23 October 2010

The Real Meaning of Christmas


Millennials take a very different view of politics from older cohorts of Americans. For example, offered a choice between a government that offers higher taxes and more services, or fewer services and lower taxes, older Americans choose the lower-tax alternative.

Sixty-two percent of over 65s prefer the lower tax alternative, as do 58% of voters in the 50-64 group, and 56% of voters aged 30-49.

Under 30s prefer bigger government by a margin of 53-43.

Under 30s are more socially liberal too, and less nationalistic than over 30s.

This year's surge of Republican enthusiasm is a male phenomenon. The simplest explanation for McMahon's lack of female support is that female voters aren't the ones who want to replace Democrats with Republicans.

In West Virginia, Republican John Raese leads Democrat Joe Manchin by 9 points among men but trails Manchin by 10 points among women. Time has Wisconsin Republican nominee Ron Johnson ahead of Russ Feingold by 15 points among men, but tied among women.

And in Washington state, where Democrat Patty Murray is running against Republican Dino Rossi, women favor Murray by 31 points, while men favor Rossi by 15. That's a 46-point gender gap—McMahon's gap is 27 points—with nobody making anybody bark like a dog.

Here is a paradox for you, friends. Young people, who face a lifetime of paying taxes ahead of them, are more likely to accept that tradeoff if it means increased spending on social programs. Old folks, who are heavily reliant on social spending, want to see lower taxes and Small Gummit. There is only one explanation for this that I can see. Old folks don't view Medicare and Social Security as government provisions; they view them as receiving their own money back from a private lockbox that's been kept by the government. They are only opposed to social spending that might make life easier for young people. Why? Because they want to see young people get screwed over. That's all.

If you want to explain American political behavior, you have to start with these two phenomena. Why do men hate women, and why do old people hate young people?