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Sunday, February 21, 2016

In the future, we'll all be living in your mom's basement

Why are the millennials so enthusiastic about socialism?

W ho would have thought that not having children would be best the way to prevent America from turning socialist?

For years people have been accusing childless baby boomers of selfishness. They're too caught up in materialism, it was said, to bother having children. Now we know the truth: they were protecting us from socialism.

We can't blame the millennials for liking Bernie Sanders. When you're young it's in your interest to demand free stuff. If you're stuck in a run-down apartment with no job prospects it sounds like a good idea for the government to force rich people to give you some of their money and force companies to give you a job. Maybe it would be nice, too, to have a law that says you can't get fired and another law that says you have a right to free health care and free food. Why not?

Back in the good old days, I was one of those kids who just sat in the back of class reading library books instead of paying attention. Back in ’nem days, the government tried, as they do today, to convince us they were a benevolent force. Some were skeptical, afraid of being sent to Vietnam. I thought (as I still do) there was a good case to make for Vietnam being a heroic war, part of our geostrategic struggle for liberty, but the other kids just called me a dorkface. They had picked up on what the news media were saying, and assumed it was normal.

Maybe the government was benevolent. If so it didn't help. Government is an immutable force, like gravity, that deforms everything in its path. Bungling is the natural state for government. As the commercial says, if you're a government, it's what you do. We'd be better off with less.

The great libertarian thinkers—Hayek, Nozick, Bastiat, von Mises, and Albert Jay Nock—all knew this. It was the federal government that turned the Great Depression from a glitch into a catastrophe. Now they're trashing our currency and fueling movements whose idea of progress is to murder cops. Thanks to the government, blacks and whites once again mistrust each other. And we have stagdeflation, just like Japan.

The federal government was never supposed to interact with citizens at all. Its original purpose was to resolve disputes between the states and to deal with foreigners. But only 70 years after the Constitution was ratified the Feds were powerful enough to fight a war against half the states. They've gotten even stronger since.

We were supposed to be independent states joined together in a loose federation, and the Feds' job was to keep them from fighting each other. We were supposed to be a cauldron whereby the states would compete with each other to see which combination of ideas would give us greater wealth and opportunity. Then the other states would copy those ideas and get rich.

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That's how diversity works. Instead, ‘diversity’ has come to mean ‘discrimination’ and wealth and opportunity are now dirty words. That we also can blame on the Feds.

The millennials implement speech codes and trigger warnings, and disinvite speakers who are likely to say something they don't want to hear. Now it turns out they are overwhelmingly socialist. But why?

Grass fertilizer
You can sleep next to the bag of grass fertilizer

Young people listen to the news media blaming the government for not fixing every problem and come to see government's role as that of a parent. If it's too hard to succeed as individuals it seems logical to them to use the force of government to give them what they want and need. It'll just confiscate all the property and all the wealth by force and divide it up equally, and nobody will ever have to do without. To them the idea seems new and exciting.

Young people adapt to whatever the real world presents to them. If they are all little socialists, it means the reality is that the country already turned socialist when we weren't looking. They see how much power the government has arrogated to itself, and they think it's normal.

But I think deep down even they know if you give any government the power to redistribute wealth, sooner or later they will own everything and you'll still be a renter. Only you'll be renting from the politicians, and those speech codes they like so much will have become laws, making it illegal to complain about it. Everything will be free, but you can only get stuff if you're somebody important. And only the politicians are important. The rest of us will all be living in your mom's basement.

I just hope there's enough room. Some of us boomers, you know, aren't so thin any more. Stop making so much noise. And, oh, my bad back.

feb 21, 2016; updated feb 22, 2016

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