I have often suspected that the American people in general want more benefits for themselves, higher spending, lower taxes and of course lower benefits for those (other than themselves) who are undeserving. In other words, their political philosophy is incoherent because they simply do not spend much time thinking through what they believe or paying enough attention to public policy.
Now comes Derek Thompson in The Atlantic to point out this is particularly true of Millenials:
- On spending:
Conservatives can say: 65 percent of Millennials would like to cut spending.
Liberals can say: 62 percent would like to spend more on infrastructure and jobs.
- On taxes:
Conservatives can say: 58 percent of Millennials want to cut taxes overall.
Liberals can say: 66 percent want to raise taxes on the wealthy.
- On government’s role in our lives:
Conservatives can say: 66 percent of Millennials say that “when something is funded by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful.”
Liberals can say: More than two-thirds think the government should guarantee food, shelter, and a living wage.
- On government size:
Conservatives can say: 57 percent want smaller government with fewer services (if you mention the magic word “taxes”).
Liberals can say: 54 percent want larger government with more services (if you don’t mention “taxes”).
“Some of these positions suggest, rather than prove, utter incoherence.”