I discuss frequently with my Intro to American Government classes what current redistributive policies are likely to mean for them. Along with receiving the majority of the Catholic vote in 2012, the continued support of young persons for the President is a matter of surprise to me – particularly if you assume self-interest is a large factor in determining voting preferences.
A number of reports indicate growing millennial dissatisfaction with the economic direction of the country, borne of the realization that they are being obligated to finance their grandparent’s retirement, as well as the implications of the continued quantitative easing. Cathy Reisenwitz does a good job over at the Forbes site examining the implications of QE for millennials, while Chris Conover at the same site looks at the implications of the ACA (the central strategy of which is to get healthy young Americans to pay the insurance premiums of elderly, less healthy ones). Nick Gillespie at The Daily Beast aims for a more comprehensive take-down of the President from a young person’s viewpoint, an analysis borrowed by Mark Tapscott for the Washington Examiner.
Madison made it clear in Federalist #10 that the conflict of factions could work in a democracy only so long as no one faction could get the upper hand – the result of which would be the “vexing and oppressing” of competing groups. Our deepest factional battles right now, considered economically, are generational, but since the younger generation is neither “organized [nor] actuated,” they are getting clobbered, and the big picture of our party system is that, as things stand, neither party is particularly interested in their interests. In an electoral system such as ours, short term economic thinking will always outweigh long term. Young people would be well advised to get their act together, so to speak.