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Coronavirus Is Turning Millennials Socialist Or Something

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See, it’s the pandemic, not the American school system and Democratic voting parents

From the article

Everything about SARS-CoV-2 seems unfair. It afflicts the poor worse than the rich, and Blacks more than Whites. It also disrupts — and potentially derails — the lives of people in some generations more than others. There’s social and political dynamite in this inequity. One likely effect is to make several developed countries swerve left politically, toward some bowdlerized form of “socialism.”

The generational effects of Covid-19 may seem counterintuitive. Medically, the virus is most life-threatening to the so-called “silent generation” of people in their late 70s, 80s or 90s. But economically, the coronavirus has left these lives relatively unscathed. Their careers have been had, their retirement savings — if they had any — had already been turned into annuities. The Silents as a group are not the pandemic’s biggest economic losers.

(a couple paragraphs on Boomers and Generation X doing OK)

Studies show that even a decade after the crash, all but the most educated Millennials were earning and saving less than Xers or Boomers did at the same age. Lower entry-level salaries can have consequences (“wage scars”) that last an entire life time. This precarious outlook is probably one reason why Millennials had already been delaying marriage and children longer than preceding generations did, and are more likely to still be living with (gasp) their parents.

Yeah, well, maybe they shouldn’t have obtained degrees not worth that much on the market, while getting themselves into massive loan debt.

So Millennials have a right to be frustrated. But what makes many of them irate is watching the older generations milk the system at their expense, through what some economists call “Boomer socialism.”

Consider the generous but unsustainable public pensions going to Boomers in most developed countries, which are paid for largely by Millennials and Xers. In the U.S., there’s also health care that’s universal and public for the old (called Medicare) but often unavailable or unaffordable for the young. In many countries, the Boomers have also bid up house prices beyond the reach of Millennials, in part with tax breaks for mortgage interest that disproportionately benefit older taxpayers. Oh, and there’s the mountain of student-loan debt bearing down on many American Millennials.

Wait, so they’re upset over the systems that Democrats put in place, along with their own idiocy for their own loans? Huh.

This distress, coupled with the hypocrisy of Boomers who claim to oppose big government while enjoying it in so many ways, explains why Millennials have been trending left and even embracing the loaded word “socialism.” It’s these fed-up young voters who boosted the campaigns of lefty Boomer populists like Bernie Sanders in the U.S. and Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K.

Whether Millennials actually use the word “socialism” properly — as government ownership of the means of production — is moot. More likely, they simply want better public policy that addresses their specific problems. Even then, however, they often fall prey to political snake oil such as rent controls or wealth taxes.

True, text book Political Theory 101 Socialism wouldn’t be as bad as what they want, because personal freedom would be high with the government staying out of our lives on almost everything, and we’d have voting by citizens on almost everything, with elected officials almost unnecessary. Of course, that’s not what these Millennials want: they want Progressivism, otherwise known as Nice Fascism. They want government control of Other People’s money, Other People’s lives, and the ability to overturn any vote they don’t like on a whim.

The better path for policymakers across the West is to offer more pragmatic, but still sufficiently bold, alternatives. And as I’ve argued, this means reviving classical liberalism — not in the American sense of “left” but in the European sense of “freedom.”

Health care, for example, can be provided publicly, privately or in a mixed system like Germany’s; but it should always be universal. Pension reform is a no-brainer. So is tax simplification that cuts loopholes for Boomers, thus broadening the base without necessarily raising rates. And yes, we should keep studying the idea, still never properly tried, of a Universal Basic Income — not to expand, but to replace the welfare state.

So, give them Government? Classical Liberalism can easily be defined as “the government that governs least governs best”, meaning it only gets involved when it has to, with minimal interference in the Moral (individual lives), Political (minimal restrictions on who can vote, such as having to be 18 and an actual citizen), and Economic (very little interference in the economy). What Bloomberg is pushing is Socialism and punishing people for having had a good life, burdening senior citizens with heaving taxation. And, really, Millennials didn’t just start turning Modern Socialist.


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