Millennials

The Democrats Have a Millennials Problem

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millennials
Reason

Remember when Barack Obama permanently won millennial voters to the side of Democrats in 2008? As I wrote in my October 2014 magazine feature story, "The Millennial Scramble," experts predicted that Obama had secured young people forever when he secured the presidency.

Well, that was short-lived. Millennials are as dissatisfied with the president as everyone else, and are expected to sit this election out—a major blow to a president who believed initiatives like Obamacare would be widely appreciated by young people. According to The Hill:

Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said that the promise of "hope and change millennials invested in has hit a brick wall."

Manley said that this in turn has made young voters "very cynical about the political process and less likely to vote than they had in the past." …

A poll released earlier this year showed a significant decline in the number of Democratic-leaning millennials who planned to vote in the midterm elections.

The survey, conducted by Harvard University's Institute of Politics, found that young voters are increasingly turned off by the political environment.

That's an important distinction, though: millennials aren't exactly flocking to the Republican banner. They are "turned off" by the political environment entirely, and are skeptical that any politicians have answers to their economic plight.

Does this mean millennials are experiencing some kind of libertarian awakening? While there's no definitive answer, Reason's Nick Gillespie and Emily Ekins have argued that the generation is still "unclaimed." They are socially tolerant, but their economic views are up in the air—accordingly, they haven't bought into a specific party or ideology yet.

Even so, Democrats have some obvious advantages that make it comparatively easier for them to recruit young voters. As The Hill notes, the student loan debt situation has become a cause celebre of those who would recapture millennial support, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

A DNC official said that they have been building upon their past success, and that most young voters agree that the Democratic Party has their best interests at heart, championing issues ranging from college affordability to equal pay.

"It's a reflection of what we're running on more broadly," said one DNC official, adding that these issues appeal to voters across the board and are not simply geared toward the younger set.

At the same time, the official added that millennials understand that "Democrats have their backs."

Anyone who doesn't want to see millennials returning to the Democratic fold in search of debt forgiveness and tuition subsidies needs to articulate the case that increased federal involvement in higher education has made college more expensive and wrecked it for everyone.

And it should be clear that a Republican Party more in tune with the libertarian sensibilities of millennials would stand a significantly better chance at winning some of their votes.

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  1. I wonder what millennials think. Someone should do a poll.

    1. I polled a millennial last night but I couldn’t prove he had any thoughts.

      1. then you must have been doing it wrong.

        1. Yeah, poll harder.

    2. I wonder if millenials are really adopting the hair fashions of the 1800’s as that cover photo seems to imply.

    3. I wonder what millennials think. Someone should do a poll.

      Don’t encourage them!

  2. Remember when Millennial Monthly was called Reason Magazine?

    1. This universe has more than old, fat, rich, white guys in it, broseph. C’mon, open ye mind.

      1. Please shut up.

    2. [proposed new REASON to] DRINK!!

      1. You’ll kill us all!

      2. You’ll kill us all!

  3. “They are socially tolerant, but their economic views are up in the air?accordingly, they haven’t bought into a specific party or ideology yet.”

    Let’s see…the word “socialism” polls better with them than with their elders, and their version of social liberalism is forcing private businesses to serve gay weddings and cover contraception.

    But let’s not be downhearted! Their poll results should unite us all!

    1. “Millennials aren’t libertarians. They’re socialists who want to buy legal pot.”
      ~David Harsanyi

      1. Nice.

        “Socially tolerant” doesn’t mean live and let live any more.

        It means Gimme Dat for my lifestyle choices. Its not tolerant to say that people should be able to get whatever birth control they want. Unless you are paying for their birth control yourself, you are anti-birth control and thus intolerant.

        1. If you don’t want to pay for someone else’s contraception, you are a war-on-womener.

    2. Millennial’s version of “socialism” is completely different from their elders, and from what the actual word means.

      Back in the heady days of the 20th century, socialism meant what it really means: Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system. Back then, the people who really took that an ran with it spent the rest of the 20th century demonstrating how completely ridiculous it is.

      So, in order to avoid spending the 21st century feeling perpetually embarrassed, detached from reality, yucky, etc. it’s been rebranded to:The Nordic model (or Nordic capitalism or Nordic social democracy) refers to the economic and social models of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), which involves the combination of a free market economy with a welfare state.

      So, at this point, the average millennial thinks that democracy and the government doing anything is some sort of socialism.

      In other words, they had to destroy the concept, to save it. Or, to at least pass if off for a while as a good idea, still. Who doesn’t like free government cheese? It’s not like we pay taxes or anything for that.

      1. You know who else had a favorable opinion of the Nordics?

        1. Tolkien?

      2. This is an excellent post. Really, it’s a massive victory for freedom and a devastating loss to the left that they have had to reconfigure so heavily.

      3. That’s a quibble over a word. Scandinavian economic models are not the same as the Soviet one. In reality everyone favors a mixed economy. If we’re keeping score in terms of metrics of human-well being, the Scandinavians seem to be winning at the moment.

        1. So countries with relatively very low population densities and relatively homogeneous populations are winning the metrics? Who woulda thought? Of course, they haven’t had people inundating their countries for the last 150 years, and they themselves have spun off a LOT of people into the US as a safety valve for discontent. I think the US has done very well absorbing the extra populations of Europe for a century and a half, all things considered.

          1. Well we’re near the top in GDP per capita even with our huge population, and I don’t know what homogeneous means in this context. You mean white? What’s that got to do with anything? We could at least try the best-working model in the world. It would be a more rational approach than trying one that doesn’t even work in theory.

            1. The Scandinavians have been in decline. In the 60s, before the rise of the social democrats, Sweden had the worlds 2nd highest per capita GDP, essentially tied with the US. Today they’re something like 13th, but still maintain massive wealth inequality. The only thing they prove is that it takes a while for socialism to destroy what capitalism built, so long as you do your socialism half-heartedly.

            2. Also, homogeneous doesn’t have to mean white, it can black, asian, whatever. It just excludes the kind of multiculturalism salad bowl that liberals and cosmotarians love so much. Culture exists for a reason, namely, to provide a unified backdrop of expected behavior that facilitates human interaction. Mixing a bunch of different cultures together only creates unnecessary friction… witness the recent riots in your beloved Sweden after massive Muslim immigration.

        2. Tony:

          That’s a quibble over a word. Scandinavian economic models are not the same as the Soviet one.

          That’s exactly my point, genius.

        3. Tony:

          If we’re keeping score in terms of metrics of human-well being, the Scandinavians seem to be winning at the moment.

          Yeah, I’ve read the “studies” showing the awesomeness of the Nordic model, and I call complete question begging bullshit. I’d call it confirmation bias instead, except that it’s so obviously by design.

          The studies usually go like this: “We’re going to find out where people are the most happy. Of course, let’s just assume that government makes people happy, going into it. Why not? Hmmm, we can’t measure human happiness directly, so let’s measure it by proxy. We’ll assume that people are happiest when they have relatively high personal and social freedom, and relatively free market economies. Let’s also assume that people are happiest when their government provides large, widespread welfare benefits. In other words, let’s just assume that the Scandinavian model makes people happiest. Hmmm, let’s look at the data, and…oh what a shock, the Scandinavian countries are the happiest. Oh, before we’re done, let’s throw a nod and factor in life expectancy and GDP/capita into the mix, just so it’s not completely blatant. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that the Scandinavian model countries are practicing the Scandinavian model more than anywhere else.”

    3. Let’s see…the word “socialism” polls better with them than with their elders

      To be fair, I do remember some mixed opinions within the age group. Most had a favorable view of people starting their own businesses for example. If anything it might be a small bit of encouragement. After all, it would be better for them to be incoherent about their beliefs than to be hard-on socialist/communist, right?

      1. Here is how I see the millennial vote breaking down:

        60% – Don’t vote
        21% – Vote Democrat (social justice values)
        17% – Vote Republican (family values values)
        2% – Vote Libertarian (individual choice values)

        Most millennials have a strong tendency to authoritarianism and paternalism. Economic liberty is anathema to them. Entrepreneurship is seen as a vehicle for improving social welfare. I doubt many millennials would agree with the sentiment that pursuing ones own economic self interest will result in a net positive for society. For example if Bill Gates wasn’t a philanthropist he would not be loved for his hand in ushering in the information age, even though it has undoubtedly improved the lives of most people.

        1. 60% – Don’t vote … Most millennials have a strong tendency to authoritarianism and paternalism.

          Uh, not that it isn’t true per se, but the facts in evidence don’t support the claim.

          1. I don’t see any facts in evidence to dispute my position. The Reason-Rupe poll of millennials we were force-fed for weeks didn’t strike me as painting a picture of a generational cohort with strong preferences for individual liberty. I would like to hope they are pro-liberty, but I don’t find it likely. Feel free to prove me wrong though.

            1. There’s a reason why I quoted the parts of your post that I did. 60% of a group of people not voting is not an endorsement of any particular kind of government.

  4. “Republican Party more in tune with the libertarian sensibilities…”

    Soave, I understand this is the collective wet-dream of the beloved Reason staff but I can’t help but consistently believe that Republicans are a dead end for Libertarian political philosophy.

    1. They are no more or less a “dead end” than the Democrats are. The fact is that a majority of the country is not and is not likely to be in the foreseeable future strict Libertarians. So the question is what do Libertarians want to do about that? Remain pure and ensure they are at best irrelevant and at worse useful idiots for one side or another or figure out which non libertarians they are willing to compromise with. That is really all there is to it.

      1. I don’t like it, but I agree with this sentiment.

      2. This is obviously the truth, when you consider the Democrats. The Socialist party never got a single candidate elected to national office, but they managed to get basically their entire platform enacted by coopting the Democratic party.

        1. “The Socialist party never got a single candidate elected to national office”

          Bernie Sanders disagrees. Granted he ran as an “Independent”, but he considers himself a Socialist.

          “Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.

          Sanders runs for office as an independent but caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

          1. *”The Socialist party never got a single candidate elected to national office”

            Bernie Sanders disagrees.*

            Since when is “Vermont” “the nation”?

    2. Just an observation. Where are the young, cool Democrat politicians? Cory Bookers is the best they got? Every Democrat politician I see is old and ugly and trite, not that Republicans are better, but, hey, Republicans are supposed to be old and ugly.

      1. What about Wendy the Abortion Mill in Texas? She’s hot, for being an odious piece of shit.

        1. Dude, that reminds me to remind you to go to your annual eye exam.

    3. “Dead-end”

      Thankfully Amash, Massie, and Rand aren’t listening to you.

  5. perennial millenial
    use the youth from
    moment to moment
    agenda ad infinitum

  6. Speaking of the Democrats, I have come to believe that I was wrong to totally dismiss the Will Wilkerson liberaltarian thing. Wilkerson, as annoying as he is and even if he doesn’t realize it, has a point. And the point is that if the Libertarian party is just made up of disgruntled Republicans and former conservatives and never draws a significant and hopefully close to equal amount of former liberals and Dems, the party just becomes the useful idiots of the Democratic party and nothing else. Without drawing Democratic voters, either the Libertarian Party never draws any voters and remains a side show or it draws a significant number of Republican voters and serves to divide the right and deliver the Democrats total power. Neither possibility gets the Libertarians anywhere. If they are a sideshow, no one cares about them or their issues. If they just divide the Right, the Dems don’t move towards the Libertarian position because not doing so doesn’t cost them any votes. The Republicans probably will but they won’t be in power so it will do no good. And if the Libertarians manage to take over the Republican party, they are still fucked because the SOCONs and the old school conservatives will just form a third party and do to Libertarians what they did to them. Either way nothing gets accomplished.

    1. But if the Libertarian party draws significant Democratic voters as well as Republican voters, then both parties will move towards the Libertarian position trying to get their voters back. This actually would accomplish something. And for this reason, Wilkerson is right. Libertarians have to figure out a way to appeal to liberals as well as conservatives. Otherwise, they will never accomplish anything.

      1. I would guess the rate of attrition from the GOP would be close to the rate of attrition from the Democrats. It may make an increase in the LP, but I see the Green Party scooping up many of the former Dems. Maybe in 15-20 years we’ll have four or more viable political parties. It would still be better than the two party system we have now.

        1. IF the far left really went for the Green party, then the Libertarian party just taking Republican votes would not be as much of a problem, because the Greens would divide the left and even out for the Libertarians dividing the right. The problem arises when you have three parties such that one side is divided. If the Libertarians went away and the Greens got big, it would divide the left and just hand all of the power to the Republicans.

          The problem is that the hard left is just so fanatical and have completely taken over the Democratic Party. I can’t see them ever voting Green in significant numbers. I have come to the conclusion that the hard left has not only taken of the Democratic Party, they are outright fascists. The way fascists take over a country is to get a power base and then tear down and divide the opposition such that it can’t stop them. This usually works where you have a weak or bad political class. They other side doesn’t have to be fascist or even evil. They just have to be inept enough for the fascist to convince the public that they are not worth defending. Once that happens, the fascists take over.

          1. “If . . . the Greens got big, it would divide the left and just hand all of the power to the Republicans.”

            Many, many Democrats firmly believe that this is exactly what happened in 2000, and the Green Party is forever marked for having caused the Bush Administration.

            This is why the left has been marching essentially in lock-step for the last 14 years.

            Once the Repubs face a significant loss that can be blamed on a Libertarian candidate siphoning votes, the same thing will happen on the right.

            I do think that it’s been long enough, though, and the Dems have bumbled enough, that the LP could siphon votes from them, if they changed their approach somewhat (i.e. started addressing how libertarian policies help poor people and minorities, and stop focusing on the trials and tribulations of the wealthy).

            1. Libertarians often have a hard time understanding how other people think. They are good at understanding the arguments but they often just assume everyone things the same way they do. And everyone doesn’t. Libertarians think that the “culture war” and economic issues are two separate things. This is why they always think that they can appeal to liberals by being pro gay marriage and telling liberals how much they hate the SOCONS. What Libertarians don’t understand is that liberals look at all of the issues as part of the “culture war”. They don’t see how economic issues are any different than social ones. It is all the same thing to liberals. So when Libertarians try and win over liberals by talking about how much they love abortion and gays and how they want to fight the good fight against the SOCONS, it doesn’t get them anywhere because the liberals can’t get passed the economic issues, which they view as no different than the social ones.

              Libertarians have to learn how to sell their economic policies using the language of the culture war and framing them in a way the liberals will understand. Socialists are great at this and thus are great at getting liberals to support the worst sorts of corporatist and elitist economic policies. Libertarians need to learn how to do that.

              1. Liberals and Conservatives conflate economic and social issues to create the culture war. Libertarians for the most part want to end, or at least opt out of the culture war.

                This is how I see the factions in the culture war:

                Republicans, “I don’t trust you to always do the right thing.”

                Democrats, “I don’t think you’re smart enough to always do the right thing.”

                Libertarians, “I think you usually do the right thing, and I’m okay if you screw up.”

                Do you see the differences there?

                How many times are libertarians accused of being idealists, when it’s actually Democrats and Republicans who are trapped in a desperate culture war between fantasy worlds were people always need to act the right way.

                As far as I can tell libertarians are the only ones saying it’s okay to be different.

                1. Rob,

                  What Libertarians don’t understand is that liberals acutally have point when they see the two things as the same. A place like Bangkok that has a ton of economic freedom and entrepreneurship has as different a culture from a socialist hell hole like California as Saudi Arabia does from Amsterdam. Economic freedom is a culture war issue. Liberals get that and Libertarians live in a fantasy world where it isn’t.

                  The other thing Libertarians don’t understand is that it is the left who is the aggressor in the culture war not the right. The right has done nothing but lose and surrender on the culture war for going on 50 years now. Yet it rages on because the left will never quit and agree to leave things be. As soon as they win on an issue they just move onto something else. They won on premarital sex and moved on to gays. They won on gays and moved on to gay marriage. They won on sexual morality and just invented the “rape culture” and started tearing down what they had built in the first place. The hard left wins by constantly attacking and marginalizing its enemies. It does that using the culture war.

                2. So Libertarians are just kidding themselves when they pretend that you can end or opt out of the culture war. You can’t do that because the left makes sure the war eventually finds you. You think it is great to see the left kick the shit out the right on gay sex and abortion, have fun because won’t be so great when the left gets around to whatever you do or don’t do. You are going to end up fighting a culture war with the hard left eventually. It is just a question of when they get around to going after you.

                  1. Dear John,

                    The culture war isn’t Democrats versus Republicans with Libertarians as useful idiots. It’s people who want to control versus people who want freedom. You are asking me to pick my oppressor. I will not.

                    I have no love for anyone dragging down anyone else over their beliefs. I find the practice wholly, and truly, disgusting. When the culture war comes to my door I’ll stand my ground. Until then I’ll continue to point out how Republicans and Democrats are both morally bankrupt and enemies of liberty.

                    I may be on the losing side, but no one will convince me it was the wrong side.

                    Truly,

                    Rob

                    1. When the culture war comes to my door I’ll stand my ground. Until then I’ll continue to point out how Republicans and Democrats are both morally bankrupt and enemies of liberty.

                      And by that time it will likely be too late. And moreover, since you are unwilling to stand up for anyone else on the culture war, why do you think anyone will stand up for you?

                      I understand you don’t like Socons. I don’t really like them either to be honest. But that is not the point. It is as it always is, first you and then me.

                    2. John, I almost let this slip…

                      And by that time it will likely be too late. And moreover, since you are unwilling to stand up for anyone else on the culture war, why do you think anyone will stand up for you?

                      Do you know me? Do you have any idea what I do in my community to advance liberty? Fuck you. If I’m the last man standing and the hordes are bearing down on me, I’ll fight to the end. I will never roll over for any group, especially one you align with.

                      You and Tony are two sides of the same fucking coin. Fuck both of you.

              2. That’s pretty cogent, John.

                Of course it doesn’t make sense for liberals to support libertarian economic policies for that very reason.

                1. It does Tony. The problem is that socialists are so good at framing economic policies and libertarians and conservatives so inept, that socialists have gotten liberals to support all kinds of horribly elitist and illiberal policies.

                  Something like the minimum wage is a cultural issue but not because we should magically ensure everyone gets a great wage. Its a cultural issue because the government shouldn’t deprive people of a chance to work. The government shouldn’t be telling businesses that they can’t take a chance on that poor person or that young person. Thanks the the minimum wage rich kids who don’t need to work for money get to have unpaid internships while poor kids get nothing and have no way to enter the job market.

                  Since the government is so easily co-opted by the right and powerful nearly all forms of regulation end up benefiting them. Liberals like to tell themselves that government is made up of dedicated professionals. The reality is that it is run by connected hacks like the son of the big Obama donor who was allowed to walk away unpunished for his role in the Columbia Secret Service Hooker scandal. The government is run by and for the benefit of the rich and politically powerful.

                  That is a story that Libertarians and Conservatives should be telling but are too stupid to tell.

                  1. The government is run by and for the benefit of the rich and politically powerful.

                    That is a story that Libertarians and Conservatives should be telling but are too stupid to tell.

                    You can’t come here and drop a steaming pile of shit like that and not get called out. Anti-cronyism is a regular topic among libertarians, especially around here. Are you just being hyperbolic or are you really that ignorant?

                    1. Because it is true Rob. They do a terrible job telling that story and allow the left to completely own the language and the terms of the fight.

                      Libertarians manage to be completely right about those things and still get 5% of the vote if they are lucky. It is nice to tell yourself that is because everyone is so stupid. The reality is that Libertarians bare some responsibility for being so awful at communicating their message and allowing socialist to paint them as tools of the “rich” even though the opposite is true.

                      Libertarians do themselves no favors by refusing to be self critical and thinking they only fail because everyone else is just too stupid to see the truth, which is what they do most of the time.

                    2. Do you read the articles and comments here? How about at Bleeding Heart Libertarians? Libertarians are vociferous opponents of people who want to further entrench power into the hands of a few. I’m really at a loss to understand how you can think libertarians are not tireless advocates of liberty.

                      Libertarians don’t get 5% of the vote because people are stupid, it’s because people like you convince them that abandoning your tribe means the other tribe wins. It’s all about stopping the other guys. YOU are the culture warrior. You only want to maintain the fiefdom of control your tribe has.

                    3. Eh, it has less to do with how good libertarians are at communicating, and more to do with public choice theory. Basically, we have a two party system, and the incentives are so screwed up that a real change in trajectory is practically impossible. Government doesn’t serve special interests and lobbyists because people who oppose those things are such poor communicators. In fact, it serves them despite widespread opposition to them, because of the way the system is designed. The amount of political, social, economic effort that would go into changing it is so overwhelming that it won’t ever happen, or, at best, only happens at a very limited scale, usually only vaguely reflecting the will of the people at large, if at all.

                      It’s roughly the same reason North Korea is North Korea. It’s not because North Koreans love authoritarian dictatorships, and that people who would advocate change just can’t communicate in a good enough way (ignoring the censorship issue, and just focusing on the arguments). It’s because, when you’re dealing with violent people in a dictatorship system, the cost of change is so high that people would rather either A) tolerate it, or B) get the hell out. Beats risking your life on the mere attempt at change, which has a high probability of failure.

                      It’s roughly the same here, just different costs and different risks.

                  2. It’s a story libertarians and conservatives wrote and fully support with their economic policies. I know you don’t agree, but I guess it’s a step in the right direction for you to be mouthing the words of populism, even as you espouse the policies of plutocracy. Liberals, unlike libertarians and conservatism, tend to base their ideas on data, and the data don’t support your claim that raising the minimum wage a nominal amount has a significant affect on employment.

                    1. Here is some data for you to read then:

                      http://blog-imfdirect.imf.org/…..rom-china/

                      From the article, emphasis mine:

                      So what does the evidence show? On average across all firms, we find that an increase in the minimum wage leads to a small decline in employment: a 10% percent increase in the minimum wage lowers employment by a little over 1% percent.

                    2. That evidence from China, which may “be more relevant for other emerging markets than the evidence from high-income countries,” is one in a sea of studies about the minimum wage’s effect on employment, with no broad consensus emerging about definite cause and and effect. You can safely conclude, though, that the effects are minimal compared to larger macroeconomic circumstances. So you can raise the minimum wage to increase income for low-level workers and also implement policies to increase employment, when necessary.

                      There are proposals for a subminimum wage for young people if you’re concerned about them not finding work (I’d prefer they went to subsidized schooling instead), but as the average age of a minimum-wage worker in this country is 35 (and 88% are over 20), we’re really talking about grown-up incomes.

                    3. “Average age is 35”

                      Lol! Fun with averages! Here is the truth…over 50% of minimum wage earners are 24 or younger, very few work for the minimum wage for long, and
                      most are just secondary income earners as the median household income for a minimum wage earner over $50k a year.

                      These are kinds and housewives with part-time jobs. Very few are people actually trying to support a family on the minimum wage, which is why it’s effect as anti-poverty program is virtually non-existent.

                    4. edit: “these are kids and housewives”

                    5. I give you numbers, and your response is, “[…] one in a sea of studies about the minimum wage’s effect on employment, with no broad consensus emerging about definite cause and and effect.”

                      Most of the literature on the impact of a rising minimum wage shows a moderate impact on unemployment. Show me some credible research showing no impact from raising a minimum wage. And if all you have is the Card and Krueger study from 1992 don’t bother replying.

                      You can safely conclude, though, that the effects are minimal compared to larger macroeconomic circumstances.

                      Marginalizing some people for the benefit of other people is okay. Got it, thanks for the tip.

                      So you can raise the minimum wage to increase income for low-level workers and also implement policies to increase employment, when necessary.

                      What? Policies to create employment? Oh, shovel ready jobs… no where have I heard that malarkey before?

                      There are proposals for a subminimum wage for young people if you’re concerned about them not finding work (I’d prefer they went to subsidized schooling instead), but as the average age of a minimum-wage worker in this country is 35 (and 88% are over 20), we’re really talking about grown-up incomes.

                      Sub minimum wages? No one should get a raise just for living longer. Most minimum wage earners are under age 25, and the average household income of a minimum wage worker is around $50K.

                    6. If you’re 35 and still working a minimum wage job, you should reevaluate your decision making process.

                      True story time. 15 years ago I worked at McDonalds. Without a college degree I’m now working in a corporate law office. I go through the McDonald’s drive through and see a guy I used to work with. No forward momentum in over a decade. Why does he deserve anything other than minimum wage? The only difference between us was that I wasn’t willing to work for minimum wage for 15 years.

                    7. Tony:

                      Liberals, unlike libertarians and conservatism, tend to base their ideas on data, and the data don’t support your claim that raising the minimum wage a nominal amount has a significant affect on employment.

                      Actually, that’s just a story that certain liberals tell themselves. The average voter who supports socialist policies has more in common with the Obama phone lady than than with Ezra Klein.

                      Large political groups with agendas spend their resources trying to appeal to as many people as possible. For most people, it’s just pure populism, right out of the Venezuela playbook. For example, “I like free healthcare” is about as far as most people think on the subject, and they’re completely unaware, and don’t really care about the data.

                      Then there’s the group that thinks they’re smart, but really aren’t. These are the people who pat themselves on the back for being clever, when their thoughts don’t go much past, “Hey, other countries have free healthcare, so we should, too.” Wow. He has some vague knowledge of the healthcare systems of other nations. At that point, he’s in the top 50% of the population by intelligence.

                    8. Then there’s the somewhat smarter people, who realize that, yeah, you actually need some data. Then, they go about cherry picking data that satisfies their own confirmation bias that… what a shock… coincides with the same populist ideas. For example:

                      Tony:

                      Liberals, unlike libertarians and conservatism, tend to base their ideas on data, and the data don’t support your claim that raising the minimum wage a nominal amount has a significant affect on employment

                      That’s about as smart as saying “The data doesn’t support the claim that raising your sugar intake a nominal amount has a significant effect on employment (for you liberal arts majors: “affect” is a verb, “effect” is a noun). Yeah, eating sugar must be a great idea, because if I just eat one sugar packet a week more, I don’t see a measurable change of weight on the scale. What thoughtful, brilliant, data-driven analysis. Clearly, that’s the best way to go about evaluating the concept of the minimum wage.

                      This is the group that digests everything that Ezra Klein says and parrots it because it makes them feel smart, while they’re really acting stupid.

                      In other words, it’s very easy to use data and do very stupid things with it, as you demonstrate frequently. Just patting yourself on the back for using data is such a gross over-simplification that it demonstrates the point exactly.

                    9. *Er, I meant “”The data doesn’t support the claim that raising your sugar intake a nominal amount has a significant effect on weight

                    10. It’s also worth noting that every pro-minimum wage study I’ve seen (including Card and Kruger) fails to take into account lagged effects; that is, they end the study too soon because they believe if raising min wage doesn’t cause disemployment almost immediately, it doesn’t happen at all. In fact, because it may take as long as a few years to replace min wage employees with technology after the raise, so in fact, it often takes a little while for the disemployment effect to happen.

                      Neumark and Wascher did a good dissection of the literature on minimum wage (including a critique of most of the work of Katz, Card, and Kruger) in their imaginatively titled book “Minimum Wage,” certainly worth reading.

                    11. Are you insinuating that Ezra Klein bases his ideas on data? I opine that Ezra is in fact just as moronic as the phone lady, he just mistakes his stupidity for brilliance, while the phone lady may at least have an inkling that she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  7. a major blow to a president who believed initiatives like Obamacare would be widely appreciated by young people.

    Oh yes, everyone loves being forced to pay huge sums for something they don’t need to benefit people with more money than they do.

    1. They thought young people cared about the collective and were willing to sacrifice for the greater good. How were the socialists supposed to know that young people are just selfish and keep acting in their own self interest? It is not like this has ever happened before.

  8. Yeah, the Dems’ millennial problem is so severe that they might only win 58 or 59 percent of them in the 2016 election!

    1. So long as the Ds ore offering free shit, they got the vote!

    2. Seeing as roughly 60% of us don’t vote at all, even in presidential elections, no they won’t win 58 or 59 percent of us.

      1. THANK YOU

      2. I thought it was clear I meant 58 or 59 percent of the ones who show up to vote.

        Basically I looked at exit polling from 2012 where Obama won 60 percent of 18-24 and 25-29 year olds, and figured even if Hillary (or whoever) does a bit worse, she’s still in pretty good shape.

        Sure, Wendy Davis probably won’t become governor of Texas and the upcoming midterms might not go so well for Democrats. But if I were a Dem I’d still be quite confident about 2016 and beyond, “millennial problem” notwithstanding.

        1. “I thought it was clear I meant 58 or 59 percent of the ones who show up to vote.”

          It was.

          1. Indeed, but it is a lot like saying unemployment is down by ignoring the participation rate.

  9. The Democrats Have a Millennials Problem

    Reason has a Millennials obsession.

  10. Expecting the children of the peak boomers to be libertarian is…interesting.

  11. Anyone who doesn’t want to see millennials returning to the Democratic fold in search of debt forgiveness and tuition subsidies needs to articulate the case that increased federal involvement in higher education has made college more expensive and wrecked it for everyone.

    Articulate the evils of government involvement to a degree higher than ‘Duck and cover’? Somebody call Nigel Tufnell…

    1. The message will have to be better than “fuck you and pay up”. Libertarians and Republicans would be stupid not to embrace some form of student loan relief. It makes no economic sense to treat student loans differently than every other kind of loan. People run up debt for gambling and drugs and walk away from it every day in bankruptcy court but can’t do so for student loans. It is idiotic and unjust.

      1. Libertarians and Republicans would be stupid not to embrace some form of student loan relief.

        Gimme Dat for higher ed may be a clever short-term tactic, but is completely in opposition to what libertarians are supposed to stand for.

        1. Really? Are libertarians against the concept of bankruptcy? If they are I haven’t seen that. Further, Libertarians last I looked prided themselves on not being economic illiterates. And if they are in fact not economic illiterates, they should understand that there is more to the issue than just screaming “moral hazard” and demanding payment where none exists.

          Libertarianism is a pretty intellectually bankrupt and rigid ideology if it can’t understand the need for organized settling of debts and assets through the bankruptcy process.

          1. You think bankruptcy is a politically attractive form of student loan relief?

            Sure, I’d be all for it, but as a tactical move (which is what we are talking about here), do you think the millenials are going to vote for a candidate who promises bankruptcy as the solution to student loans, or the one who promises subsidies and forgiveness on the taxpayer dime?

            1. Yes I am. I don’t think full forgiveness will ever happen because of the fairness issues. Bankruptcy is tactically a better sell because it ensures that only those who really can’t pay back their loans get out from under them. Forgiveness is a bad sell because it is so easily attacked as a give away to people who don’t need it.

            2. If the other choice is the current Status Quo, then yes bankruptcy is going to be a more attractive option.

              1. Most people don’t have student loans or have paid theirs off if they ever had them. I can’t think of anything that will be less popular than “loan forgiveness for everyone”. That will never happen. What can and should happen is changing the law so that student loans don’t turn into a form of indentured servitude.

              2. But that won’t be the other option. The other option will be some kind of giveaway.

        2. Gimme Dat for higher ed may be a clever short-term tactic, but is completely in opposition to what libertarians are supposed to stand for.

          I think you’re looking at it too narrowly or focusing on a select aspect of libertarianism.

          Would a libertarian forego fucking over public/private administrators in bed with the government in order to stick it to private individuals or just teach the individuals some fiscal responsibility? I’m dubious.

          As long as we don’t bail out schools when students walk away from the debt accrued acquiring their post-modern liberal gender equality studies major, I’m fine with it. Doubly good if we somehow make sure that the schools don’t pass that debt on to their next batch of victims students.

          1. How would you make sure schools don’t do precisely that? One problem is, if you bail out one generation of students and say “but just this once,” it will nonetheless affect people’s expectations, and the next generation will take out lots of loans under the assumption that they’ll get bailed out too. How many things did the government start doing “just this once” a long time ago, and is still doing today. Was’t affirmative action supposed to be a temporary fix? When do you think that one is going to run it’s course?

      2. I’m all for making student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. I also want federal guarantees to go away.

        1. Yes. That should be the trade. And the federal guarantees for the loans that are discharged should be made good via a surtax on college endowments. The colleges got rich off of this mess, they should primarily be the ones to pay for cleaning it up.

          1. I’d sign up for that, no prob. But that’s a loser at the polls compared to subsidies/forgiveness.

            1. The GOP is the stupid party for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest is how it refuses to go after colleges and Hollywood. Both of them are fat easy targets that are getting rich at the expense of others and both are huge sources of Democratic support and funding.

              If you want to appeal to young people, go after the colleges in the name of student loan relief and Hollywood in the form of copyright reform. Both things will appeal enormously to young people and have a similar effect on Democrats that holy water has on a vampire.

          2. And the federal guarantees for the loans that are discharged should be made good via a surtax on college endowments.

            Endowments and/or credentials, their choice. Your license to sculpt shouldn’t even exist, the fact that it has been abused only doubles that imperative.

            1. Derp, squirrels ate my tags:

              Your license to sculpt students into *insert credentialed profession here* shouldn’t even exist, the fact that it has been abused only doubles that imperative.

      3. *People run up debt for gambling and drugs and walk away from it every day in bankruptcy court but can’t do so for student loans. It is idiotic and unjust.*

        No more bailouts FOR ANYBODY.

        Period.

        The End.

  12. “very cynical about the political process”

    Also known as growing up

    1. And even if they are, big deal. Unenthusiastic votes count the same as enthusiastic ones. And any amount of votes at all beats votes that never happen. I don’t see how them checking out and not voting while the rest of the free shit brigade runs to the polls to vote for more free shit does any good.

  13. That fuck on the cover brings the hate out in me. He reeks of smug even over the intertubes. And oh! that punchable, punchable face.

    That being said: how the hell did reason create a cliche in such a short amount time? I wish I could remember exactly which story it was, but it was just within the last few weeks, there was a random Millenial mention in the write-up. I laughed so hard. It’s gotten out of control.

    What do millenials think? You didn’t care 6 months ago, why the fuck would you care now? Millenials today think the same thing that young people have thought throughout modern American history: “I’m right; you’re wrong; poor me; fuck you”.

    1. I think part of it is the age of the Reason staff. A lot of them are in that twilight zone where they are not young anymore but they are not quite middle aged. They are not young but no one wants to be middle aged. So they obsess about trying to stay young and be relevant to people who actually are young. Think of the late 20 something guy who goes back for homecoming and tries to hang out with his old fraternity and you will see what I am talking about.

      1. Is that really a sad thing, to go to homecoming and visit your fraternity? On either side of the spectrum I’ve never experienced it that way.

        1. I don’t mean visit and hang out with your old friends. I mean show up and try and hang out with the people in school now like you are still 20 years old.

    2. “That fuck on the cover brings the hate out in me. He reeks of smug even over the intertubes.”

      I think he must be a professional hipster… Hipster-for-hire

      1. I had this thought as well. He gets paid to stand around and look like a living cliche. Which *shrug* I guess isn’t a bad job if you can get it.

    3. He reminds me of Harvard from Ground Floor. A very funny douchebag who think way too much of himself.

      http://www.tbs.com/shows/ground-floor.html

  14. I think I’m a millennial. Well, I’m 28. I listen to democrats. I just vehemently disagree with almost everything they say. Most of my coworkers and friends that are close to my age tend run on the conservative side of political leanings. That’s a pretty small sample, though. I know a few that voted for Barry and now regret it horribly. That’s an even smaller sample. In conclusion, we need more polls.

    1. Or we need more people to call the president “Barry”.

      1. I really wish it would catch on.

        1. I’d prefer that we refer to him as “President Soetero”, myself.

          1. President Poindexter

  15. I think it should read

    The Millenials Have a Democrat Problem

    1. The *country* has a Democrat problem.

      1. The country has a “government” problem

  16. Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said that the promise of “hope and change millennials invested in has hit a brick wall.”

    Maybe Millennials were put off by the sight of Lena Dunham dancing in her knickers on that weird get-out-and-vote campaign. I know it was enough for me to hurl my lunch…

  17. “Millenials aren’t listening to you”

    No shit, these little turds aren’t listening to you because they think they’re smarter than you, even though they haven’t done jack shit in the real world (about which they are actually quite clueless).

    I’m 32, so I’m not some old curmudgeon, but I have recently had a couple 20 yr. old millennial trainees come out on the railroad and try to tell me how to switch cars…it’s unfathomable to me, the complete lack of self-awareness it would take to try to tell the guy training you how *he* should do his job, it’s beyond fucking absurd, it’s ludicrous, I don’t even know what to call it.

    I’ve wanted to beat their fucking faces against the side of a railcar, but RRing (like everything else) is now a “progressive” institution where we have to coddle these little faggots, and the worst I can do is make them sit in the locomotive. At least the construction industry hasn’t been taken over by leftwing fags, over there if you step out of line you get your ass kicked, I saw it all the time.

    1. One of my best friends has an 19 year old daughter and a 15 year old son. They are decent kids, if obnoxious little shits. So we are talking about his kids and he tells me that both of his kids think that no adult can relate to them or has anything to say worth hearing. He was serious and said their friends seem to feel the same way. My first thought was “are they retarded”.

      Now some of that is youthful rebellion and just the nature of being young. But to believe that to such a degree is profoundly stupid. As the late great Richard Pryor used to say when he was doing Mud Bone “a person don’t get old by being no fool”. Even at my most obnoxious, I would have never actually thought no one older than me had anything important to say and worth hearing. Believing that is nothing but a ticket to a life of ignorance and learning everything the hard way.

      1. To be fair, their parents’ generation fucked the world up pretty good, and are mostly idiots.

        1. Also in the interest of being fair, these “millenials” will likely fuck the world up to the nth degree.

    2. I’m not saying your wrong, but is this different from any generation of young shits? I’m 24 and I see this shit too, I’d just like to think this isnt a recent trend of young people beong fuck ups.

      1. Young people have always been obnoxious and sometimes stupid. That is part of being young. If anything is different now than in the past, it is that young people now have been raised in the self esteem culture such that they are going to have a rougher time learning or not learn at all because they are convinced they are just so fucking special

        1. Wait….I’m NOT special?

          Kidding aside, I have seen this from a 27 yesr old college graduate I work with. The fact he went through college has him convinced he ia too good to dig ditches or run conduit. Meanwhile, 22 year old kid I know is running a crew of electricians and making more then him, because he’s willing to work

          1. That is the irony of the entire thing. The parents of those kids really thought they were helping their kids by building them up and shielding them from hardship. Instead they were doing immeasurable harm to their kids by failing to prepare them for the real world.

  18. Does this mean millennials are experiencing some kind of libertarian awakening?

    Oh, for fucks sake. If millennials were experiencing some kind of liberty-minded awakening, I would expect that most of my friends would be able to leave their bleeding hearts at home when political conversation topics arise.

  19. As long as the Left controls education in this country, there’s no chance of winning the youth vote. You have to wait until reality mugs these little idiots enough for them to wise up…even then, there’s a large cohort that will NEVER wise up.

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