The youth is the future of tomorrow. The current adults will not be here forever, and will eventually die out. Youth become the adults of tomorrow. It is only natural that we should train them to be good adults, so that when they are adults, they help contribute to society as oppose to be a drain on it.
Realistically, all youth are both contributors and drains on society, but to different affects and magnitude.
Influencing youth determines where power will be in the future. Youth play a large part in the masses.
Our youth plays a significant role in the economy of war. Young and impressionable, youth are willing to fight or even die for what their peers tell them is so. They also have a major place in our national economy, what with providing us with ridiculous amounts of hard earned cash for college, health care, etc…