Skip to comments.Fascinating Polling Data on Misguided Millenials, Government Corruption, and “Unattractive” Leftists
Posted on 07/13/2014 10:21:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
I periodically share polling data. This is because public opinion research (if done honestly) provides insights on the degree to which people are either well informed, uninformed, or misinformed.
And that kind of information is useful for policy wonks like me since it shows where we need to re-double our efforts to educate the American people.
And some of the best polling data today comes from the periodic Reason-Rupe survey. They ask fair questions (i.e., theyre trying to discover what people actually think rather than doing push polls designed to produce pre-determined results) and they ask interesting questions.
But that doesnt mean I always like the answers. Reason-Rupe just did a major survey of Americans between ages 18 and 29. Perhaps Im being a glass-half-empty person, but Im not overly encouraged by the answers from these so-called millenials.
Heck, Im tempted to say that the voting age should be raised to 30.
Is this because of how they voted in the past two elections?
Young Americans (ages 18-29) have shifted markedly left in their voting behavior over the past decade. by 2008, 66 percent voted for Barack Obama, as did 60 percent in 2012.
Nope, thats not why Im distressed about millenials. Its hard to blame voters for turning against the GOP after eight years of Bushs big-government paternalism. Moreover, both McCain and Romney held a lot of statist views, so I didnt view the 2008 and 2012 elections as a rejection of libertarianism or small-government conservatism. The Reason-Rupe experts have a similar assessment.
The Republican Partywhich rhetorically lays claim to free markets, limited government, and fiscal responsibilityfound itself lacking credibility The Republican Partys policy mishandlings tainted not just its own brand, but those who share its rhetoric. Messengers selling free markets and limited government under the GOP banner have found it more difficult to reach a trusting audience.
At most, millenials were guilty of believing the nonsensical hype that Obama was some sort of post-partisan leader.
So why, then, am I distressed about the Reason-Rupe poll results? Mostly because millenials appear to be scatterbrained.
Well start with the good news. In some ways, they seem very sensible.
millennials are not statists clamoring for government management of the economy. Quite the opposite. Millennials are still free marketeersthey like profit and competition, they prefer capitalism over socialism There has been a surge in the share of millennials who think government is wasteful and inefficient Most also think government agencies abuse their power Millennials say hard work brings success, as older generations do. They also believe in self-determination and say that individuals are and should be primarily responsible for both their successes and failings, even if this leads to unequal outcomes. Millennials are concerned about growing income inequality, but they prefer a competitive, merit-based society that rewards personal achievement over one with little income inequality. nearly three-fourths of millennials support changing the Social Security program so younger workers can invest their Social Security taxes in private retirement accounts.
But before you conclude millenials have their heads on straight, lets look at these results.
A plurality of millennials says there is more government should be doing the cohort still favors social welfare spending and a variety of government guarantees. Millennials are more favorable toward socialism than they are to a government-managed economy, even though the latter is arguably less interventionist. Millennials are far more likely than Americans over 30 to identify as liberal. While only 14 percent of Americans over 30 call themselves liberals, 25 percent of millennials do the same. They support raising taxes to increase financial assistance to the poor, they think government should guarantee access to health care, and a slim majority favors guaranteeing access to college. American millennials agree government should spend more to help the poor even if it leads to higher taxes. Nearly seven in 10 say government should guarantee health insurance and a living wage. The plurality of millennials (48 %) think people usually get rich at the expense of others, a zero-sum view of wealth in society.
So does this mean young voters are statists?
Perhaps, but the most accurate conclusion is that they simply dont know enough to give consistent answers.
A 2010 CBS/New York Times survey found that when Americans were asked to use their own words to define the word socialism millennials were the least able to do so. Accord to the survey, only 16 percent of millennials could define socialism as government ownership, or some variation thereof, compared to 30 percent of Americans over 30 (and 57% of tea partiers, incidentally).
So maybe we should raise the voting age to 30.
Or at least have a rule that says you cant vote until you have a job and are paying taxes (that might be a good rule for all ages!).
Now that weve tried to figure out how millenials are thinking, lets look at the entire population.
And lets focus on just one issue: How many Americans think corruption is widespread in government.
The good news is that Gallup found that a record number of Americans recognize that the public sector is a sleazy racket for the benefit of bureaucrats, lobbyists, contractors, politicians, cronies, interest groups, and other insiders.
By the way, I like these results, but they dont necessarily mean that people want to shrink government. As we saw with the data on millenials, its possible for people to favor more government even though they think that it is corrupt, wasteful, and inefficient.
But at least (I hope) this means that they are susceptible to the common-sense message that shrinking government is the most effective way of reducing corruption.
Last but not least, Im not sure this qualifies as an opinion poll, but it does deal with responses to questions.
It turns out that unattractive people are most likely to donate to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A new series of studies from Stanford researchers has found that people who feel unattractive are more likely to donate to the Occupy movement. participants were then asked to rate their own attractiveness Finally, after watching a short video about the Occupy Movement, participants were asked if they would like to donate their compensatory $50 lottery ticket to the movement. Researchers found that those who perceived themselves to be less attractive were almost twice as likely to donate to Occupy.
And while we dont have any research on this issue, Im going out on a limb and asserting that folks who donate to Americas best think tank are beautiful, charming, debonair, suave, virile, and popular.
P.S. But as you can see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, the Occupy protesters did generate some good political humor, so theyre not all bad.
But they have nothing to compare it to. Let us try limited government for a while.
I’ve pretty much given up caring anymore, just like Dennis Miller said the other night on O’Reilly, as well as is the case with many of my friends. We’ve all decided it’s time to look after ourselves, because our country is on an unstoppable path of self-destruction. In effect, we’ve all gone Galt in one fashion or another, and giving up like this is a significant indication that Obama’s plan to destroy our country has worked.
It’s clear that the vast majority of our citizenry are ignorant fools and allowing everyone to vote just because they can breath is complete insanity: only stakeholders should be allowed to vote.
At any rate, our clueless citizenry will continue to vote for leftists (be it GOP leftist or Democrat communists) until our country implodes, most likely being caused when unchecked money-printing finally renders our currency worthless.
Until then, the merry-go-round will continue to spin, our fat, dumb, and stoned citizens will tweet, twitter, facebook, instant message, and surf the web for the latest cat videos until the day the ATM machines no longer work.
Millinials I know want everything handed to them.
They seem incapable of prolonged concentration. I really feel sorry for this country in 20-30 years. With any luck I won't be around.