Originally posted at AEIdeas. Our Academic Programs team recently asked Nick Eberstadt, author of “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic,” questions on entitlement spending related to Millennials. Below is part one of our three-part series with Nick. If both Republicans and Democrats have played a role in expanding entitlements, how can the Millennial generation vote to show that we want to reform or restrain entitlements?
Millennial voters—my kids’ generation—have to be better informed than my generation was at their age about political realities and national finances. They also have to be willing to call out politicians of both parties who are making easy or sometimes dishonest arguments about how to approach the common will. There’s no easy answer for this. Politics is a ground game and usually does not have perfectly alternative choices. It’s going to be a question of self-education and self-empowerment. If we are able to turn around the entitlement problem, it is probably going to be a very slow and sometimes unpleasant political struggle. We have to be prepared for that. In my generation, a lot of people got excited about politics back in the late 1960s, and then got enormously disappointed and stopped participating. That’s absolutely the worst way to approach a long-term problem like this.Some students recognize the problems of expanding entitlements, but still seek an answer to the inequality gap in the United States. How would you respond to these students’ concerns? Are there policies that they could support other than the entitlement programs?
Over my lifetime, the income gap in America has grown substantially. The consumption gap hasn’t grown quite as dramatically, which is curious because human beings both generate income and consume, but leave that aside for the moment. There are a number of things which seem to be driving the growing income gap over which we have relatively little control as citizens of America…Read the rest of the post at AEIdeas.