes about the war in Ukraine and rising gas prices. These issues still may seem unimportant to us but they affect our lives in major ways. We’ve seen it first hand with the rise of gas prices. These issues can be avoided if we make better choices in our own government.

Government is important for teenagers because together great change can be made. The power in American government lies in the masses. The population elects those that make the decisions and in this way the population maintains power in our government. The issue that arises is if the people are uninformed then they are far more easily influenced. The best way to being influenced is to educate yourself, especially young people. Statistics show that only 24% of students polled would consider themselves well-versed in political matters. These numbers are frightening considering most of these students will be voting in the next presidential election. As teenagers, we still have time to make change in our country.

Recognizing the role of government in our lives is also important because the government affects the economy. How well the economy is doing is directly correlated to the wealth of the population. Everyone wants to make more money but many don’t recognize the importance of legislature in creating wealth. Laws influence how businesses can be run, how much taxes must be paid, and more. Despite these effects, polls show that only about 43% of students polled feel that government directly affects them. Unemployment rates is another problem affected by the economy. All these issues can be slightly or largely affected by changes in congress or administration.

Government is a topic that has been declining in understanding in the US. A large portion of young people today feel they aren’t familiar with politics and issues in the government. Teenagers and students today need to recognize their role as future leaders. This will lead to social, political, and economic changes globally. It’s time young people take action.