If a Republican presidential candidate could match his Democratic opponent as a champion of economic security and yet do so in a way that required less faith in Washington’s competence and benevolence, he might boost the GOP with young voters in a way no number of pop-culture references ever could.In 2013, nobody anticipated Donald Trump, but those "we're being governed by very stupid people" and "I'll bring back jobs" applause lines are not inconsistent with Mr Beinart's thesis. That, and Mr Trump is a pop culture reference. But the redistributionist impulse that appears to be present particularly in Democratic circles is reason, Robert Samuelson argues, to limit the leftward shift.
Growing income inequality has intensified pressures to raise taxes on the rich and near-rich, however defined, to support the middle class and poor. The massive transfers from workers to retirees are starting to sow a backlash among the young, who wonder whether all the elderly's benefits are justified.On the other hand, Chris Hedges suggests the current rearranging of assets is already antagonizing people.
Most Americans seem indifferent as to how they get ahead, whether by wealth creation or redistribution. The choice seems abstract. Fair enough. But for the country, the choice matters enormously. The appeal of the affluent society was that one group's gains didn't have to come at the expense of others'. The promise of economic growth was oversold, but it had the healthy effect of encouraging an expansive and inclusive vision of America.
What's emerging today is more self-interested and self-destructive. The dilemma of a rich society is that its prospects can be undermined by its very abundance. Countries preoccupied by distributional wars are distracted from production. The ambitions of many of its most talented members can be satisfied not by adding to the total output but simply by subtracting from someone else's. They are merely rearranging economic assets among themselves. If taken too far, this promises more political division and economic decline.
The state knows the tinder is there. It knows that the continued unraveling of the economy and the effects of climate change make popular unrest inevitable. It knows that as underemployment and unemployment doom at least a quarter of the U.S. population, perhaps more, to perpetual poverty, and as unemployment benefits are scaled back, as schools close, as the middle class withers away, as pension funds are looted by hedge fund thieves, and as the government continues to let the fossil fuel industry ravage the planet, the future will increasingly be one of open conflict. This battle against the corporate state, right now, is primarily about infrastructure. We need an infrastructure to build revolt.That infrastructure has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans or the Sunday shows. That appears to be Ron Fournier's message in National Journal, which brings us back to Millennials and the lousy economy and culture they are coming of age in.
I concluded that their revolutionary view of government and politics points toward two possible outcomes. One is that they might opt out of Washington, which leads us to some dark places. The second and more likely outcome is they will blow up Washington (“disruption” is the tech-inspired term they use), and build something better outside the current two-party dysfunction.One year to run to the general election. It's unlikely that the outcome alone will bring anything close to consensus or comity.
Millennials don’t fit neatly into either the Democratic or Republican parties. They are highly empowered, impatient, and disgusted with politics today.