Joel Kotkin: The Old Can Share the Wealth, or the Young Will Take It From Them

The “capitalism vs. socialism” debate is highly correlated with age.

Senior citizens are overwhelmingly supportive of capitalism. Young people are far more likely to be supportive of socialism. It is hard to disaggregate these numbers by race, but it is worth noting that 25% of young Republicans have a positive view of socialism.

The Daily Beast:

Downward mobility is increasingly the norm in the United States, a country built on aspiration. Increasingly, economic progress depends not on effort or grit, but on when you were born, and your parental antecedents. Stanford economist Raj Chetty finds that someone born in 1940 had a 92 percent chance of earning more than their parents; a Boomer born in 1950 had a 79 percent chance of earning more than their parents. Someone born in 1980 , in contrast, has just a 46 percent chance of doing so. No surprise that this generation reports the highest level of anxiety and rising death rates for its members .

By any measure, The fall has been steep. Among those born in 1940, about 90 percent of children grew up to experience higher incomes than their parents, according to researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project. That fell to 50 percent for those born in the 1980s. 

By 2030, according to Deloitte study, Millennials, by far the largest adult generation, will account for barely 16 percent of the nation’s wealth. Boomers, as they enter their eighties and nineties, will still control a remarkable 45 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Property, more than anything, defines this divide. Over the past decade, home ownership among the young has plummeted markedly in Australia— a country with a strong tradition of middle- and working-class homeownership— as well as in Great Britain. According to a 2018 report, twice as many British Millennials were living in rental housing than their Generation X predecessors. At least one third of British Millennials are likely to remain renters for life. 

In the United States, the prospect of owning a home is also fading. Ownership rates in the United States leapt from 44 percent in 1940 to 63 percent 30 years later but have fallen among post-college Millennials (25-34), from 45.4 percent in 2000 to 37.0 percent in 2016, a drop of 18 percent, according to Census Bureau data  …”

How do Millennials and Gen Z see the economy?

NY Mag:

“All of which makes these recent findings from Pew Research a bit startling. By now, you are probably aware that the millennial and “Gen-Z” generations are far more supportive of “socialism” and redistributive economic policies than any of their elders. And yet, according to Pew’s new survey, Americans under 30 are also way more distrustful of their fellow citizens and government than any other age group. Some 73 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say that “most of the time, people just look out for themselves,” while 71 percent believe “most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance,” and 60 percent contend that “most people cannot be trusted.” Among Americans over 65 — the most conservative cohort in the U.S. — those figures are 48, 39, and 29, respectively. …

Historically, socialism has been a utopian creed marked by its faith in humankind’s capacity for altruism. But Pew’s research suggests that America’s most socialistic age bracket is also its most misanthropic. Sometime between the “end of history” and the onset of climate disaster, our nation ostensibly birthed a generation of “dystopian socialists” — Americans whose comfort with state intervention derives less from faith in human goodness than fear of our species’s rapacity. Interpersonal distrust might have fueled antipathy for “big government handouts” among the boomers. …”

Here are the numbers:

For the record, I am not a socialist, but I am not a cheerleader for capitalism either. I’m a populist who believes that capitalism has to be kept on a short leash to be of any value at all.

This is a populist:

This is a socialist:

While populists and socialists value economic fairness over economic freedom, the similarities end there. Populists are social conservatives who support private property. We want to restrain capitalism to promote a broad distribution of property and to avoid corruption of our political system. Basically, we don’t want our communities to become Pottersville.

About the Author

Hunter Wallace
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

21 Comments on "Joel Kotkin: The Old Can Share the Wealth, or the Young Will Take It From Them"

  1. Right. I agree that the Huey Long model is the way to proceed but you and I both know that it is a bridge too far for the neoliberals. They will never agree to it. The neoliberals think medicare for all is an extreme when it isn’t – it is a compromise – so is UBI.

    Look at the extreme excesses and lack of any pretense of populist economic reform in the Trump era. It has been scandalous considering the campaign that Trump ran on.

  2. Well, if future generations have fewer opportunities then the preceding generations, obviously the preceding generations made a big mistake somewhere (barring some natural catastrophe) and they should fix it. However, if you dare to make that suggestion to those generations, you will be met with righteous indignation.

    I think what really gets people are the commercials of retired boomers having a good old time partying, meanwhile their grandkids have to compete with imported labour for the few jobs that haven’t been exported. Those kids also know they’ll never be able to retire so I can see a lot of animosity. The WW2 and Boomer generations are going to be hammered hard by the History books and I doubt if Gen X will fair much better either. The young kids have been handed Clown World and told “tough luck suckers!” so I can see them wanting to get back some of the “loot” somehow. Unfortunately Socialism is just as bad Capitalism just in a different way. The only real choice to choose neither.

  3. Spahnranch1969 | October 7, 2019 at 2:22 am |

    National Socialism is the perfect synthesis of racial pride and economic fairness. Fascism is also an excellent system but unlike NS, which regards the State as a means to an end, Fascists see the State as an end in itself. Capitalism is nothing but the pitiless rule of jewish money.

    • Yep.

      There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when we already have the template for a healthy Aryan society.

      The only thing that would need to be tweaked is revocation of women’s suffrage.

  4. Spahnranch1969 | October 7, 2019 at 2:23 am |

    Joel KOTKIN.

    Need I say more?

    • No, my dear fellow. The ((( name ))) is all one need know.

    • Yes, you do need to say more. Kotkin wrote a book several years ago (The New Class Conflict) in which he argued that the emerging Silicon Valley tech barons and the media/academic/policy elites (Moldbug’s ‘Cathedral’) were teaming up to dispossess and disenfranchise what was formerly the middle class in America. He’s not exactly rooting for the ‘cosmopolitan’ side here.

      Jewdar is handy sometimes, but other times it can fool you into thinking you know something when you don’t.

      • And who are those tech barons, Chris?

        • Every ethnicity under the sun, including white gentiles.

          It’s not all about Jews. It’s probably comforting to think you’ve deduced some hidden truth that will let you see the crux of any situation. Complex questions about culture, motive and interest are reduced to a simple one – are they Jewish?

          In science, when you find evidence that contradicts or isn’t explained by your theory, you go back and take another look at the theory. Vast armies of white gentiles doing things that undermine the white working class would seem to be a problem for the ‘it’s all the Jews’ theory. But for the true believer this isn’t a problem. They understand that somewhere, somehow there’s a Jew making it happen.

          If you’re on the right, it’s probably a good idea to be suspicious of Jews. A large proportion of them are anti-White. But for every anti-White Jew there’s ten or more anti-White gentiles. They may be less wealthy or less capable opponents, but they’re no less hostile. Making it all about the Jews will cause you to miss a few potential allies, but more important you’ll miss a whole host of adversaries.

          • Chris,

            Are you new to reading the essays and comments on this blog? I don’t ask that as a subtle jab.

            If you look back over just the last few years, you would see that contributors and commentators have indicted the anti-White actions of both jews and their shabbos goyim allies.

            It’s not like we cannot see the forest because of the trees.

  5. Spahnranch1969 | October 7, 2019 at 2:29 am |

    The boomers lived during a somewhat aberrant or atypical time in Western history, thanks to unprecedented postwar American prosperity. What’s going on now could perhaps be described as a reversion to the mean, yes?

  6. I was coming into work the other day and overheard 2 Boomers I regularly talk politics with (One’s a Libertarian the other a Neo-Con) and they both came to the conclusion that there is no ways about it, the youth are just going to have to accept a poorer living standard. I interjected into the conversation and asked them why. They brought up A.I., the price of housing, global market competition, wealth concentration and a whole host of other good reasons. I said to them “What about just taking the wealth and redistributing it?” They were shocked at first and said it was unlikely to happen.

    We had a conversation in the office about a year ago about a minimum wage increase and everyone agreed that the “fight for 15” was dumb. A coworker of mine who was a Millennial stated that he believed not in a minimum wage but a maximum wage of a million dollars, with the excess money either used to abolish taxes (no sales tax or income tax) or to pay for an increase in wages to those in the company who earn less. Everyone who didn’t have a grey hair on their head thought of it as a good idea that at least deserved looking into, myself included.

    The Republicans campaigning on a “Vote Trump or America will turn into a Socialist State” is a futile sentiment. The Young are already Socialist because we have to be. The political discussion isn’t about Capitalism vs Socialism, it’s about what kind of Socialist society we’re going to build. Charlie Kirk is a Boomer in a Millennial skin outfit.

  7. Robert Browning | October 7, 2019 at 6:48 am |

    Capitalism is a Jewish term, it means loaning money at high interest. It is using money to make money.It is usury. Free enterprise is the American Christian way. Freedom is what Christ died for.

    • Christ was not a free enterprise capitalist. It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter Heaven. The early Christians were about voluntary sharing of all their goods, not accumulation of worldly goods for oneself.

    • Congratulations, Browning. You just made one of the mot idiotic comments EVER posted anywhere on the entire Internet, or ANYWHERE that ANYTHING has ever been written .This is “flaming” – it’s FACT.

      Jeebuz died from Free enterprise? Aka (((Free Market Capitalism)))). Please expound. I will apologize if I interpreted your statement incorrectly- but I don’t think I did.,

  8. Heartland Separatist | October 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm |

    National Populism ought to be understood as the fusion of Ethno-Nationalism and Economic Populism. It is necessary these two elements fuse as one before the third element can emerge which is the Social Communitarian element which is the crystallization of the Folk or racial community upon which all political power and legitimacy should be based. Without National Populism the third element cannot emerge and without the third element there is no folk community upon which to build a future White Republic.

  9. Heartland Separatist | October 7, 2019 at 12:09 pm |

    PS- have you looked at the politics of the American Association of Retired Persons? (AARP) It is as if it was written by Antifa! Do you really believe American senior citizens think like that?

  10. It should be noted that since future generations are becoming more and more POC, you will find that they overwhelmingly vote for big gov socialism or communism. Whether or not some percentage of Republicans see Socialism favorably is irrelevant. In other words, it’s basically loot Whitey until the system collapses and then blame Whitey for letting their free ride end. Oh and lest we forget, then kill Whitey for revenge or entertainment.

  11. Hunter – that creepy pasta belly chick is a Communist. NOT a socialist. For shame.

  12. Report: 95% of grandfathers/baby boomers got a job just by walking up and asking for it.

    This is humor that has a basis in the reality of the past.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IV_6RYVbNaw

    Two minutes long.

  13. JohntheSecond | October 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm |

    Don’t kid yourself, this is all about race, not so much about generation. The youngest generations are the most non-white in American history, filled with low I.Q. browns and blacks who are incapable of either building or maintaining and advanced society. They’ve got to rob “older generations” (i.e., white people) to get even a semblance of a first-world lifestyle. The unspoken corollary to the Puerto Rican parasite from the Bronx, AOC, giveaways is “and whitey is going to pay for it all!”

    That’s all everything is about in this country – keeping whitey as a slave and wringing as much as you can out of him until there is no more. That’s what 85% of Trump Derangement Syndrome is all about. It’s why the impeachment effort is led by two Jews and an assortment of third-worlders. Even though Trump isn’t pro-white, not even implicitly really, he represents whitey getting uppity to the leftist and non-white coalition. They see the beginning of their meal ticket slipping away. Nadler and Schiff are Jewish nationalists, fighting for the best interests of their people at our expense. There’s no positive morality involved, it’s all about the Benjamins and a racist hatred of their slaves, a dichotomy between wanting to live off of them and wanting to kill them. People hate those they victimize.

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