As a millennial myself, I’m all too familiar with the criticisms of my generation.
We’re lazy, we don’t plan for the future, we’re too attached to our phones, and we want everything handed to us. I can certainty think of a handful of peers who meet the stereotype, but am hopeful they’ll grow out of it. After all, you can go to any point in history and find complaints that whatever the newest generation was, it was the worst of all.
The politics of millennials is what disturbs me far more than selfie-sticks ever could. The generation before us witnessed the rise and fall of socialism over the course of the 20th century around the world. They’ve learned from history, but those who remain ignorant of it are more than happy to repeat it. According to the Washington Post:
In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the U.S. economy, a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism.
The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent said they support it.
When it comes to specifics however, there are a number of issues where conservatives can appeal to millenials:
On specific questions about how best to organize the economy, for example, young people’s views seem conflicted. Just 27 percent believe government should play a large role in regulating the economy, the Harvard poll found, and just 30 percent think the government should play a large role in reducing income inequality. Only 26 percent said government spending is an effective way to increase economic growth.
…And also a few areas where conservatives need to explain the bad economics of the following:
Yet 48 percent agreed that “basic health insurance is a right for all people.” And 47 percent agreed with the statement that “Basic necessities, such as food and shelter, are a right that the government should provide to those unable to afford them.”
Interestingly enough, the Post reported earlier this year that millennials are less likely to support redistribution as their incomes increase, so perhaps their views will change as they advance in their careers.
I can only hope an old quote holds true; “Show me a young conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart, show me an old liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brain.”
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]