Are millennials in line for their share of the American Dream?

Some have deemed millennials the “lost generation” of the Great Recession. However, a panel of experts believes that less government intrusion combined with millennials’ entrepreneurial spirit could create a stronger America.

The panel, hosted Monday by The Heritage Foundation, included Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer, co-authors of “Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America’s Young“, along with Heritage education policy expert Lindsey Burke and Patrice Lee, manager of outreach for Generation Opportunity, a leadership development group for millennials.

The discussion centered on how they believe policies of the past have impeded chances for a positive future.

Burke pointed to the $12,000 per student per year spent on an education system that she said doesn’t fit the needs of too many of its students.

She spoke of educational savings accounts, which give parents 90 percent of what the state would have spent on a child to spend on private schools or other educational products and services that they think best serve their children’s needs.

“We can get a better quality product and actually bring down prices,” Burke said. “It all comes back, in my opinion, to funding the child and not the physical school building.”

And it’s not just the educational system that holds back millennials, panelists said. Government regulation hits young entrepreneurs particularly hard, they argue.

Currently, more than one in three workers need permission from the government in a form of a license or permit to do their job. In some cases, public safety is an issue. But it takes an average of almost six years to be a licensed interior designer, a job unrelated to public health.

“A lot of young people should be … seeing a need and learning to fill that need in the market,” said Meyer, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

“We need to question these things that are taking opportunity away from young people.”

Millennials do have important ideas, like the shared economy approach demonstrated through successful entrepreneurship ventures such as Uber and Airbnb. Lee said 87 percent of young adults see innovation and entrepreneurship as critical to maintaining America’s strength.

“As the most innovative generation, we’re using technology to create our own opportunities,” Lee said.

This generation also will have to be creative about its approach to paying for government, panelists said.

“The [entitlement] programs, as they are now, are unsustainable. They’re not going to be there when you retire,” Furchtgott-Roth said.

According to Furchtgott-Roth, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, the answer is simple.

“We need strong leaders, strong politicians, who have the courage of their principles, and who actually make the changes,” Furchtgott-Roth said.