Two pretty interesting pieces have recently surfaced calling to further attention the Truth About Millennials.
A Reason-Rupe poll found that Millennials age 18-29 do like “socialism” (42 percent prefer it to Capitalism), but they less like “a government-managed economy” when compared to “free market economy” (32 to 64 percent).
The Washington Post concludes that Millennials only seem to like socialism as an ethereal buzzword without a concept of how it may affect them. When they find that socialism may actually affect them (higher taxes, primarily), the approval rate for socialism dives considerably.
Meanwhile Business Insider collected Census county migration data, plus a number of other data surveys and stories about Millennials moving out of cities and buying cars and houses, and came to the conclusion, that – yes – Millennials are just like their parents.
Both pieces of information help to tell the true story, which is now becoming my focus in Millennial studies: this generation is like previous generations. Yes there are upgrades and enhancements here and there, but mostly Millennials will be roughly middle-class, roughly centrist and roughly distracted by the very same things the Baby Boomers have been distracted by. Barring some catastrophe, things will be humming at the same speed as before.
I will say this – when Millennials say “socialism,” some mean Scandinavia, sure, but mostly they mean “we need to do more to help the poor and discarded.” Social welfare is important to Millennials, and they’ve helped to change the conversation for a number of social welfare and justice issues.
But yes, when it means MY money, that’s a different story. The sea change is only just beginning, but be ready for Millennial Conservatism 2.0 in about 5-10 years. It may have a dash of Trumpism in it, too.